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What You Need to Know About Precancerous Changes in Your Uterus: Endometrial Hyperplasia

Maybe you've been having irregular or excessive vaginal bleeding or maybe pain during sex, but something has led you to see your doctor and have a pelvic exam. If you find out that you don’t have cancer, you may feel relief. However, your doctor may have noticed changes in your uterus that are not normal. The most common change is called endometrial hyperplasia. This means that the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium, is growing more than it should. Over time, in some cases this growth can become cancerous.

If you have hyperplasia, your doctor may suggest treatment. These are the most common ways of keeping track of its progress and treating endometrial hyperplasia:

  • Regular exams. Your doctor can monitor your health by doing pelvic exams regularly.

  • Transvaginal ultrasound. High-frequency sound waves bounce off internal body parts to create pictures of your pelvic organs. Your doctor can use this test to see how thick your endometrium is.

  • Hormone therapy. Your doctor may prescribe a progestin. This medication mimics the female hormone progesterone and can help reduce the thickness of the endometrial lining.

  • Dilation & curettage (D&C). During this procedure, your doctor scrapes away the endometrium. This can be done to treat irregular or heavy bleeding.

  • Hysteroscopy. For this test, the doctor puts a slender, telescope-like device through your cervix and into the uterus. The doctor can then look at the lining and remove cells from areas that look abnormal. These samples are sent to a lab for testing. 

  • Hysterectomy. This is surgery to take out your uterus.

If you have endometrial hyperplasia, talk with your doctor about the best way to stay healthy.

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