Do Uterine Polyps Cause Weight Gain?
Published Oct 26, 2020
So far, there is still no scientific evidence that proves uterine polyps can cause weight gain. But since it makes your lower abdomen swell, it can give the appearance that you’re getting fat. Hence the misconception that uterine polyps can cause women to gain weight.
But, don’t worry. You are not the first one to ask such a question or make such an assumption. In fact, Google gets asked this question more than a thousand times a month.
You see, uterine polyps affect almost a quarter of the female population. Yet scientists still haven’t fully figured out how it works or why it happens. So it’s no wonder why many women still hold false beliefs about this disease.
What Are Uterine Polyps?
Also called endometrial polyps, uterine polyps are small lumps that grow inside a woman’s uterus or womb. They can range in size from as small as a mustard seed to as big as a tennis ball.
Unlike fibroids, they do not spring from the overgrowth of muscles in the walls of your uterus. Rather, they are made of excess tissues that line your uterine walls.
Most uterine polyps are benign. Meaning, it’s not cancerous. In fact, many women who have uterine polyps don’t feel any symptoms. They just carry on with their lives never knowing that they’ve had it at some point.
But, in certain cases, uterine polyps can develop into cancer. The risk is especially higher if the woman had already gone through menopause.
Aside from the risk of cancer, uterine polyps may also affect your fertility. Since these lumps are already lining your uterus wall, the eggs from the fallopian tube have nowhere to attach themselves to. This is why women with polyps usually find it hard to get pregnant. They are also more likely to miscarry.
In a normal reproductive cycle, the tissues lining your uterus walls thicken only when an egg gets down from your fallopian tube to your uterus. When the egg is not fertilized, these tissues tear themselves apart and get out of your body through menstruation.
Uterine polyps happen when these tissues grow at an abnormal rate. When this occurs, lumps are formed. That’s why some people have multiple polyps while others may only have one big mass of tissue attached to their uterus.
Scientists are still unsure of what exactly causes this rapid growth of tissues. But some studies show that changing hormone levels can be a factor. It shows that estrogen, the hormone responsible for the thickening of uterine linings every month, may also be causing these polyps. Though how it does that remains a mystery.
As mentioned, most women who have had uterine polyps don’t know they have it. That’s because they usually don’t feel any symptoms.
But when uterine polyps symptoms do become apparent, they are often similar to more serious conditions like endometrial cancer. So if you have these symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of cancer:
- irregular periods
- heavy bleeding during your period
- spotting in between periods, especially after sex
- difficulty of conceiving
- bleeding after menopause
Uterine Polyps and Obesity
Though uterine polyps may not cause weight gain, growing evidence suggests that obesity might cause uterine polyps.
A study conducted in Turkey suggests that obesity is an independent risk factor in the development of uterine polyps. They came to this conclusion after observing more than 200 overweight patients diagnosed with endometrial polyps.
In another study published in Italy, researchers found that obesity increases the risk of uterine polyps developing into endometrial cancer. The results suggest that overweight and obese women are almost twice as likely to develop malignant polyps.
The exact relationship between obesity and uterine polyps is still unknown. But increased visceral fat had long been associated with increased levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women. It’s also linked with decreased glucose tolerance and increased insulin levels. Both of which are factors associated with the development of endometrial cancer.
How Uterine Polyps Are Treated
Sometimes, uterine polyps go away on their own and need no further treatment. But in cases where removal is necessary, hysteroscopy and hysterectomy can be performed depending on the type and severity of polyps.
Hysteroscopy is basically just a procedure to examine the insides of your uterus. A thin lighted tube is inserted into your vagina to check the cervix and uterine walls. This allows your doctor to either scrape or perform a curettage on your polyps.
But when hysteroscopy just won’t cut it, hysterectomy or total removal of the uterus might be recommended.
Lifestyle changes like losing excess weight and eating healthy foods help reduce your risk of developing uterine polyps.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the power of knowledge when it comes to whole body donation and she wants to share her experience with the world. She also loves to write about food and art.