Polyps: Frustrating Prospective Parents for Years

A polyp is an abnormal tissue growth found on a mucous membrane. They can develop on the uterine or cervical walls, and are typically benign. Polyps may cause pain or discomfort, vaginal bleeding, and may interfere with conception. If a polyp is considered to be problematic or possibly tumorous, surgery will be recommended. They have a distinct effect on pregnancy tests, as they may cause them to come back negative.

Only about 1% of cervical polyps show changes that may lead to cancer, and uterine polyps are more often a nuisance than a sign of serious illness or disease. They are most often discovered during routine pregnancy tests by a doctor. Both are most common in women of childbearing age who have at least one child.

Getting Pregnant with a Polyp

Both cervical and uterine polyps can block the entrance of the cervix, depending on where they're growing. As it is essential for sperm to enter the cervix in order to find the egg, this can cause a serious problem with conception. If you and a partner have been trying to conceive but keep getting negative results on your pregnancy tests, you may want to discuss getting a laprascopy done to ensure there are no polyps or other abnormalities within your reproductive system. Pregnancy tests are stressful enough; the last thing you need is a random tissue growth interfering with your results.

The presence of polyps can drastically reduce the chances for implantation, meaning that a fertilised egg may choose not to settle into the endometrial lining of the uterus due to the polyp's effect or presence. Thus, an otherwise healthy and fertilised egg will be lost because of the polyp. If the polyp wasn't there, that egg would have given you positive results on pregnancy tests!

However, other evidence shows that some women have experienced no problems getting pregnant with uterine, cervical, or endometrial polyps. You may want to set a limit for yourself - a number of months, or a number of failed pregnancy tests - before you decide to give surgery a try.

Resection of a Polyp

Having a polyp removed, either before or during pregnancy, is a minor procedure. As polyps will have an effect on your pregnancy tests, getting one removed while trying to conceive should be a relief more than anything else. The removal process is very simple and quick, and can be done either under conscious sedation or local anesthesia. There is a chance, if you recently had intercourse, that a fertilised egg may already be waiting to embed itself in the endometrial wall - so that the pregnancy tests taken post-surgery will come back positive!

What is a Polyp?

Polyps are an overgrowth of tissue. Shortly after you ovulate, the endometrial lining of the uterus begins to thicken in preparation for housing a fertilised egg. In some cases, this lining may grow too much, and develop polyps. In and of themselves, they aren't typically dangerous; but the complications they cause - especially their effect on pregnancy tests and conception chances - can be very frustrating. They can cause some discomfort, also, especially if they're rubbing against the uterine walls or the opening of the cervix.

If you're trying to conceive and you keep getting negative results on your pregnancy tests, discuss polyps with your doctor. They're fairly common, easy to get rid of, and can be a major roadblock on the path to pregnancy.


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