Endometrial Polyps Diagnosis

Endometrial polyps are benign overgrowths of the uterine lining and are common. They lie within the space of the uterine cavity and are usually identified with hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or a saline sonohysterogram (SIS). Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is an x-ray study used as an initial screening study to evaluate the uterine cavity and tubal patency, whether the fallopian tubes are patent (open) or not. Many patients have this study performed in the beginning of their infertility evaluation. The HSG is very helpful in diagnosing polyps.

The saline sonohysterogram (SIS) is a study in which sterile saline is placed into the uterine cavity with a catheter and a transvaginal ultrasound is performed. The saline produces a contrast media in order to visualize polyps accurately.

Treatment for Uterine Polyps

A hysteroscopy will be done to remove polyps. This procedure can be done in the office under light anesthesia. The procedure involves introducing a specialized camera, called a hysterscope, into the uterine cavity. Attached to the camera is a surgical instrument, which will allow your physician to remove your polyps.

The vast majority of endometrial polyps are benign, although some may be precancerous. Precancerous polyps account for less than 1% of uterine polyp.

The effect of endometrial polyps on fertility is not clear, but fertility specialists assume that large ones may have an effect like that of an intrauterine contraceptive device, so big polyps are often removed to treat infertility and before attempting any fertility treatments.

Find more information in the Fertility Library.


What is a hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is the exam of the inside of the cervix and uterus using a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a hysteroscope. Your healthcare provider inserts the device through the vagina.

Your provider may use hysteroscopy to:

  • Take a tissue sample (biopsy)
  • Remove polyps or fibroid tumors
  • Prevent bleeding by destroying tissue using electric current, freezing, heat, or chemicals  

Your provider may do hysteroscopy in his or her office or in an outpatient center. You may have local or no anesthesia. Procedures that are more complex may be done in the operating room under local, regional, or general anesthesia.

Why might I need a hysteroscopy?

You may need a hysteroscopy for:

  • Abnormal Pap test results
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Diagnose the cause of infertility or repeated miscarriages
  • Examine and remove uterine scarring, polyps, or fibroids
  • Find and remove displaced IUDs (intrauterine devices)
  • Place small birth control inserts into the fallopian tubes
  • Removal of a small tissue sample (biopsy)
  • Removal of endometrial lining

You can’t have a hysteroscopy if you are pregnant.

Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to do a hysteroscopy.

What are the risks for a hysteroscopy?

Some possible complications of hysteroscopy may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Tearing of the uterus (rare) or damage to the cervix 
  • Complications from fluid or gas used to expand the uterus

You may have slight vaginal bleeding and cramps for a day or two after the procedure.

There may be other risks based on your condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

Certain things may interfere with a hysteroscopy. These include:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Inflamed cervix
  • Bloated bladder

How do I get ready for a hysteroscopy?

  • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure and you can ask questions.
  • You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.
  • Your provider may do a physical exam to be sure you are in good health. You may have blood tests or other diagnostic tests.
  • You may be asked to fast before the procedure if you are to get local or general anesthesia. You may have local or regional anesthesia or no anesthesia. This depends on what other procedures your provider will do at the same time.
  • If you are pregnant or think you could be, tell your healthcare provider.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or are allergic to any medicines, iodine, latex, tape, or anesthesia.
  • Tell your healthcare provider of all medicines (prescription and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements that you are taking.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines (anticoagulants), aspirin, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. You may be told to stop these medicines before the procedure.
  • You may get a sedative before the procedure to help you relax. If so, you will need someone to drive you home.
  • You will be scheduled to have the procedure after your period and before ovulation. This lets your provider get the best view of the uterus. It also avoids harm to a new pregnancy.
  • Dress in clothes that give access to the area or that are easily removed.
  • Follow any other instructions your provider gives you to get ready.

What happens during a hysteroscopy?

Your provider may do a hysteroscopy an outpatient basis or during a hospital stay. Procedures may vary based on your condition and your healthcare provider's practices.

Generally, a hysteroscopy follows this process:

  1. You will remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  2. You will empty your bladder before the procedure.
  3. An intravenous (IV) line may be put in your arm or hand.
  4. You will be positioned on an operating table, lying on your back with your feet in stirrups.
  5. The vaginal area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
  6. Your provider may dilate your cervix before inserting the hysteroscope.
  7. Your provider will insert the hysteroscope into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus.
  8. Your provider will inject a liquid or gas through the hysteroscope to expand the uterus for a better view.
  9. Your provider will examine the wall of the uterus for problems. He or she may take photographs or videos and take tissue samples (biopsies).
  10. If you need a procedure, such as fibroid removal, your provider will insert tools through the hysteroscope.
  11. For more complex procedures, your provider may insert another type of scope through the abdomen (laparoscope) to view the outside of the uterus at the same time.
  12. When the procedure is done, your provider will remove the hysteroscope.

What happens after a hysteroscopy?

Your recovery will vary based on the type of anesthesia you have. If your provider used general anesthesia or a sedative, he or she will track your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing until they are stable and you are alert. When stable, you will be discharged to your home. Hysteroscopy is most often done on an outpatient basis.

Otherwise, you won’t need any special care after a hysteroscopy.

You may have cramping and vaginal bleeding for a day or two after the procedure. Report fever, severe abdominal pain, or heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge.

You may have gas in the digestive tract and pains from the gas given during the procedure. This can last for about 24 hours. You may also feel pain in your upper abdomen and shoulder.

Take a pain reliever for soreness as advised by your healthcare provider. Aspirin or certain other pain medicines may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medicines.

Don't douche or have sex for 2 weeks after the procedure, or as advised by your healthcare provider.

You can go back to normal activity and diet unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions based on your situation.

Next steps

Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:

  • The name of the test or procedure
  • The reason you are having the test or procedure
  • The risks and benefits of the test or procedure
  • When and where you are to have the test or procedure and who will do it
  • When and how will you get the results
  • How much will you have to pay for the test or procedure

Douglas T. Carrell, Ph.D., H.C.L.D.

Doug Carrell received his Ph.D. degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Utah in 1995, after receiving a M.S. degree in cellular and developmental biology from Brigham Young University. Dr. Carrell has worked in the area of research and treatment of human infertility for 30 years. Dr. Carrell is the clinical laboratory director of t... Read More


Andrology, In Vitro Fertilization, Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility


Andrology & IVF Laboratories (801) 581-3740

Jessie A. Dorais, M.D.

Jessie Dorais, M.D. as a Clinical Assistant Professor, in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Dorais received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brigham Young University in 2003, and her M.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 2007. She completed her Obstetrics & Gynecology residency ... Read More

James M. Hotaling, M.D., M.S., FECSM

Dr. Hotaling has significant training in both the clinical aspects of male fertility and genetic epidemiology and he is currently the only fellowship trained male infertility/andrology expert in Utah. He completed a 6 year residency in urology at the University of Washington, elected to pursue a year of sub-specialty training in male infertility ... Read More

Erica B. Johnstone, M.D.

Erica B. Johnstone, M.D., M.H.S., is a gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Johnstone clinical interests include reproductive endocrine disorders and all types of infertility, and she also works with hormonal disorders in children and adolescents. Her research interests in... Read More

William R. Keye, M.D.

William R. Keye, M.D., is a board-certified physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, and was an original member of the University of Utah’s I.V.F.(in vitro fertilization) team. He served as Director of that team until ... Read More


Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility


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Andrew K. Moore, M.D.

Dr. Moore is pleased to bring the University of Utah’s world-class reproductive medicine closer to home for Utah Valley and southern Salt Lake county residents. He has office hourse each week in South Jordan and Orem. Dr. Moore's clinical interests include the full breadth of reproductive endocrinology and fertility treatment, as well as speciali... Read More

C. Matthew Peterson, M.D.

Matthew Peterson, M.D., is a Reproductive Endocrinologist in the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Peterson received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1977 and his M.D. from the University of Utah in 1981. His residency training in obstetrics and gynecology was accomplished at M... Read More

Reproductive Medicine services are available at the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine as well as multiple locations through out the state of Utah, including Centerville, Orem, South Jordan and Park City. Our reproductive endocrinologists offer a wide range of services including:

  • Infertility counseling
  • Infertility monitoring and treatment
  • IUD insertion and removal
  • Annual gynecological exams
  • Endocrinology
  • Diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Treatment of endometriosis
  • Pediatric and adolescent gynecology services

Our highly trained reproductive endocrinology specialists are experts in both the treatment and research of infertility and our clinic consistently boasts one of the highest success rates in the nation.

Neighborhood Health Center Locations:

Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine 675 Arapeen Way, Suite 205
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1237
University of Utah Health Care
Centerville Health Center
26 South Main
Centerville, Utah 84014
Dixie Regional Medical Center 544 South 300 East
St. George, UT 84770
McKay Dee Hospital 4401 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84403
University of Utah Health Care
Redstone Health Center
1743 W. Redstone Center Drive, #115
Park City, Utah 84098
University of Utah Health Care
South Jordan Health Center
5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, 84095
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
Woman’s and Children’s Clinic
1034 N 500 W
Provo, Utah 84604