M y uterine polyps are more of a background worry that never goes away than a problem that affects me physically every day. That’s because there is a small risk that they can become cancerous, so any time I have spotting or bleeding I am reminded of that.
That might not sound like much of an issue but when you head towards the menopause your periods are all over the place, so you can’t really tell what’s normal bleeding and what’s not.
I decided to go to my doctor after I saw something on social media about the Eve Appeal saying “get bleedin' checked”. It was quite catchy and it kept going around in my head but I kept telling myself it was all normal to have heavy periods and spotting during the change. Then when I mentioned it to a friend who was also getting menopausal she told me it would be stupid if I left it too late and there was something wrong so I made an appointment.
At first the doctor said it was common for bleeding to be disrupted at my age but when I said the blood was sometimes brown and stale she sent me for a vaginal scan. They weren’t sure what they’d found but they could see something and that was a worrying time.
Eventually I had a procedure where the gynaecologist put a camera inside my womb and when they found polyps, he snipped them away at the same time. It was quite painful but the worst thing was waiting for the results of the biopsy.
Luckily it was clear and there was no cancer, and for a while I just had irregular periods but no spotting. But a routine follow up showed that the polyps had come back so I had to go through the whole thing again.
That’s happened another time so I feel as if I am constantly on cancer watch. All the time I’m worried about the bleeding. Luckily I get regular follow ups or I wouldn’t know when to call the doctor. Nobody knows why the polyps grow or how to stop them. They’re not painful so that’s a good thing but then it’s like you have some hidden threat inside, waiting to pounce and you don’t know when that might happen.
I got so worried about them that my GP suggested CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) because menopause can also make you more stressed and anxious. That has helped me from spiralling out of control, but it doesn’t change the fact that these polyps might come back and one day they might be cancerous.