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Hyperplasia is the excessive growth of abnormal cells in the endometrial lining. High levels of estrogen and a complete absence of progesterone causes these cells to grow and, over time, the lining can become quite thick. At some point, the cells become quite fragile and constant and/or unpredictable bleeding is the result. Hyperplasia is a noncancerous condition that is easily diagnosed with a D&C or endometrial biopsy.
Hyperplasia is generally stated to be "with atypia" (atypical hyperplasia) or "without atypia" (simple hyperplasia) and this distinction can make the world of difference in terms of treatment options.Just as dysplasia has the potential to develop into cervical cancer, atypical hyperplasia has the potential to develop into endometrial (uterine) cancer.
Hyperplasia is the result of hormonal imbalances (just like fibroids!) and women who are diagnosed with hyperplasia all lack appropriate progesterone levels. The first line of defense for hyperplasia is progesterone pills as this is an easy way to increase a woman's progesterone levels and prevent the hyperplasia from progressing. If this treatment along with a D&C doesn't work to stop hyperplasia from developing into endometrial cancer, it would then be appropriate to turn to hysterectomy.
It shouldn't be a surprise that many women with uterine fibroids at some point end up with hyperplasia if their fibroids and resulting symptoms are left untreated. Hormonal imbalances that incite fibroid growth seem to incite fast multiplication of cell growth of the endometrial lining as well. If hyperplasia and uterine fibroids are both part of your diagnosis and abnormal bleeding is a major symptom, treating the hyperplasia first with progesterone may well bring the bleeding under control; thus, allowing you to postpone treatment for your uterine fibroids until they become symptomatic enough on their own to warrant action.
What You'll Find
||Endometrial Biopsy: General Information|
|Endometrial Hyperplasia: It's Not Cancer|
|Healthway Online||Biopsy of the endometrium|
Kimberely Mulvihill, MD
|What are the treatment options for endometrial hyperplasia?|
University Ob/Gyn Associates 1997
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Vol. 170, pp. 1213-1223, 1994
|Endometrial Hyperplasia in Women Treated With Conjugated Estrogens and Medroxyprogesterone Acetate vs Those Given Conjugated Estrogens Alone|
|Michael Toaff, MD||What is endometrial hyperplasia and how is it treated?|
S P Ho, K T Tan, M W Y Pang, T H Ho
|Endometrial Hyperplasia And The Risk Of Endometrial Carcinoma|
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This page last updated Saturday, February 02, 2002