Endometrial hyperplasia is a condition in which the lining of the uterus (endometrium) becomes abnormally thickened due to an overgrowth of the cells that make up the lining. It is typically caused by an excess of estrogen without the balancing effects of progesterone, which normally helps to regulate the growth and shedding of the endometrial lining during the menstrual cycle.
There are several different types of endometrial hyperplasia, each with different characteristics and potential for progression to endometrial cancer. The most common type is simple hyperplasia without atypia, which involves an overgrowth of the endometrial cells but without any significant abnormality in their appearance or behavior. This type of hyperplasia is typically considered to have a low risk of progression to cancer and can often be treated with hormonal therapy or monitoring.
However, if the cells in the endometrial lining show abnormal characteristics, such as enlarged or atypical cells, this is known as complex hyperplasia with atypia, and is associated with a higher risk of progression to endometrial cancer. Treatment for this type of hyperplasia typically involves more aggressive interventions, such as hysterectomy or removal of the uterus, to prevent the development of cancer.
Symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia may include abnormal uterine bleeding, irregular periods, or heavy bleeding during menstruation. Diagnosis is typically made through a biopsy or sampling of the endometrial tissue, which can be done in a doctor’s office or through imaging-guided procedures.
If you have concerns about endometrial hyperplasia, it is important to discuss your symptoms and risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of diagnosis and treatment.