Prior to having my own problems getting pregnant, I had a very limited scope of what issues can impact fertility. I rarely thought of the nuances of fertility issues. I also believed intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) were the end-all-be-all solutions to just about anything that might keep a person from getting pregnant. After suffering a blighted ovum, a condition where a gestational sac grows without an embryo, and visiting a fertility specialist, I started to understand that fertility issues and the solutions to them are both vast and varied.

After a series of tests that included checking my fallopian tubes and uterus, my doctor discovered I had uterine polyps. Honestly, I was unaware that the condition even existed.

“Polyps are an overgrowth of the endometrial lining in the uterus,” said Desiree McCarthy-Keith, M.D., my fertility specialist. “They are generally non-cancerous, but a small percentage (1-2%) can turn into cancer.”

Can You Get Pregnant with a Uterine Polyp?

Pictures of my uterine polyps. On the left is a smaller polyp and on the right a larger one.

McCarthy-Keith called to tell me about the polyps after my diagnostic tests. I was surprised that this was likely causing my fertility troubles. She said that polyps, like fibroids, can get in the way of a fertilized egg implanting.

“Obstructions in the uterus, like polyps and fibroids, are the most common on our list of uterine factors that can make the uterus less ideal for pregnancy,” McCarthy-Keith explained to 21Ninety. “Polyps can take up space in the uterus, affecting the ability for an embryo to implant and grow.”

You can get pregnant with polyps present. However, McCarthy-Keith recommended I undergo surgery once she found mine. She explained doing so would better my chances of implantation.

“While some women with smaller masses can conceive, larger polyps often need to be surgically removed,” McCarthy-Keith said. “It may be possible to get pregnant without removing polyps, but they may increase risk of miscarriage depending on the polyp size and location.”

Is a Hysteroscopic Polypectomy Painful?

A hysteroscopic polypectomy is an outpatient surgery to remove uterine polyps. It requires anesthesia and involves medical professionals. Doctor’s use a telescopic lens and a cutting device to enter the uterus and remove any masses. This surgery involves no incisions.

“For polyps, [removal] can be done hysteroscopically — in other words, by using a camera inserted into the uterus with a vaginal approach,” McCarthy-Keith said.

For my surgery, my doctor’s office required someone be available to drive me to and from the medical facility. The entire process took less than 6 hours and was not painful because of the anesthesia. The recovery process was simple with some slight cramping and spotting.

How Much Does a Hysteroscopic Polypectomy Cost?

While the cost of a hysteroscopic polypectomy can vary depending on your insurance the price tag often falls into the thousands. My surgery cost $2,284.21. That amount was applied to a $5000 insurance deductible. That means, I paid the full amount out of pocket since my deductible had not kicked in yet.

How Long After Uterine Polyp Removal Can You Try to Conceive?

McCarthy-Keith says after doctors remove the polyps, her office sends the tissue off for pathologic evaluation to confirm that it is benign. In my case the tissue removed was not cancerous. In general, doctors recommend that women wait one menstrual cycle after removal to allow the uterine lining to heal before trying to conceive.

“After that, women can continue to try to conceive on their own or by using fertility treatment such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF),” McCarthy-Keith explained.

Understanding Your Body and Situation

Photo credit: Kristina Svirskaite

My uterine polyp removal helped me understand the nuances that exist around fertility issues. It opened my eyes to the variety of roadblocks people may face when trying to conceive and that so many solutions exist. For me, proactively reaching out to my fertility specialist and having a thorough examination was the key to identifying my diagnosis. I was able to find a treatment plan that worked for me.

Following my surgery, my husband and I decided to continue trying to conceive on our own. Thankfully, a few short months after my polyp removal, I was pregnant. Today, I am the proud mother of a healthy baby boy.