When the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows too thick, the condition is known as endometrial hyperplasia. Near the onset of menopause, women who are experiencing irregular menstrual cycles because they no longer ovulate monthly, are more likely to experience this benign condition. Overweight women, and those with diabetes are also more likely to have endometrial hyperplasia, along with those who take estrogen without progesterone.
Endometrial hyperplasia is not usually a serious condition, however, if it is not controlled, prolonged stimulation by estrogen may lead to endometrial cancer.
There are four types of endometrial hyperplasia:
- Simple atypical
- Complex atypical
Providers recommend different treatments, depending on the type of endometrial hyperplasia present.
The most common symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia include:
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal discharge
In most cases, after your provider has obtained a sample of the uterine lining and determined that cancer is not present, endometrial hyperplasia is treated with the hormone progesterone. Your provider will recommend the form of progesterone that is appropriate for your condition. If the problem continues, other medications or surgery may be considered.