Endometrial hyperplasia (EH) is a thickening of the inner lining of the womb. It is most frequently caused by excess estrogen (a group of hormones which mainly influence the female reproductive tract) without progesterone (a female hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle). The condition has a high risk of malignant transformation and relapses.
There are four types of endometrial hyperplasia:
- complex with atypia – it is most often diagnosed by gynecologists who are evaluating symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding in premenopausal women. Some doctors call it endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia. It is the most common type of EH. It has about 40 percent important risk of invasive endometrial cancer;
- simple with atypia – it has around 8 percent risk of uterine cancer;
- complex without atypia – treatment for this type involves progesterone, however, hysterectomy is an option in women who are at acceptable surgical risk and have completed childbearing. Without medical treatment, approximately 10 percent of patients will progress to endometrial cancer;
- simple without atypia – it is described by cystically dilated glands of various sizes and shapes. It has a 1 percent risk of uterine cancer.
If a woman has too much of the hormone estrogen without the hormone progesterone, she may develop EH.
Note – this condition usually happens after menopause, the time when your menstrual periods stop permanently and the woman’s body is no longer making progesterone. Endometrial hyperplasia can also occur in perimenopause, the phase which takes place before the final cessation of periods.
The condition is more likely to occur in women with the following risk factors:
- early age when menstruation started;
- age older than 35 years;
- the use of a medicine called tamoxifen, a medication that is used to treat breast cancer in women and men;
- older age at menopause;
- personal history of certain conditions, like – cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, thyroid disease, granulosa cell tumor (a type of cancer which starts in the granulosa cells which surround the eggs within the ovary), gallbladder disease, or polycystic ovary syndrome (a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels);
- white race;
- the use of certain types of hormone replacement therapy;
- never having been pregnant.
The most common presenting symptom of EH is abnormal uterine bleeding. Other symptoms include the following:
- menstrual cycles without ovulation (anovulatory periods);
- the absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea);
- pain during sexual intercourse;
- periods which last longer than usual;
- heavy menstrual bleeding.
You should see your doctor if you have any of the following:
- any bleeding after menopause;
- menstrual cycles which are shorter than 21 days – counting from the 1st day of the menstrual period to the 1st day of the next menstrual period;
- bleeding during the menstrual period which is heavier or lasts longer than normal.
The condition can turn into cancer of the womb. It can also lead to an endometrial polyp, a mass in the inner lining of the uterus.
EH can be established through the following procedures:
- hysterosalpingography – it is an x-ray examination of a woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus;
- a detailed medical history evaluation followed by a pelvic and physical exam;
- hysteroscopy – it is a procedure which allows your healthcare professional to look inside your uterus by placing a probe through the cervix;
- pelvic MRI scan – it helps your healthcare professional to see the blood vessels, organs, bones, and other tissues in the pelvic region;
- pelvic and abdominal CT scan – it is a procedure which provides more details of blood vessels, soft tissues, and internal organs;
- transvaginal ultrasound – it is a type of pelvic ultrasound used by healthcare professionals to examine female reproductive organs by inserting an ultrasound probe into the vagina;
- ultrasound scan of the pelvis – it uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images.
Treatments commonly focus on progesterone hormone therapy with progestin. Progestin is given in a shot, orally, as a vaginal cream, or in an intrauterine device.
A total hysterectomy is another treatment of choice for hyperplasia with atypia in women who have completed childbearing.
Natural Treatment For Endometrial Hyperplasia
It is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae with the scientifical name of Hydrastis Canadensis. Digestive problems, eye irritations, and skin disorders are a few of the numerous health problems that this medicinal plant is said to solve. In addition, it may help prevent endometrial thickness.
2) Frankincense Oil
It is extracted from the inner bark of the Boswellia trees. Some of its chemical constituents are:
This essential oil has sweet, smooth, and citrus aroma which will help relax the body and mind. It is used to help decrease the appearance of scars, reduce the signs of aging, prevent dangerous infections, reduce pain, relieve chronic stress, support heightened immunity, and fight disease-causing inflammation. Frankincense essential oil can also reduce tumor growth and cancerous cell production.
3) Castor Oil
It is a pale yellow viscous fluid that is derived from the castor bean plant (scientifical name – Ricinus communis). It is thought to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties. When applied to the pelvic and abdominal area, the oil can help relieve EH associated pain.
4) Licorice Root
The botanical name for licorice root, Glycyrrhiza, comes from “glukos” and “riza.” The compound glycyrrhizic acid, found in the root of this plant, has been shown to be hepatoprotective. Licorice root has an anti-allergenic effect and has an aspirin-like action. Additionally, it is effective in relieving the symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia.
You can take the following steps to reduce the risk of EH:
- daily moderate physical exercise can reduce the risk of EH; in addition, physical exercise reduces stress and enhances cognitive functioning; moderate exercise includes activities like swimming, brisk walking, and mowing the lawn;
- if you are overweight or obese, losing weight may help since the risk of endometrial cancer increases with the degree of obesity;
- women who are smoking cigarettes or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke should stop it completely;
- if your menstrual periods are irregular, birth control pills may be recommended;
- to aid in early detection and treatment of any abnormalities, regular pelvic examinations, once you become sexually active or reach age 18, are recommended;
- you also need to take progesterone or progestin, if you take estrogen after menopause;
- avoid foods rich in trans fats, such as – French fries, hot dogs, doughnuts, hamburgers, mayonnaise, margarine, onion rings, cakes, burritos (anything that has oil and is fried);
- eat a healthy diet that consists of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, garlic, onion, radishes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, turnips, kale, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, zucchini), cereals and grains (oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice, quinoa, corn), seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame, seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds), legumes (lentils, red kidney beans, white beans, Adzuki beans, chickpeas), and fruits (apples, pineapples, tomatoes, olives, pears, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, avocados, durian, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries).