Fibroids And Ovarian Cysts – Recognize The Condition and Start Timely Treatment

A lot of women face fibroids or ovarian cysts, and sometimes both, during the lifetime. They are found in different areas of the female reproductive system, and sometimes their symptoms can be similar.

So, how to diagnose the correct condition and treat it in a timely manner? What risks may be present? How can they affect your life, sex, and motherhood? We will cover all the main differences between fibroids and cysts in this article.

Fibroids And Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms & Diagnosis

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in or on the ovaries. With blockage of the excretory ducts of the glands as a result of inflammation, their volume may increase, which leads to the formation of a cyst. The cyst itself is not dangerous, but it can become a focus of infection. And the subsequent development of any inflammatory process in the female genital organs often becomes the cause of infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

One type of cysts – a functional cyst – occurs quite often. Usually, ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms and go away fairly quickly without any treatment. But in some cases, large cysts may cause pelvic pain, frequent urination, and other symptoms. If it’s your case, you should consult a doctor who will recommend the appropriate treatment which is usually carried out on an outpatient basis.

Other types of ovarian cysts can represent tumors in the ovary. They can be benign or malignant. A doctor can diagnose this type of cysts with an ultrasound, and blood tests can be done to tell if the cyst is malignant. Such cysts are treated by surgery.

Uterine fibroids are a chronic disease in which nodes consisting of smooth muscle cells with unpredictable growth dynamics are formed in the uterus. Fibroids are not life-threatening, but they can lead to unpleasant symptoms, interfere with the onset and bearing of pregnancy.

Uterine fibroids are diagnosed in 30–35% of women of reproductive age, and most often occur in African-American women.

There are no exact reasons why uterine fibroids are formed. However, it has been proven that fibroids are hormone-dependent tumors. The appearance and growth of fibroids are associated with exposure to sex hormones in the uterus, not only estrogen (as previously thought), but also progesterone.

Risk factors for the development of uterine fibroids include hormonal disorders, obesity, inflammatory diseases, abortions, and curettage, as well as a genetic predisposition. It is believed that the use of oral contraceptives does not contribute to the increase in uterine fibroids.

On the contrary, there is evidence confirming that the use of COCs reduces the risk of uterine fibroids occurring and growing.

Fibroids frequently grow in the wall of the uterus and are benign. A doctor can detect fibroids during a regular pelvic exam. For accuracy, the diagnosis can be confirmed by imaging tests (ultrasound or MRI, which can provide the most accurate diagnosis.)

⇒ Related: Imaging with an MRI to Identify Uterine Fibroids

The sizes and number of nodes are different. Often they are so small that they do not manifest themselves. The most common symptoms of uterine fibroids are heavy monthly periods, pelvic pain, enlarged abdomen, frequent need to urinate, constipation, bloating, pain during sexual intercourse. Many women do not even know that they have uterine fibroids. Because only 30–35% of patients experience any symptoms at all.

Do Genetic Fibroids Exist?

How To Get Your Health Back

Fibroids and ovarian cysts can often be misdiagnosed. Make sure that you are regularly examined by your gynecologist, and if any symptoms occur, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

When choosing a method of fibroid treatment, you should understand all options available to you. There are surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment, such as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).

With UFE, the effect is achieved by blocking the blood flow in the fibroids using a special drug that is injected into the uterine arteries through a thin tube (catheter) through the thigh. The drug contains small balls (emboli) that block the arteries of the fibroids that feed it. After the cessation of blood supply, the muscle cells that make up the fibroids die.

Within a few weeks, they are replaced by connective tissue. Then there is a significant reduction and complete disappearance of the nodes, and all the symptoms of fibroids go away.

If you are not receiving all answers from your doctor, or are not satisfied with treatment options offered to you, ask Dr. John Lipman for a second opinion.