Fibroids vs Polyps: Similar Symptoms of Different Conditions

Are you worried about pelvic pain? You should not ignore it. Sometimes, this is the first and key symptom of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polyps or other conditions.

Fibroids and polyps in the uterus are benign growths that have similar symptoms but differ in nature and treatment approaches. A doctor can distinguish one condition from another at the stage of diagnosis. So do not delay your visit to a doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain. Early diagnosis can help address your symptoms faster and restore your quality of life.

Fibroids vs Polyps: What Is the Difference?

We have an explanation. Polyps and fibroids have many similarities when it comes to symptoms, but the difference lies in their nature.

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that consists of muscle tissue and are located in the uterus. t’s a common condition that occurs in women of childbearing age. Dr. John Lipman of Atlanta Fibroid Center made a detailed documentary for women seeking for information about fibroids and treatment options. In “Freedom from Fibroids” documentary you can also find stories of many women who fought these benign tumors and defeated them.

Uterine polyps have a different nature. They consist of endometrial tissue and grow on the uterine lining.  Polyps can develop in women before and after menopause and can lead to serious health issues.

However, there are more differences to consider:

  • Polyps may eventually decrease and even completely disappear; uterine fibroids can shrink with treatment like UFE or after menopause;
  • Polyps are usually small in size. Fibroids in the absence of treatment can reach the size of a large ball;
  • Fibroids often affect women between 35-45 years old. Polyps can occur in younger and post-menopausal women alike.

Both of these conditions also have many similarities:

  • Both of them are benign and rarely degenerate into malignant tumors;
  • A patient can have one or multiple fibroids or polyps alike;
  • A woman can experience the urge to urinate frequently when growths are large in size;
  • The pain caused by these growths can affect lower back or legs;
  • Fibroids and polyps can cause bleeding;
  • Both of these conditions can lead to disruptions of the reproductive system and affect fertility.

Where Do Polyps and Fibroids Come From?

Uterine fibroids may be caused by estrogen (female hormone), genetic reasons, and other factors. When a woman’s estrogen levels are elevated, particularly during pregnancy, uterine fibroids tend to grow. They are additionally more likely to appear when a woman takes contraception pills that contain estrogen. Low estrogen levels can help shrink fibroids, which usually happens after menopause.

When it comes to polyps, there are also several factors that can cause them. They include surgical interventions in the uterus, endocrine gland disfunction, weakened immune system, inflammation in the female genital organs, and more.

The truth is that the exact reasons for uterine fibroids and polyps remain a mystery.

When You Need to Consult a Doctor

Fibroid symptoms can be very similar to the symptoms of polyps, although tiny uterine fibroids and small polyps can be entirely asymptomatic. A woman may not suspect that she has them. Symptoms usually start to appear when the growths start increasing in size.

Top 5 common symptoms include:

  • Painful, long or heavy periods;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Bleeding or smearing between periods;
  • Painful sex;
  • Constipation

If you have any of these symptoms, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can detect polyps on an ultrasound. To diagnose uterine fibroids, it is best to perform MRI so the doctor can properly determine the type and size of the tumors. If your regular doctor does not perform MRI or you are not satisfied with the answers you are receiving, do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion. Early and correct diagnosis leads to faster treatment and faster recovery.

Call Dr. John Lipman of Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 to find out more about uterine fibroids and UFE or make an appointment online.

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