Both fibroids and polyps develop in the uterus. However, the muscular lining of the uterus is where fibroids grow. On the other hand, polyps begin in the endometrium that lines the interior of the uterus, grow inside the cavity, and eventually block the cavity. In this article, we will discuss about the two conditions and their differences.
What are uterine fibroids?
The majority of benign tumor masses in women of childbearing age are uterine fibroids. It affects 80–90% of all women by the time they reach the age of 50. Age accelerates the development of these benign masses.
Many fibroids will resolve on their own. However, they can cause a wide variety of uncomfortable and bothersome symptoms. They may result in pain, painful menstruation, prolonged painful menstruation, pelvic pressure pain, back pain or leg pain, frequent urination, and constipation. Uterine fibroids can interfere with conception.
What are uterine polyps?
Growths that are attached to the internal wall of the uterus and that protrude into the organ are known as uterine polyps. The overgrowth of cells in the uterine lining (endometrium) causes uterine polyps or endometrial polyps. Although most of these polyps are non-cancerous, some may be cancerous, and some may be precancerous polyps. They don’t always cause symptoms. However, they can cause vaginal bleeding even after menopause as well as heavy bleeding during your periods and between menstrual cycles.
How are uterine fibroids and uterine polyps different?
Although both uterine fibroids and polyps can develop in similar places, polyps and fibroids differ in many ways. Polyps tend to remain small, rarely enlarge beyond a few centimeters in diameter, and occasionally contract on their own. On the other hand, fibroids tend to grow to enormous proportions, stretch the uterus, and are fairly large in size. Despite not regressing, they can also shrink.
Diagnostic imaging can help in distinguishing between polyps and fibroid tumors. Transvaginal ultrasound, biopsy, and hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose fibroids. Whereas abdominal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, and biopsy can all be used to look for polyps.
Though they don’t always result in cancer, polyps often develop into malignant tumors and present a risk for the disease. Therefore, your doctor may advise you a procedure to remove the polyps to avoid further issues. Contrarily, fibroid tumors are not cancerous, and your doctor can treat them non-surgically. However, they may suggest some other methods to treat some of these benign masses like hormone therapy, minimally invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques. In severe cases, they may also suggest uterus removal surgery. While specific non-surgical techniques can be used to remove the polyps, the best non-surgical method may involve giving hormone-balancing medications to solve the issue. However, if the polyps are not cured, surgery is the only remaining option.
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