Uterine fibroids and polyps are extremely common among women and around 80% will experience them at least once during their lifetime.
Both of these conditions cause growths to form within the reproductive system and can cause similar symptoms. However, it is important to know the difference between the two so that you can seek the appropriate treatment.
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop around the uterine wall or within the uterine cavity and are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They can vary in size, starting from the size of a pea and increasing to the size of a melon.
Fibroids are extremely common and around 1 in 3 women develops them at some stage in their life, but the most common age is between 30 and 50 which is linked to oestrogen levels and reproductive age.
Typically fibroids are found in young women who often have symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, constipation and frequent urination. They can lead to infertility and pregnancy-related complications. Issues with fertility are caused due to disruptions to implantation and embryo growth.
How Do Fibroids and Polyps Differ?
Uterine polyps are growths that are formed from endometrial tissue and are attached to the inner wall of the uterus which then extend into the uterine cavity.
The exact cause of these is unknown but studies suggest that they may be linked to the changing hormone levels as these fluctuations cause the uterus lining to thicken and shed during different stages of the menstrual cycle.
Polyps can grow from a few millimetres up to a few centimetres. They will only typically cause pain if they protrude from the uterus into the vagina.
Some common symptoms that develop include irregular periods, heavy bleeding, spotting between cycles, vaginal bleeding after menopause and difficulty in conceiving. Polyps can cause issues with fertility as they can stop a fertilised egg from attaching to the uterus or may end up blocking the fallopian tubes or cervix.
Treating Fibroids and Polyps?
Removal of fibroids and polyps is advised if you want to get pregnant, however, if you do have symptoms, it is important to determine whether one of these conditions is the cause.
In order to help identify what is causing symptoms associated with fibroids and uterine polyps, SureScan can offer a gynaecology scan with one of our specialist professionals which can help to identify any abnormal pathology through a simple scan of the uterus and ovaries.
Get in touch today to book a consultation with one of our dedicated health professionals.