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Polyps vs Fibroids: What’s the Difference?

As we approach July, which is also Fibroids Awareness month, you may be wondering: are uterine polyps and uterine fibroids similar growths? And the answer would be: no! These two reproductive health issues are very different!. Which means that fibroids and polyps require very different treatment plans. pain from uterine fibroidsLet’s take a closer look at each growth to really understand the differences. 

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Fibroids are growths within or on the uterine wall. They are made up of muscle tissue. Typically, fibroids develop within the walls of your uterus, then push outward toward the uterus. These tumors usually appear during your childbearing years, but they can form at any time. 

In terms of size, fibroids can range in size from a few centimeters all the way up to the size of an orange. In fact, in extreme cases, they can grow to the size of a small fetus! Many women who suffer from fibroids feel pelvic pain or pressure, but other common symptoms include:

  • Heavy, long-lasting periods
  • Frequent urination
  • Incontinence
  • Painful intercourse
  • Infertility

What are Uterine Polyps?

Like fibroids, polyps are growths that develop around the uterine wall, but that’s where the similarities end. During menstruation, you shed your uterine lining. It then regenerates after the period cycle. Over time, roundish growths (polyps) may develop as the uterine lining returns.  There are two types of polyps: pedunculated (attached to the uterine wall by a stalk) or sessile (attached by a large base). Most polyps range in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.

Pedunculated polyps are more common than sessile, and they may stick out from the uterus into the vagina. Polyps aren’t usually painful unless they protrude. Other common symptoms of polyps include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Spotting between menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Bleeding after menopause

The Differences Between Uterine Polyps & Fibroids

Now check out the main differences between polyps and fibroids:

Uterine Polyps

Uterine Fibroids

Made of endometrium tissue

Formed from muscle tissue

Grows within the endometrium tissue

Develops within the uterine wall

Grows to be a few centimeters maximum

Can reach the size of an orange

Periods are usually irregular and spotty

Menstrual cycles are usually heavy and long-lasting

Doesn’t usually cause pain

Pain can be chronic and severe

 

If you are suffering any symptoms listed above, make an appointment with a fibroid specialist. Call Houston Fibroids at (713) 575-3686 to schedule your consultation. 

Sources: www.health.harvard.edu