If you’re worried you have a uterine growth, you may wonder, is it a uterine polyp or fibroid? Now, these two reproductive health issues are very different. And that means that fibroids and polyps require very different treatment plans. So now, let’s take a closer look at each growth. In that way, we can really understand the differences.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are growths within or on the uterine wall. They are made up of muscle tissue. Most often, fibroids develop within the walls of your uterus, then push outward toward the uterus. These tumors usually appear during your childbearing years. Still, they can form at any time.
In terms of size, fibroids grow from a few centimeters up to the size of an orange. In fact, in extreme cases, they can reach 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
- Painful intercourse
What are Uterine Polyps?
Like fibroids, polyps are growths that develop around the uterine wall, but that’s where the similarities end. That’s because polyps are tied to your periods. Once you start 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 the most. And they may stick out of your uterus into the vagina. However, the polyps won’t be painful unless they protrude. Of course, polyps cause other symptoms, including irregular periods, spotting between menstrual periods, infertility and bleeding after menopause.
Uterine Polyp or Fibroid : Differences
Now check out the main differences between polyps and fibroids:
- Made of endometrium tissue
- Grows within the endometrium tissue
- Grows to be a few centimeters maximum
- Periods are usually irregular and spotty
- Doesn’t usually cause pain
- Formed from muscle tissue
- Develops within the uterine wall
- Can reach the size of an orange
- Menstrual cycles are usually heavy and long-lasting
- 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: Harvard Health, Responsum for Fibroids