Fibroids vs Cysts: 3 Reasons For Pelvic Pain & AUB

  • OB/GYN - Women's Health
  • September 6, 2021

Fibroids and cysts have similar symptoms but are different conditions and are sometimes reasons for pelvic pain and AUB.

Do You Have Pelvic Pain Or AUB?

Millions of women suffer from indescribable pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is a sharp, intense pain in the region of the reproductive organs. Most pelvic pain happens during menstruation, but this is not the only reason. In some cases, the pain is accompanied by unexplained vaginal bleeding, also called abnormal uterine bleeding, or AUB. There is a range of reasons for both pelvic pain and AUB. Here are 3 of the most common reasons for both conditions, including fibroids and cysts.

viralmd healthcare marketing Fibroids vs Cysts 3 Reasons For Pelvic Pain & AUB

1. Watch out for fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors made of muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. At least 1 in 5 women will develop fibroids by age 50. These tumors often appear in the uterine wall but can show up almost anywhere in the uterus. Some fibroids are small and unnoticeable. Others can be large enough to make the pelvic area appear swollen. Because fibroids form in the uterine wall, these tumors can cause pain and AUB. Fibroids are almost always hormone-related and can change in size during pregnancy.

2. Ovarian cysts are painful too

Cysts are often confused with fibroids. However, these vary in size, frequency, and location. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs located on or inside the ovaries. These sacs often appear during the menstrual cycle, called follicle cysts. During this time, if the follicle does not release an egg, the result could be an ovarian cyst. Some cysts appear after the ovaries release the egg. The empty sac develops into a painful cyst that can bleed. Cysts are non-cancerous and are often caused by fluctuating hormones or conditions like endometriosis.

3. Could it be an ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancies are another reason for both pelvic pain and uterine bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg does not travel to the uterus for implantation. Instead, the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tubes or abdominal cavity. The condition can be painful and dangerous if left untreated. Ectopic pregnancies are rooted in hormonal factors. However, women with previous issues such as PID, endometriosis, or STIs are more likely to have ectopic pregnancies.

Treating the pain

All three conditions have similar symptoms. However, each has different causes and presents additional problems. An OB/GYN must address pelvic pain and AUB. If left untreated, the pain and bleeding can develop into medical emergencies. Medication and minimally invasive treatments can help to reduce the size and symptoms. In rare medical cases, surgery can remove the particular cyst or growth. Look for the signs of AUB and seek help from a doctor immediately.

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