There are multiple forms of abnormal growths on the uterus and ovary. Fibroids and cysts are two abnormal growths. They affect different parts of a reproductive system of a woman. Though they are different, sometimes they both present similar symptoms, such as pelvic pain and abnormal uterine bleeding. The treatment of these abnormal growths is extremely important as there is a possibility for both conditions to affect fertility. These treatments depend on symptoms, and they can be surgical or non-surgical.
What is Fibroid?
A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that develops in the uterus. Sometimes these abnormal growths become quite large. They also can cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. But in other cases, they don’t cause any pain or symptoms at all. Fibroids are also known by several names: leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas or fibromas. Fibroids often occur in childbearing years. However, they are not associated with the increased risk of uterine cancer. Neither of them develops into cancer.
Furthermore, the size of the fibroids can vary. Fibroids can be undetectable by the human eye or can grow into bulky masses that can distort the uterus. Also, a woman can have a single fibroid or multiple ones. Sometimes, multiple fibroids expand the uterus that it reaches the rib cage. Many women have uterine fibroids in their lifetime. But they might not know about that due to no symptoms.
The symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, periods lasting for more than one week, pelvic pressure, frequent urination, difficulty in emptying the bladder, constipation, backache and leg pains, etc. There are several causes for fibroids, such as genetic changes, hormones (estrogen and progesterone), growth factors or extracellular matrix, etc. The treatment includes Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists that drop estrogen and progesterone levels and shrink fibroids or GnRH antagonists that shrink fibroids. Lupron and cetrotide are two such medications. Other options include controlling bleedings but not shrinking fibroids, using pain relievers (ibuprofen), birth control pills, etc. In case of multiple large fibroids, surgeries can perform to remove them. Moreover, lifestyle changes such as maintaining proper weight, eating fruits and vegetable may decrease fibroid risk
What is Ovarian Cyst?
Ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the ovary. Many women have ovarian cysts during their lifetime. Most ovarian cysts present no discomfort, and they disappear without treatments within a few months. However, ruptured cysts can cause serious complications. The symptoms include pelvic pain, fullness in the abdomen, bloating, etc. Ovaries develop cysts mainly due to the menstrual cycle. They are called functional cysts. Functional cysts are mainly of two types: follicular cysts and corpus luteum cysts. The other types of cysts not related to the normal function of the menstrual cycle include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas, endometriomas.
A ruptured cyst can cause severe internal bleeding, which is a serious complication. Moreover, cysts that enlarge cause the ovary to move and increase the chance of twisting of the ovary (ovarian torsion). Treatments include pain relievers and birth control pills that won’t make cysts go away. Some ovarian cysts are subjected to surgery. There are different types of surgeries, such as laparoscopy and laparotomy.
What are the Similarities Between Fibroid and Ovarian Cyst?
- Both are abnormal growths.
- They cause pelvic pain.
- They cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
- Both affect fertility.
- They physically block passageways.
- They are both diagnosed through ultrasound.
What is the Difference Between Fibroid and Ovarian Cyst?
A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that develops in the uterus. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the ovary. So, this is the key difference between fibroid and ovarian cyst. Furthermore, the fibroid is a non-cancerous mass, while the ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac or pocket.
The below infographic summarizes the differences between fibroid and ovarian cyst in tabular form.
Summary – Fibroid vs Ovarian Cyst
Fibroids and ovarian cysts are very common structural abnormalities of the female reproductive system. They affect women in their child bearings years. Fibroid is a non-cancerous mass in the uterus, while ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary. Thus, this is the key difference between fibroid and ovarian cyst.