An Overview of Uterine Fibroids and Polyps

Uterine Polyps and Fibroids – Overview

Fibroids typically do not affect pregnancy. The majority of them are small and located in an area of the uterine cavity that does not adversely impact pregnancy. It is estimated that 10-30% of women have fibroids.

Uterine polyps and fibroids are induced by hormones, and are benign.

Although they are similar, the composition is different as polyps grow out from endometrial tissue while polyps grow in places where excessive lining grows.

Uterine polyps are circular and attach themselves to the uterus similar to a skin tag. There are two types of skin polyps; pedunculated and sessile. Pedunculated are the most common, and range in size from a millimeter to several millimeters. Pedunculated polyps with a skin tag base can grow into the vaginal canal and cause pregnancy issues.

Fibroids and polyps differ in texture due to the fact that fibroids are made up of muscle tissue. They are typically located in the muscle walls and do not require treatment unless they become too large or are located in a problematic area.

Depending on location, fibroids can cause symptoms such as spotting and pain in the pelvis. They can also increase the risk of a miscarriage and premature labor.

Just as uterine fibroids can affect pregnancy, so can uterine polyps. They can be especially troublesome in women attempting to conceive using in vitro fertilization, and are typically removed.

Fibroids commonly increase in size during pregnancy, but do not cause pregnancy issues most of the time. Very large fibroids can cause complications should they grow into the birth canal. When this occurs, it increases the risk of an obstructed or stalled labor as well as the potential need for a C-section. Should a fibroid grow into the uterus the fetus may be forced into an awkward position.

The symptoms of polyps include:

  • Heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Spotting between periods
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Vaginal pain

 

Symptoms of fibroids:

  • Pressure and pain in the pelvis
  • Extremely heavy and long periods
  • Distended abdomen
  • Pressure causing constant feeling of urination
  • Constipation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain in back of legs

 

Polyp treatment requires an invasive procedure where as fibroids can be treated in a non-invasive manner. Both treatment methods are effective.

Fertility can be affected by a number of issues. It is important to speak with a fertility expert about any questions or concerns that you may have, especially if you experience any symptoms associated with fibroids or uterine polyps.

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