Uterine Fibroids vs. Endometriosis
- Created: January 12, 2016
- by: Leah Johnson
Some women who may be suffering from pain in their pelvic areas may learn that the problem is either endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Some of the symptoms for each of these conditions are similar or even the same, but there are differences.
What is Endometriosis?
The muscular walls of the uterus have a lining called the endometrium. Every month the endometrium lining adds layers to itself in preparation for a fertilized egg. When the egg is fertilized, the lining of the endometrium helps keep the egg nourished.
If fertilization does not happen, then some of the lining of the endometrium is shed with the unfertilized egg during the menstrual cycle. If some of the endometrium, also referred to as the uterine lining, detaches itself rather than leaving the body during the menstrual cycle, it attaches itself to different organs not in the uterus. These organs could include the fallopian tubes, bladder, large intestine, or even the lungs. Each month these cells in the lining continue to swell and act like they would if they had remained in the uterus.
A woman’s body will recognize that the cells are not where they should be, so parts of the body will surround the blood with scar tissue. Blood cysts are then formed on those organs causing various levels of pain or discomfort.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Pain before menstrual cycles and during menstrual cycles
- In some cases, infertility
- Pain when urinating during their period
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain having bowel movements during their period.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are solid tumors that, although usually non-cancerous, can still cause a great deal of pain in the uterus and the pelvic region. These tumors can vary in size and shape, and they generally grow very slowly, but they do grow. Some women have these fibroids but have no symptoms, while other women suffer from extreme discomfort if they have uterine fibroids.
- Pain and pressure in the pelvic region
- Tumors, sometimes large can develop
- Pain during their menstrual cycles
- Large tumors can cause constipation
- Tumors can cause problems with urination which can lead to kidney issues
- Periods last longer
Three Main Treatments for Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
This non-surgical treatment has been used in the United States for just over 20 years, but for likely candidates, it has been very successful. A patient who has this procedure will undergo complete pelvic imaging as either an MRI or ultrasound. Once evaluated, a surgeon injects each fibroid which will block the blood supply and causes the fibroid to shrink.
A common surgical treatment for fibroids is a traditional hysterectomy. Fibroids are the most common reason for the necessity of hysterectomies. Because of the location of many if not most fibroids, a hysterectomy is required to remove back pain and/or bowel and bladder pressure.
Another surgical solution is a myomectomy. In this procedure, a surgeon goes through the one incision in the abdomen, vaginally, via several smaller incisions through the abdomen.
No matter the procedure, women report feeling much better after the pressure of the uterine fibroids has been removed.
Are you dealing with pelvic pain? Consult with the experts of the Fibroid Treatment Collective. Call (866) 479-1523 today!