Differences between Ovarian Cysts and Fibroids

Before we answer this question, we should discuss the differences between ovarian cysts and fibroids.

Uterine fibroids are hard, noncancerous tumors composed of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. Fibroids can change in size, number, and location as they form inside the uterus or on the uterine walls. Although they are usually safe, they can harm nearby organs, disrupt fertility, and cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms.

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops inside or outside the ovary. This common type of cyst rarely causes pain and may even go away on its own. While most large ovarian cysts are harmless, some can cause pelvic or stomach pain, pressure, or bloating.

Are Ovarian Cysts and Fibroids the Same Thing?

Fibroids and cysts on ovaries can often cause people confusion and cause people to think they’re the same thing. Although cysts and fibroids may share some similar symptoms, such as pelvic pain and discomfort, they have different origins and require different diagnostic and treatment approaches. Proper evaluation and accurate diagnosis by a healthcare provider are essential to differentiate between cysts and fibroids and determine the most appropriate management for each condition.

This leads to the question: Can a person get both fibroid and ovarian cysts?

Fibroids and ovarian cysts are two distinct gynecological conditions that can affect women’s reproductive health.

Many women have the potential to develop both ovarian cysts and fibroids at some point in their lives and have reported having both cysts and fibroids simultaneously.

While most ovarian cysts form due to your menstrual cycle, there are several factors that can contribute to developing ovarian cysts. 

For example, cysts may form due to hormonal imbalances and medication your doctor prescribes to aid in ovulation. Endometriosis also can cause an ovarian cyst to form. When a woman becomes pregnant, a cyst might appear. Cysts can also result from an infection from pelvic inflammatory disease brought on by STIs that invade the ovaries.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts and Fibroids

Symptoms of both ovarian cysts and fibroids can be very similar.1 


Fibroids Symptoms
  • pelvic pain
  • bloating, protruding abdomen
  • heavy periods that can lead to anemia
  • frequent urination
  • rectal pressure
  • enlarged abdomen
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
  • a sharp or dull abdominal ache, often on only one side
  • a bloating, protruding abdomen
  • pain in the lower back or thighs
  • pain during sex
  • painful periods
  • breast tenderness
  • frequent urination or trouble with emptying your bladder
  • abnormal uterine bleeding
  • bowel problems
  • weight gain
  • sudden, intense abdominal pain
  • fever or vomiting
  • dizziness or fainting
  • rapid breathing
  • heavy bleeding


Considering that many of the causes and symptoms are similar, it may be in your best interest to get screened for fibroids.

Fibroids affect the uterus, and ovarian cysts affect the ovary; women can get both conditions because they appear in different places.

It’s important to visit a doctor or a fibroid specialist who can professionally diagnose you.


Treatment for fibroids and cysts

Treatment for fibroids can range from uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a hysterectomy, ablation, myomectomy, and the Acessa procedure.

Treatment for cysts can consist of a needle to drain cysts, medications or injections, or the surgical removal of cysts.2 

At USA Fibroid Centers, we are dedicated to educating people about the consequences of uterine fibroids and the full spectrum of available treatment choices. We provide a minimally invasive treatment for fibroids. During UFE, which lasts about 45–60 minutes, our top fibroid specialists use an image-guided catheter to shrink the fibroid tumor by cutting off its blood supply. Because this is an outpatient procedure, patients leave for home the same day as treatment.

Visit USA Fibroid Centers Today for Treatment

You have the power to choose your next steps. Schedule a no-pressure, first evaluation with one of our experienced fibroid specialists by calling 855.615.2555 or clicking the button below.


Sources cited:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/fibroid-vs-cyst#symptoms
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/cyst#treatment