What Is the Difference Between Fibroids and Endometriosis?
Are fibroids the same as endometriosis? While both are gynecological conditions with certain similarities, and some women may have endometriosis and fibroids at the same time, they are definitely two different things.
If you are suffering from pelvic pain, then either endometriosis or fibroids may be the cause. You won’t know for sure, however, until your physician performs either a pelvic exam or an imaging test such as ultrasound. It is worthwhile to understand what is the difference between fibroids and endometriosis in order to get a better grasp on your health, explain your symptoms to your physician, and pursue a treatment plan that will alleviate any symptoms.
Uterine Fibroids vs. Endometriosis
Both uterine fibroids and endometriosis are issues that affect the uterus, but they take different forms. Fibroids are benign, muscular tumors that grow from the uterine wall. There are a few different types of fibroids, classified by their location, and they can grow in clusters of multiple fibroids, or large enough to cause visible swelling in the abdomen.
With endometriosis, the inner lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) begins to grow outside of the uterus. This can be a painful and chronic medical condition where the overgrowth of tissue can also affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic tissue.
With both endometriosis and uterine fibroids, some women with either condition may not experience any symptoms. Many others, however, may deal with uncomfortable or debilitating symptoms that can disrupt their daily lives. Below are some examples of the symptoms women with fibroids or endometriosis can experience.
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Abnormal bleeding between periods
- Frequent urination
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Constipation and bloating
- Pain before and during periods
- Painful urination and/or bowel movements during periods
- Painful sexual intercourse
In addition, both uterine fibroids and endometriosis may lead to an increased risk of difficulty with fertility or pregnancy. Take our 1-minute quiz to learn more about if fibroids are causing your symptoms.
Do Treatment Options Differ?
The question, are fibroids the same as endometriosis also extends to treatment options. Again, each issue comes with different options, depending on your diagnosis. For endometriosis, laparoscopic surgery may be called for, especially if the goal is to enhance fertility or reduce pain. A physician may also recommend an over-the-counter medication to alleviate pain or a course of hormone therapy to try to slow the growth of the endometrial tissue.
For uterine fibroids, it used to be that women only had surgical treatment options: Either a hysterectomy to remove the uterus or a myomectomy to specifically target the fibroids. Today, there is another option preferred by many women: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). With this minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment, the blood supply to the fibroid is blocked so the tumor eventually dies and the symptoms disappear.
USA Fibroid Centers specializes in this FDA-approved treatment, which can be especially beneficial if you are suffering from painful and prolonged menstruation that continues for more than a week, pelvic pain and pressure, frequent urination, pain during sexual intercourse, constipation, or bloating. Treatments at USA Fibroid Centers are covered by most insurance plans. Whether you have uterine fibroids vs endometriosis, if you are searching for symptom relief schedule a consultation with one of our highly qualified fibroid specialists by calling 855-615-2555 or using our schedule online option by clicking below.