Fibroids vs. Ovarian Cysts: How Are They Different?

As a woman, you know what’s normal for your body. When you start to experience strange symptoms, you may wonder what’s going on and if there’s something seriously wrong. It’s important to remain calm and make an appointment with an OB/GYN to talk about your symptoms and get a physical examination to determine the cause.

Dr. Daniel Kushner is a compassionate and highly respected OB/GYN in White Plains and Queens, New York. Supported by his friendly and skilled staff, Dr. Kushner provides a full range of services to foster his patients’ health and vitality.

Whether you need routine care or have a specific health concern, Dr. Kusher is here to help you in a comfortable and safe medical environment and to educate you about gynecological concerns. In this post, he discusses the difference between fibroids and ovarian cysts.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are noncancerous growths that can develop inside women’s reproductive system. They’re most common in women between 40 and 50 years of age. Though typically small, fibroids can grow to be as large as a softball in some cases. 

If you have fibroids, you may not even be aware of them and may not experience any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include swelling of your abdomen, bowel and bladder pressure, excessive bleeding, and pelvic pressure and pain. If you’re pregnant, fibroids can cause complications.

What are cysts?

Ovarian cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can appear on your ovaries. Cysts are divided into two types: follicle cysts and corpus luteum cysts.

A follicle cyst occurs when a follicle on your ovaries doesn’t open properly to release eggs, causing the fluid inside the follicle to form a cyst. A corpus luteum cyst is caused by the follicle successfully releasing the egg but not correctly dissolving afterward. 

Cysts often don’t cause any symptoms, but they can sometimes cause pain in your ovaries, bloating, pain during sex, or a feeling of abdominal heaviness. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for a number of other conditions. 

Most ovarian cysts go away over time, but in some cases, the cysts can stick around and start to grow larger. When this happens, they can have a negative impact on your fertility. 

How are fibroids and ovarian cysts different?

One physical difference between cysts and fibroids is that fibroids are hard tumors, whereas ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs.

Ovarian cysts only appear on your ovaries. However, fibroids can form on other parts of your reproductive system.

Fibroids are noncancerous. In some cases, ovarian cysts can be cancerous. 

If you have questions about cysts or fibroids, or any other gynecological concerns, call Daniel Kushner, MD, to set up an appointment, or use our easy online booking tool to choose a date and time that work best for you. 

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