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January 20, 2011

Fibroid vs. Cyst - What's the difference?

Since I've discovered the "state of the union" so to speak about my body (Read about that here) I have been doing a lot of online "research". Some call it self-diagnosing, I call it "research". It's a good thing b/c a lot of my friends and family have been asking me "What's the difference between a cyst and a fibroid?" or "Wait, you are having two surgeries?" or just "Huh?"

So for any of you else out there who are a bit confused, I think i'll break it down in charts...

Please NOTE: This is specific to my case, it is not information used as Medical advice and this is my own research. I highly suggest you keep researching on your own, and merely use my information as an example of ONE case.

  • Solid growth located in the muscle beneath the endometrium of the uterus and distort the uterine cavity; even small lesion in this location may lead to bleeding and infertility (sourced Wikipedia)
  • About 1" big
  • Benign growth
  • Very common
  • Not all women are effected even if they have a Fibroid, depends on location. 

      • Semi-solid growth attached to the right ovary.
      • Most likely a Dermoid Cyst (dermoids are composed of mature skin complete with hair follicles, nail, and/or teeth) or a Chocolate Cyst (also known as an endometrioma - a cyst composed of old blood)
      • About 3+ inches in diameter
      • Most likely Benign
      • Pretty common

          Complications from
          •  Can cause heavy menstrual cycles, frequent urination, and painful intercourse.
          • This type of fibroid can prevent conception or implantation because it messes with the uterine lining; or even cause infertility.
          • Can cause miscarriage, bleeding, premature labor or effect position of fetus.
          • The size and location of the cyst can cause complications. My cyst is 7.8cm. Anything over 5cm in size is considered big and should be removed.
          • Depending on location, sometimes the whole ovary it is attached to needs removal too.
          • Can create complications for pregnancy in terms of labor and giving birth.

          Removal of in my case
          •  a device is put in through the cervix that will scrape the fibroid off the uterine wall. Depending on if the fibroid is on a stalk or not, will depend on what happens next.
          • Recovery is about a day since there is no incision made.
          • The uterine lining will be given estrogen to help its healing.
          • Dr. feels comfortable with about 1 full cycle before attempting to let nature take its course.
          • an incision is made into the belly button area to take look see. Other devices are then inserted with other small cuts into the body to assist in removing the cyst. The cyst, due to its size, will most likely be cut into pieces and removed. 
          • Worst case: they have to make a bigger incision to remove the cyst as one piece, highly unlikely
          • Recovery from the laproscopy is about a week, full recovery 2-3 wks.

          Ok, hopefully this spells out the biggest differences in most cases, but specifically my case. I may have left out some other things, but not b/c it is unimportant but rather b/c it may not have been relevant to my case. If you are curious to know more, i suggest doing your research - I looked at forums, boards, pregnancy sites and wikipedia. In no way, is my research all inclusive or applicable to everyone.

          Did any of you have a different experience? or anything to add? I'd love to know!


          1. wow - you go girl. way to take charge of your own health and get all the information. I love when my patients are involved with their own care.

          2. thanks for the post..visit this site also for more info..

          3. aah i get the difference now thanks Jean


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