What are pelvic masses?
Pelvic masses occur when a structure or structures in the pelvic region becomes swollen and/or enlarged. Pelvic masses can be caused by many different gynecological conditions such as uterine fibroids, different types of ovarian cysts or tumors, pelvic infections and endometriosis. The treatment of a pelvic mass varies due to the specific cause and severity of the issue. Pelvic masses are often found during a routine physical or gynecological examination, or in the assessment of a patient who has developed symptoms from a pelvic mass.
Where are pelvic masses found?
Pelvic masses are often found in or on the cervix, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, intestines, bladder, and renal organs. As a general gynecologist with a focus in urogynecology Dr. Douglas Waterman has expertise to deal with these problems in a timely fashion.
What causes pelvic masses?
Pelvic masses can be caused by a multitude of issues:
- Ovarian cyst or tumor
- Fibroid tumors
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic infection
- Bowel inflammation, tumor or obstruction
However, these are only a few of many possible causes and a proper diagnosis can’t be made unless a thorough assessment (and appropriate imaging) is done by a qualified physician.
What are ovarian cysts?
One of the most common and benign forms of pelvic masses, ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow in or on the ovary. Cysts can cause severe, cramp-like pains in the abdomen which usually dissipate on their own. Cysts generally go away within a few days or weeks, however, some cysts, depending on if they do not disappear or where they grow, can cause issues and may need surgical removal. For those less severe but recurring issues, ovarian cysts can usually be treated using birth control. Ovarian cysts need to be confirmed and properly diagnosed by your physician in order to determine and provide the best course of treatment. Occasionally the mass on the ovary is a tumor. Tumors are more common as a woman ages. It is important to try to assess the nature of the tumor, and frequently tumor markers are performed. Often, surgical excision is necessary to provide the diagnosis and rule out a sinister problem.
What are fibroids?
The most common tumor found in the reproductive tract of women, fibroids are dense tumors comprised of abnormal smooth muscle cells and connective tissue. Size and discomfort from fibroids varies from patient to patient. It is estimated that between 20-50% of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed.
Pelvic mass detection and treatment must be determined by your doctor. If you think you are experiencing issues involving a pelvic mass, please contact your family physician to obtain a referral to Dr. Waterman at our New Westminster office for a proper consultation. If you do not have a medicine provider, simply call our office at (604) 528-9042 for assistance in obtaining a referral.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee