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Having Both Endometriosis and Fibroids

As an adult, I have had only two surgeries. Yet, both were on my reproductive system to deal with separate (but sometimes intersecting) disorders that impact female sex organs and menstruation. One of those surgeries was my lap, to confirm and remove endometriosis. The other was a hysteroscopy to remove over a half-dozen polyps I had in my uterus.

In the months leading up to the discovery of the polyps, I started to experience sometimes significant mid-cycle bleeding outside of my period, and my periods themselves became heavier and more hurtful. So I was relieved when an underlying issue other than just endo was found to be the culprit. The removal of the polyps lessened the pain intensity of my periods for quite awhile and helped reduce the frequency and amount of mid-cycle bleeding I experienced most months. Interestingly, it was during that surgery that docs also first suspected I had adenomyosis as well.

The intersection between endo and fibroids

It seems that those who have endo are somewhat more likely to have polyps and/or fibroids than women without, and vice versa. Polyps and fibroids are similar in that they are usually non-cancerous growths. They differ in that polyps grow from endometrial tissue that attaches to the lining of the uterus, while fibroids instead grow within the uterine walls and are not made from uterine lining (endometrial) tissues. Like endometriosis, fibroids can be fueled by hormone production, especially estrogen.

My experience

While I have not had anymore uterine polyps since my 2007 surgery to remove them, I have since developed several fibroids in the past few years. In particular, I have three small fibroids. While they are not very big, I think they may be compounding the pain and heavy bleeding I already endure during my periods due to endometriosis and adenomyosis.

What the research says

Some studies have confirmed the intersection between fibroids and endo. Research published in a peer review journal in 2011 found that of the patients they surveyed who were receiving surgery to treat either endo or fibroids, 25.8% (47/182) of patients with endometriosis were also confirmed to have fibroids, while 19.6% (47/240) of patients with uterine fibroids were confirmed to have endo.1 However, both diseases can act independently to adversely affect fertility.

In addition to impacting fertility, fibroids have other things in common with endo. Both can lead to pelvic pain (both during and outside of menstruation), a feeling of fullness, and heavy bleeding, and can also contribute to increased intestinal and urinary distress.

Treatment options

Unlike adenomyosis, fibroids can be removed surgically while keeping the uterus intact. Currently, I am trying to decide whether I simply want my fibroids removed during my next lap or if I will opt to have my uterus removed altogether (since I also have adenomyosis, which I suspect may be more responsible for my uterine-related pain than the fibroids, especially since they are relatively small–I am currently leaning toward the latter).

How about you? Have you experienced fibroids along with endo/adeno? If so, what did you do to have them treated. Share your experiences in the comments below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Uimari O, Järvelä I, Ryynänen M. Do symptomatic endometriosis and uterine fibroids appear together? J Hum Reprod Sci. 2011;4(1):34-38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136067/#ref23. Accessed February 19, 2019.

Comments

  • hbell1514
    10 months ago

    I had my first laproscopic procedure on February 7, 2019. It was my first lap to diagnose endometriosis. They found I have stage 2 endometriosis as well as 2 small uterine fibroids that they did not want to remove because they are so small they don’t believe they are causing issues and they are too vascular they stated. They removed as much endometriosis as they could and I am now on BeYaz birthcontrol to see if it helps. They did look inside my uterus and they did not see any adeno, but now I wonder if it could form later on because they all grow with estrogen?….I am 25 with no kids yet so I wonder if I should start planning to have kids since they all have a close relation and I already have fibroids and endmetriosis…..Thanks for sharing!

  • Endo Warrior moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi @hbell1514, thank you for sharing your experience.

    It is possible that you may develop adenomyosis later, which is what happened to me, but it is equally possible that you may never develop it. While women with endometriosis are more at risk of developing adenomyosis, there many women with endometriosis who don’t develop adeno.

    It may be a good idea to speak to your doctor about your decision to have children and see what they say. As endometriosis isn’t curable, it is very likely that it will return at a later stage, so that is something to take into consideration as well.

    I wish you all the best and please do reach out if there is anything you need support with.

    Christina – team member

  • Jessie Madrigal moderator
    10 months ago

    Hello @hbell1514 from my experience with this disease it helps to not rush into anything, listen to what your body needs, and mostly listen to what you want to do. If a doctor steers you in a direction you are not 100% convinced with, ask someone else. There are also things you can do to reduce inflammation – which has a direct correlation with the disease. Things like dietary changes are manageable and will help you feel in control. I am attaching some links that could be of help

    https://endometriosis.net/living/diet-considerations/
    https://endometriosis.net/living/worst-foods/
    https://endometriosis.net/clinical/infertility-pregnancy-complications/
    https://endometriosis.net/living/pain-management/
    https://endometriosis.net/living/ayurvedic-support/

    Thanks for reaching out and sharing your own experience. I’m happy to hear that you have a diagnosis you can work with. Just know that you are not alone in this.

    – Jessie (team member)

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