A lump in the pelvic area is can also be referred to as a pelvic mass. This is a swelling that occurs in the pelvic region or on the pelvic bone. Most cases are reported in women and occur in gynecologic organs. In men, pelvic masses can develop on organs located in the pelvis region such as the bladder or intestines.
Some pelvic masses do not require immediate medical treatment. But since diseases such as cancer may be responsible for such masses, it is always important to have them checked by your doctor.
Causes of lump in pelvic area in female
Women have two ovaries, each on either side of the pelvis. Cysts and benign tumors can develop on ovaries to form a lump. Types of ovarian cysts include:
- Follicular cysts – for an egg to be fertilized, it must break out of its follicle and travel to the fallopian tube. If the follicle fails to rupture or continues to grow after releasing its egg, a follicular cyst develops.
- Corpus luteum cysts – a corpus luteum is a follicle that has released its egg and has begun producing female hormones. Accumulation of fluid inside the follicle results in a corpus luteum cyst.
- Mucinous cystadenoma – most ovarian cysts are of this type. They are filled with mucous material. Some can form very large lump in pelvic area female
- Dermoid cyst – this type of ovarian cysts is common in younger women and girls. It contains solid materials and fluid. Dermoid cysts usually form hard lumps.
- Endometriomas – these cysts result from development of endometrial cells outside the uterus. They are filled with thick brown endometrial fluid.
Follicular and corpus luteum cysts are mostly harmless and painless. They in fact resolve on their own by the third menstrual cycle. The rest will only disappear completely after surgical removal. Dermoid and mucinous cystadenoma cysts can grow large enough to push ovaries out of their positions. This can be quite painful.
Uterine fibroids grow on or in uterine walls. They are noncancerous tumors, usually occurring during childbearing years. Small uterine fibroids rarely cause symptoms. Large ones end up extending the uterus and can be felt as large lumps in female pelvis. Symptoms such as constipation, heavy menstrual blood, frequent urge to urinate and pelvis pain may occur. Uterine fibroids are very common. Most do not require treatment.
Fertilization occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then travels to the uterus and attaches to uterine wall. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches elsewhere rather than on uterine wall, mostly in fallopian tube. Women with an ectopic pregnancy may experience some signs of pregnancy. But since embryonic development can only occur in the uterus, the signs will be short-lived. Other signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include sharp pain in pelvis, heavy menstrual bleeding and general weakness.
Lump in pelvic area female symptoms
A majority of women will develop a pelvic mass at some point in their lifetimes. Since not all pelvic masses will produce noticeable signs or symptoms, the masses can remain unnoticed.
A lump in female pelvic area symptoms may include:
- pain or pressure in pelvis
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- frequent urge to urinate
- difficulty passing urine
- bloating or feeling full
- gastrointestinal problems
More specific symptoms will depend on what is causing the lump. Medical diagnosis is always recommended.
Lump in pelvic area male and female
Some lumps in pelvic area will occur regardless of gender. They can be caused by:
Internal organs and tissues are held in place by walls or linings. If the wall has a weak region, for example due to surgery, the internal organ may push through to form a bulge or lump. This is known as a hernia. They are common causes of lump in pelvic area male and female symptoms. Hernias tend to disappear when one is lying on their back. In most cases, they are not life-threatening and only require close monitoring for possible complications. If need be, your doctor will consider surgery.
Swollen lymph nodes
One of the largest groupings of lymph nodes is located in either side of groin region. Infections and diseases, especially in lower body, will usually result in swelling of these lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are easy to recognize, for they form painful, soft lumps. They are common causes of a lump on the right side of the esophagus.
Boils and abscesses
Boils originate in hair follicles or oil glands. Initially, boils appear in form of small red bumps. Presence of bacteria leads to formation of pus, which enlarges the size of a boil to a painful lump with a white tip. Large boils are known as abscesses. Boils can appear anywhere on the skin. For example, you can have a lump on the penis shaft caused by a boil.
Kidney and bladder stones
Kidney stones are hard lumps of crystallized minerals and salts that form inside kidneys. They are almost similar to bladder stones. Either can be responsible for a hard lump in pelvis.
Infections such as herpes cause bumps in the genital region. The bumps can spread to the pelvis area if left untreated. In fact, herpes may also result in formation of a sore lump under the jawbone and in the mouth if not treated.
A number of organs are located in the pelvis areas of both men and women. Cancer lumps can develop in these organs or migrate from other body organs such as the lungs. A cancerous lump can go unnoticed for very long until it forms a detectable lump or migrates. Generally, cancerous lumps gradually increase in size and mass. Most are painless, especially in early stages.
Lump on pelvic bone
A lump on the pelvic bone can be caused by injury on the bone or even a muscle strain. This is common after a laborious activity or intense exercise. Muscle strains sometimes occur over time and thus can remain unnoticed for long.
Another possible cause of a lump on pelvic bone is a bone or soft tissue tumor. Malignant tumors are not rare on pelvis bone, especially in older people. They form large and hard lumps on pelvis bone. If you notice a lump that is firmly fixed on pelvis bone, have it checked by your doctor immediately.
A lump can also occur on proximal femur. Femur is the sole bone in the thigh and the longest in the body. Majority of proximal femur lumps are benign or of cystic nature, much like a hard lump behind the knee or lump on the wrist bone caused by a cyst. In elderly people, sarcomas are common in the thigh.
Diagnosis and treatment for lump in pelvic area
Diagnosis is very important, before an appropriate treatment approach can be settled on. Your doctor may perform the following tests for diagnosis:
- Physical exam – a physical exam is usually the first test your doctor will perform. Details of your medical history and the symptoms you have been experiencing will be of assistance during the test.
- Lab tests – lab tests may be used to check for infections and hormone levels. Checking for hormone levels is common when diagnosing a lump on thyroid. Biopsy will confirm the presence or absence of malignant cells.
- Laparoscopy – if a lump in pelvis area is originating in lower abdomen, diagnostic laparoscopy may be performed.
- CT scan – CT scan uses X-rays and computer screen to project images of internal organs. It shows the location, size and shape of a pelvic mass.
- Ultrasound imaging – this involves use of high frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs.
- MRI – MRI test uses a combination of magnetic fields, radio frequencies and computer screens to produce images of organs, soft tissues and bones. Diagnosis for a lump on pelvic bone will most likely require MRI test.
Your doctor will decide the best treatment approach depending on a number of factors and test reports. Most lumps that require treatment call for surgical removal. Infections are treated with medications such as antibiotics and antiviral medications. Pain relievers are essential when dealing with a painful lump in pelvis area.
At home, you can try remedies such as ice to cold compress on painful swollen lymph nodes. The most important thing however is to closely monitor changes in your body functions and potential symptoms of diseases.