Pelvic Mass- Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

What are Pelvic Masses?

A pelvic mass, also called an adnexal mass is an enlargement or swelling that occurs near or in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and connecting tissues. Most women, at some point of their life can have a pelvic mass, however, symptoms are not often experienced and is discovered during routine check-up.

In most cases, Pelvic masses dissolve on their own after a couple of menstrual cycles and hence do not require treatment. Sometimes, pelvic masses develop from gynaecological organs like cervix uterus, uterine adnexa, or may originate from other organs like intestine, bladder, renal organs etc. Various gynaecological problems like ovarian cysts may result due to pelvic masses. Most are in benign state but others can be cancerous. As such, it’s important to consult your medical specialist to determine the cause and nature of the mass and accordingly make treatment.


Causes of pelvic mass

Besides pregnancy, the common causes of developing pelvic masses are:

1.Ovarian cysts: These cysts develop inside an ovary in females. Mostly painless and as such the women don’t experience any such symptoms.

2.Benign ovarian tumour: A sort of a lump or an abnormal growth of cells is the ovarian tumour. The tumour is benign if it’s not cancerous, that is id does not spread to surrounding parts of the tissues & body. Symptoms are experienced depending upon the size of the tumour.

3.Ovarian cancer: When abnormal cells inside ovary multiply, it develops into a tumour which forms as ovarian cancer. This tumour grows and spreads into other parts of the body. Symptoms include back pain, fatigue, irregular periods, painful intercourse, heart burn, constipation etc.

4.Enlargement of uterus: This occurs because of accumulation of menstrual blood that could not flow out due to obstruction. This may happen due to defect during the birth time, problems in vagina or cervix or hymen.

5.Uterine fibroids & Adenomyosis in uterus: very much common causes of enlargement in the uterus in aged women; however less seen in young girls.

6.Pelvic inflammatory disease: Mostly occurs due to infection, it’s an inflammation of the upper genital tract that includes ovaries, uterus, and oviduct.

7.Ovarian torsion: It happens when tissues which support ovary rotate partially or completely. If this occurs its stops the flow of blood to the ovary.

8.Tubo-ovarian abscess: When an infectious mass, called Tubo-Ovarian mass is formed because of pelvic inflammatory ailment.


Other causes of pelvic mass includes:



3.Ectopic pregnancy

4.Enlargement of renal organ

5.Bowel obstructions

6.Endometrial hyperplasia


Symptoms of pelvic masses:

The size, nature and location of pelvic masses determine whether patients will experience any symptoms or not. Possible symptoms include:

1.Pelvic pain

2.Bloating feeling of the abdomen

3.Frequent urination

4.Bowel change

5.Loss of appetite

6.Abnormalities in menstrual cycle

7.Nausea with vomiting

8.Weight loss

9.Fever with fatigue

10.Vaginal discharge

11.Bulge in the abdomen area, if the mass is quite large



Factors that increase the risk of suffering from fibroids are:

1.A high BMI (body mass index)

2.Taking contraceptives before the age of sixteen years

3.If periods start early

A history of ovarian cancer has more risk of developing ovarian cancer, then the risk factors include:



3.Inherited genetic changes

4.Tall height

5.Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer

6.Postmenopausal hormonal therapy



To determine a pelvic mass, pelvic imaging with ultrasound and/or MRI is a method to determine the nature of the pelvic mass.


Treatment Options:

As numerous disorders can result in to the formation of a pelvic mass, it’s important to diagnose the cause of the mass before an appropriate treatment plan is determined. In addition to performing a pelvic examination, personal health issues, family history, age and symptoms are considered by the physician and then he also may carry out several tests to help determine the cause of the pelvic mass. These tests include:

1.Laboratory tests

2.Imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound, Computerized Tomography (CT) scans or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

3.Intravenous Pyelograms (IVP) and Barium Enemas (BE) are also used.

4.Laparoscopic procedures to help diagnose the nature of the mass and determining the best possible treatment.

Once the cause of the pelvic mass is identified, your physician determines an appropriate treatment plan based on the nature, size and position of the mass, along with symptoms, age and risk factors.



Although different medical management has the ability to treat medical pelvic masses, surgery provides the best alternative and the highest success rate. If a cancerous mass is diagnosed, treatment may include only surgery or a combination of surgery and chemotherapy, which your doctor would decide.



Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.