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What Is a Pelvic Mass?

An enlargement or swelling in the lower abdomen region may be a pelvic mass.
Most pelvic masses are identified during routine medical evaluations.
If a pelvic mass is found, a doctor order medical tests ranging from blood tests to an MRI.
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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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A pelvic mass is an enlargement or swelling in the lower abdomen or pelvic region. Some people may be able to feel a pelvic mass, however, most are discovered during routine physical examinations. Masses can cause pelvic inflammation and the swelling may trigger other symptoms in the body, which may alert the individual that something is wrong. Pelvic masses can signify the presence of a benign or malignant condition. For this reason, it is important to have any mass evaluated by a medical professional.

In women, a pelvic mass can indicate an abnormal growth on or within a female reproductive organ. The growth can be as simple as a benign cyst or as serious as a malignant tumor. Masses in the pelvic region of a woman can potentially damage the surrounding reproductive organs by preventing them from functioning properly. For instance, one can impact inner pelvic structures such as the uterus and the ovaries. Uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts are examples of pelvic masses in the female reproductive system.

Pelvic inflammatory disease can be another cause of swelling in the pelvic region in women. This condition refers to an infection of the female reproductive organs. The infection can spread throughout all of the organs, including the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can cause great complications, including severe pelvic pain, obstructed tubes and in some cases infertility.

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In both males and females, a pelvic mass may involve abnormalities in other organs in the lower abdominal region. Commonly, a gastrointestinal disorder can cause pelvic masses in both genders. An obstruction or inflammation in the bowels, infection and fluid retention in the pelvis are some common reasons that a mass may develop. For this reason, a male with a pelvic mass or women with a mass that is not of a gynecologic cause, may consult with a gastroenterologist, who specializes in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, to investigate the origination of the mass. In many cases there are no overwhelming symptoms of this condition, however, some people may experience abdominal pain, pelvic tenderness and swelling.

If a doctor finds a pelvic mass during an examination, medical tests will be ordered to further investigate the issue. This will typically include blood tests and a number of diagnostic tests to get a detailed view of the inner structures of the pelvic region. Commonly, a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered for diagnostic imaging. It is important to get a mass evaluated, as it could be cancerous or could eventually turn cancerous. Getting prompt medical attention could prevent a benign mass from becoming malignant.

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Discuss this Article

anon933848
Post 7

I have a very large cyst on my ovary. It is 6 inches. Nobody is in a hurry to get it out. I am 70 years old. I don't need my ovaries, tubes or uterus. Why won't they get rid of it all ? I guess at my age I should just die.

anon318537
Post 5

I went to the doctor because I thought I had a urine infection- wanting to pass urine often and lower back ache. Whilst I was discussing this, I went on to explain that even though I have always suffered from constipation, something had recently changed and now I was struggling to go every two or three weeks without taking something to help me. Plus, I had pelvic tenderness. The doctor took bloods, the CA125. Within three days, the doctor called me to tell me that test was raised-82 and that she was referring me to a gynecologist. I was seen that week on the Friday.

Since then, I have had an ultrasound scan and a vaginal one. The doctor rang me the same day to say that he had requested an MRI as one of my ovaries was showing changes! I am now waiting for MRI results.

It's been three weeks from start of this up to now, but why would he have requested an MRI scan of my pelvic region? Am I jumping to conclusions that he thinks I have cancer? --Kerry

anon314023
Post 4

My name is Jeannie and last Wednesday, my gyno doctor told me they found a mass on my pelvis. Earlier today, this morning, I had a CT scan with contrast, oral contrast, and by IV through my veins. The radiologist also took extra pictures, so I'm sure there was more found, etc. I will know in a day or two if I have cancer, and what type.

I am not in the least bit afraid. I don't even have tears to shed. I have peace,no matter what the outcome is. I have been through a lot, so not only have I been a fighter, but I have the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ! Even if I die, to die is to gain! I am still a winner!

Blessings and prayers to anyone out there fighting a deadly disease. I have more things I'm dealing with physically, so it's been a tough fight. We will see how this goes, but Jesus is with me along each journey. His plan will be what he has in store for me! I am a daughter of the King,and I am not mad at him. Prayers for you all too. Much love! Jesus loves you!

anon296337
Post 3

I am a little worried, because when I went to the restroom just now, I saw the triangle zone above my vagina is extremely swollen and I feel like it happened instantly because I didn't notice anything yesterday or earlier in the day. What could it be, and could it be dangerous?

I am under the age of 20 and I had an abortion last year. I am really worried that I could have problems having kids or something in the future. Please, any advice or knowledge would be helpful.

vogueknit17
Post 2

@elizabeth23, I know a woman who had a large part of her uterus removed when she was 19. However, she had been having a lot of problems for years. From the story she told me, she was also at the point where her doctor thought she might die of the masses on her pelvic area grew anymore, probably because they might burst, and he had to fight hard to get her insurance to cover it.

elizabeth23
Post 1

For a woman in my mid 20s, it is so hard to get doctors' attention about anything wrong with my pelvis. I have several tiny cysts, the result of endometriosis. Eventually I might need it all removed, but I cannot convince a doctor to just remove my uterus now and stop a continued problem, because I haven't had children yet. The idea I might not want children does not enter into doctors' heads.

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