Fibroids are often found by your gynecologist during a pelvic examination. During this routine, physical exam, the size and shape of your uterus can be determined and the presence of any fibroids, which are benign growths on the uterine wall, may be noticeable because they may cause the uterus to be larger than expected or irregularly shaped.
The presence of symptoms that typically result from fibroids can also be useful in determining their presence, and if you experience any of the following, you should alert your doctor:
- Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or more prolonged than normal
- Pain or pressure in the pelvic region
- Pain during intercourse or along the backs of the legs
- Bladder pressure that results in frequent urination or incontinence
- Bowel pressure that results in constipation or bloating
- Anemia, which can cause excessive, unusual fatigue
- An enlarged abdomen that can be mistaken for pregnancy or weight gain
If fibroids are suspected, an ultrasound can be used to confirm the diagnosis. This is a non invasive, simple and pain less office procedure that evaluates the uterus and the location of each fibroid. 3D and 4D ultrasonography is the latest in improving the ultrasound images and allows better localization of these benign tumors. An MRI is another imaging modality commonly used in evaluating women with fibroids. It displays the fibroids as darker as and more distinct than the surrounding tissue because of the increased amount of collagen they contain.
A hysteroscopy, which is a small camera inserted through the vagina into the uterine cavity allows us to visualize the uterine cavity directly for a more accurate diagnosis of the women with irregular bleeding. Samples can also be obtained at the same time to identify any cancer, precancerous changes, or suspicious lesions that may be present.
We have special expertise in using the most advanced modalities in diagnosis of fibroid tumors. If you have previous studies please bring them with you at the time of your consultation. They are helpful in measuring the rate of growth and change in the fibroids.
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