How are fibroids detected and diagnosed?

It may take a while before a woman is diagnosed because fibroids do not always cause symptoms. Women should visit their GP if they have persistent symptoms of fibroids so that possible causes can be investigated. 1 in 4 women in the UK wait on average 5 years before receiving treatment for fibroids.

To confirm a fibroids diagnosis, precise tests can be done, including:

  • Hysteroscopy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Sonohysterography
  • Transvaginal ultrasound

HYSTEROSCOPY

A procedure for examining submucosal fibroids through a small, thin telescope-like device. The hysteroscope is inserted into the womb through the cervix to search for fibroids.

MRI

In order to precisely map the location of fibroids, a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) session is sometimes used in cases where non-surgical detection is not an option.

SONOHYSTEROGRAPHY

Fluid is injected into the uterus which assists the ultrasound imaging process.

ULTRASOUND SCAN

This is a scan that uses a probe to produce high frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of your body. Approaches can beĀ an abdominal ultrasound scan, where the ultrasound probe is moved over the outside of your tummy and a transvaginal ultrasound scan, where a small ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina.

Laparoscopy

A laparoscope is a small telescope with a light and camera at one end. During the procedure, a surgeon makes a small cut in your abdomen and passes the laparoscope into your abdomen to allow the organs and tissues inside your abdomen or pelvis to be examined. General anaesthetic is used, so you will be asleep during the procedure.

This type of test can look for fibroids outside your womb (subserosal fibroids) or fibroids in the layer of muscle surrounding the womb (intramural fibroids) that have affected its size and shape.