How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?

Amanda S. Hess, DO
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Watch as OBGYN Amanda Hess, MD, at Frankfort Regional Medical Center, describes the various ways in which uterine fibroids are diagnosed -- from routine physical exams to ultrasound scans.
In this video, Jessica Ritch, MD, Gynecologist at Aventura Hospital & Medical Center explains the tools and techniques doctors use to diagnose fibroids.
Greenville Health System
Women diagnosed with fibroids often undergo comprehensive evaluation with sonohysterography, a procedure where sterile fluid is squirted into the uterus through the cervix during a vaginal ultrasound exam. Using the latest ultrasound technology, computer-driven 3D images can be created that allow the doctor to know the exact size and location of the fibroids. This assists them in counseling patients about future risks and the possible need for treatment.
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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Because uterine fibroids often cause no symptoms, they are often only discovered because of a pelvic exam or ultrasound for another reason. Watch the animation to learn more about fibroids.

Uterine fibroids can be diagnosed either by feeling them on a physical exam of the uterus or by their appearance on a radiologic imaging study (exs. pelvic ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI).
Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Watch as Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Evelyn Minaya discusses how uterine fibroids are diagnosed.

Your doctor may suspect a fibroid tumor during a pelvic examination. Ultrasound scan is an excellent diagnostic tool for fibroids. In select cases, more extensive imaging with MRI may be necessary.

Because uterine fibroids don't always cause symptoms, they're often diagnosed during a routine exam. Doctors may feel the tumors during regular pelvic exams, and they may then use other tests to confirm the diagnosis. Often, these other tests are imaging techniques such as ultrasounds, which use sound waves to create images of the uterus and any abnormalities in it. Doctors may also use dyes and special scopes, or MRI scans, to see into the uterus if necessary. In some cases, doctors may perform other tests - including blood tests and biopsies - to rule out other conditions.

Continue Learning about Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

If you have uterine fibroids, you may never even notice that they are there. Ranging from the size of a small seed to grapefruit-sized, fibroids are tumors on the uterus that rarely cause harm. Some women have true discomfort with ...

fibroids, including pain in the abdomen or low back, or pain during sex. Sometimes, uterine fibroids can cause miscarriage, preterm labor, or even lead to infertility. Women in their 40s and 50s, women of African-American descent and women that are overweight are at higher risk of developing fibroids, although an estimated 20-80% of women will have them at some point before they turn 50. If your doctor notices fibroids during an ultrasound or pelvic exam, he or she may want to treat them with medication or surgery.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.