How do I know for sure that I have fibroids?

Your doctor may find that you have fibroids when you see her or him for a regular pelvic exam to check your uterus, ovaries, and vagina. Often, your doctor will describe how small or how large the fibroids are by comparing their size to the size that your uterus would be if you were pregnant. For example, you may be told that your fibroids have made your uterus the size it would be if you were 8 weeks pregnant.

Your doctor can do imaging tests, or tests that create a "picture" of the inside of your body without surgery, in order to confirm that you have fibroids. These tests might include:

  • ultrasound - uses sounds waves to produce the picture.
  • magnetic resonance imaging or MRI - uses magnets and radio waves to produce the picture.
  • x-rays - use a form of radiation to see into the body and produce the picture.
  • cat scan or CT - makes many pictures of the body from different angles to provide a more complete image.
  • Besides imaging tests, you also might need surgery to know for sure if you have fibroids. These could include:
  • laparoscopy - surgery with general anesthesia in which your doctor makes a small cut in the abdomen and places a small tube with a light inside to see any fibroids.
  • hysteroscopy - surgery in which your doctor inserts a long tube with a camera into the vagina and directly into the uterus to see any fibroids. It also shows any growths or problems inside the uterus.

Information provided by:  The National Women's Health Information Center which is Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services