Uterine Fibroids - Diagnosis

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What were the tests and exams that led to a diagnosis of uterine fibroids?

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What are the usual ways of diagnosing uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are diagnosed by pelvic exam and even more commonly by ultrasound. Often, a pelvic mass cannot be determined to be a fibroid on pelvic exam alone, and ultrasound is very helpful in differentiating it from other conditions such as ovarian tumors. MRI and CT scans can also play a role in diagnosing fibroids, but ultrasound is the simplest, cheapest, and best technique for imaging the pelvis. Occasionally, when trying to determine if a fibroid is present in the uterine cavity (endometrial cavity), a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is done. In this procedure, an ultrasound exam is done while contrast fluid is injected into the uterus from the cervix. The fluid within is visualized in the endometrial cavity and can outline any masses that are inside, such as submucosal fibroids.

Return to Uterine Fibroids (Benign Tumors of the Uterus)

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Comment from: Grammarcop, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

For about a week now, I've been having tummy pains and went to see my general physician who had a good poke around and told me that I was at least 3 months pregnant despite menstruating. I went for a blood test which came back negative. Yesterday the pain was so bad that I went for an emergency ultrasound which showed a fibroid of at least 17 cm. I have suffered from chronic anemia for the last 5 years which apparently is one of the symptoms of fibroids. I also have 9 day periods with a lot of clotting. This morning I have vomited and feel sick after eating. (Stress?) I have to wait 6 weeks for an MRI, but the pain is so bad that I called in sick this morning and as I am a freelancer, if I don't work I don't get paid! I'm 42 and have been trying to get pregnant for 5 years to no avail. It's all very scary!

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Comment from: krc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I had an MRI after years of debilitating cramps, blood clots the size of a dime, migraines, body aches, and one time even a fever with my period. The MRI revealed several fibroid tumors, the largest one being 4cm! When I asked my doctor how long it takes for that many/that large, he said they've probably been there for at least 10 years! Apparently fibroid tumors can be undetected during normal pelvic exams. The MRI indicated that my uterus is tipped backwards, which also would have caused them to be back too far to have been detected during annual exams.

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