Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus) in women. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.
Fibroids are generally diagnosed:
- during routine gynaecological examination or tests, for other problems, because they often do not cause any symptoms
- ultrasound scan -using high frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of the body
- abdominal ultrasound – the probe is moved over the outside of the abdomen
- transvaginal ultrasound – a probe is inserted into the vagina
- hysteroscopy – if the ultrasound scan suggests that fibroids may be present a gynaecologist may conduct this test to examine the inside of the womb. A small telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted into the womb through the vagina, which may be conducted under local or general anaesthetic.Laparoscopy – a small telescope with a camera and light source are introduced through a small cut in the abdomen under general anaesthesia. Images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis are relayed to a television monitor. A laparoscopy can be used to look for fibroids outside the womb or in the layer of muscle surrounding the womb that may have altered its size and shape.
Fibroids are common, with around 1 in 3 women developing them at some point in their life.
NHS Choices website – Fibroids http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibroids/Pages/Introduction.aspx Last accessed 18/07/2017