How are fibroids diagnosed?

Fibroids are most often found during a routine pelvic examination. This, along with an abdominal examination, may indicate a firm, irregular pelvic mass to the physician. In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic and/or abdominal examination, diagnostic procedures for uterine fibroids may include:

  • X-ray. Electromagnetic energy used to produce images of bones and internal organs onto film.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography). An ultrasound test using a small instrument, called a transducer, that is placed in the vagina.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A non-invasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure.
  • Hysterosalpingography. X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes that uses dye and is often performed to rule out tubal obstruction.
  • Hysteroscopy. Visual examination of the canal of the cervix and the interior of the uterus using a viewing instrument (hysteroscope) inserted through the vagina.
  • Endometrial biopsy. A procedure in which a sample of tissue is obtained through a tube which is inserted into the uterus.
  • Blood test (to check for iron-deficiency anemia if heavy bleeding is caused by the tumor).