You may benefit from medical treatment if fibroids are causing the following symptoms:
- Heavy, prolonged periods, sometimes with clots, or irregular periods
- Anemia (fatigues caused by low red blood count)
- Pain or pressure between the hip bones or in the back of the legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent need to urinate, or urinary retention
- Constipation or bloating
- Enlarged abdomen
- Watery vaginal discharge
Fibroids are most commonly diagnosed during a pelvic examination. Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterine muscle wall and, as such, cause the uterus to feel larger than normal and irregular.
If the size of the uterus is hard to determine or the diagnosis is uncertain, a pelvic ultrasound can be helpful. An ultrasound exam is fairly accurate at determining the sizes and positions of fibroids within the uterine wall. However, sometimes the exact position of the fibroids is hard to accurately determine with ultrasound.
The best way to determine size and position of fibroids is an MRI. Fibroids contain more collagen than normal uterine muscle and, as a result, the fibroids appear distinct and darker on the MRI.MRI can also be used to see if submucous fibroids are present. This can be helpful if unexplained heavy bleeding is present or fertility is a concern.