Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do ultrasounds identify all fibroids?"
I was having symptoms of fibroids, so I contacted a doctor, who gave me an ultrasound. But the ultrasound didn't find anything wrong, so I'm worried they might have just missed it. Are there any kinds of fibroids that ultrasounds can't pick up? Or should I look for a different cause of the problems?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that originate from the myometrium. Typical symptoms of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding during the normal times of your periods, pelvic pain, or a sense of fullness in your pelvis. The best type of doctor to consult about these issues is an OBGYN. Ultrasound is the gold standard for detection of uterine fibroids. They are very infrequently missed when the ultrasound is performed by a competent physician or ultrasound technician. MRI is another technique employed which may be able to detect smaller fibroids and delineate them from other types of tumors. Other possible causes of heavy bleeding (if this is your symptom) include blood clotting disorders, uterine injury and scarring from previous procedures, and endometrial cancer. Close follow up with your doctor is important to delineate these causes. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN that performed the ultrasound. You may warrant further evaluation for your symptoms that you are concerned about. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, then you may need to have some routine blood tests to look for abnormalities with blood coagulation. If these come back normal then you may need an MIR to further evaluated your uterus. If this does not yield any results, then you may need a uterine biopsy. Good luck.
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