Fibroids are very common benign, non-cancerous growths (tumour) of the muscle and fibre of the womb (uterus). They may cause no difficulty, but can cause problems with pain, bleeding and fertility. The location of the fibroid is more important than the size of the fibroid. For instance a 5cm fibroid growing out of the top of the uterus (the fundus) is much less likely to cause problems with bleeding or fertility when compared to a 2cm fibroid growing in the middle (subendometrial or submucous) of the womb.
Ultrasound & fibroids
An ultrasound scan uses echoes from a transducer (probe) to create an ultrasound picture. By using many echo pulses many times a second and processing the information through a powerful computer we can produce a real time image of internal organs. With ultrasound the nearer you are to the object you want to examine, the better the quality of the picture that can be obtained. By using a transvaginal probe we can visualise the uterus and ovaries in great detail.
Above: Ultrasound image of a normal uterus, with pointers to myometrium and endometrium. This allows us to diagnose problems in early pregnancy, including the investigation of threatened miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
Alternately sub serous fibroids (on the outside surface of the womb) can be removed laparoscopically (Laparoscopy) or if multiple and large, by open myomectomy, or even hysterectomy (hysterectomy), if a woman’s family is complete and she does not want to have problems with new fibroids in the future.
Above: Ultrasound image of a fibroid uterus.