Fibroid tumors, also called leioyomas, are common and are diagnosed in a variety of ways. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, they can sometimes be felt during a routine pelvic exam. If this isn’t the case, there are several different testing tools used to diagnose fibroids, all of which are used for infertility testing.
Diagnosing Your Fibroids
- Ultrasound. Sound waves are used to provide an image of the soft tissues in the pelvis and abdominal cavity.
- Hysteroscopy. For this procedure, we use a hysteroscope that is equipped with a bright light to examine the interior of the cervix and uterus. Then, we inject saline into the uterus to expand it, giving us a better view of the openings of the fallopian tubes as well as the interior of the uterine cavity.
- Hysterosonography (saline sonogram). During this test, we use saline to expand the uterine cavity, which helps to provide a clearer image of some of any submucosal tumors.
- Hysterosalpingography. For this test, we inject a harmless dye to highlight the uterine cavity as well as the fallopian tubes. Hysterosalpingography is the best way to assess a potential tube blockage and, like the saline sonogram, it also provides a better view of submucosal fibroids.
Treating Your Fibroids
If your fibroids are causing problems, specifically infertility, your doctor will talk to you about potential treatment options. These options vary on a case by case basis. There are medications that can shrink the fibroids, and that may be enough to help you get pregnant while they are still small.
You can also have surgery to remove fibroids, but this surgery should only be performed by a fertility specialist who operates with the greatest respect for the uterine lining to support future fertility. Fibroids tend to return, so treatment takes that into consideration as well, timing treatment with your scheduled fertility treatments. If age in an issue, your fertility specialist may recommend freezing your eggs.
If you suspect that fibroids may be affecting your ability to get pregnant, it’s time to give us a call and schedule a consultation.