Use of Pelvic Ultrasound Scan in Fibroids
Ultrasound technology has been used for over 35 years and studies show it is safe.
It does not use radioactive material to produce an image.
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to get an image of your internal organs.
The 'echoes' produce an on-screen image.
This can help determine if the lumps are fibroids or another type of tumour.
If you do have fibroids, the image will reveal their size and location.
It can also provide more detailed information about the size and location of fibroids.
On ultrasound examination adenomyosis will often appear as diffuse thickening of the wall, while fibroids are seen as round areas with a discrete border.
Since adenomyosis is usually a diffuse process, it only occasionally can be removed without taking out the whole uterus.
There are two types of ultrasound used to diagnose fibroids.
You may be given an abdominal ultrasound, a vaginal ultrasound or both.
§ An abdominal pelvic ultrasound is best at finding large fibroids.
It uses a probe, which is pressed on the outside of the abdomen to produce an image.
The picture is clearer when the bladder is full so you will be asked to drink up to a litre of water beforehand and wait to urinate until after the test is complete.
The scan itself is not painful (the doctor simply moves the probe over your belly), but waiting for your appointment with a full bladder may be uncomfortable.
§ A transvaginal ultrasound is used to find small fibroids.
The scanner (probe) will be put into your vagina and may be a little uncomfortable.
You do not need to have a full bladder for this scan and it should not be painful.
It only takes a few minutes to do, it is not painful and it rapidly provides valuable information.
It is possible to fill the uterus with a liquid during the ultrasound (saline enhanced sonography or sonohysterogram).