After you’ve been through your menopause – the time in life when your periods have stopped for good – your gynaecological health is something you should keep a careful eye on.
Post menopausal women are defined as those who haven’t a period for at least a year. The average age for the menopause is 51, but some women have it much earlier and even sometimes a little later. As you get older you are at higher risk of gynaecological cancers including ovarian and cancer of the inner lining of the womb (the endometrium) – and unlike breast and cervical cancer there are no national NHS screening programmes for these conditions.
Other gynaecological problems which may flare up after your menopause include: fibroids, non cancerous growths that can develop inside the uterus, endometrial polyps, growths attached to the inner most lining of the womb and irregular bleeding.
For these reasons you may consider booking Ultrasound Direct’s pelvic ultrasound scan for post menopausal women – either just as a check up on your overall gynaecological health or to investigate any worrying womb (uterus)/pelvic related symptoms you may have been experiencing, including post menopausal bleeding.
What does a post menopause pelvic ultrasound scan tell me?
Ultrasound Direct’s pelvic ultrasound scan is a sort of gynae MOT that examines your uterus and ovaries using ultrasound sound waves to build up a detailed picture. It looks at:
- Your ovaries: Around 7,000 women a year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK. The risks of developing ovarian cancer increase after your pass the age of 50. The symptoms, which include bloating, needing to pass urine more frequently and feeling full quickly, can often be mistaken for other conditions and so diagnosis is usually late when the cancer is more likely to be advanced.
At Ultrasound Direct our sonographer will perform a detailed ultrasound scan of the size, shape and condition of your ovaries and combine it with a blood test for CA-125 a tumour biomarker for ovarian cancer. The CA-125 blood test is used as an ovarian cancer screening test although raised levels of CA-125 doesn’t always mean you have ovarian cancer. These blood test results will be sent to you after your pelvic ultrasound scan with a full report and medical follow-up recommendation if necessary.
- Your womb: Our sonographer will perform a detailed pelvic ultrasound scan to check the size, shape and condition of the lining of the womb. In doing so, the sonographer will be able to detect or monitor the development of fibroids, monitor Hormone Replacement Therapy effects and check for the development of endometrial polyps, growths attached to the inner lining of the endometrium.
Endometrial polyps can vary in size from a few millimetres to larger than a golf ball and are more common than fibroids in post menopausal women. Endometrial polyps are usually benign, but some can be cancerous or others turn cancerous. Symptoms of endometrial polyps include post menopausal bleeding or irregular bleeding in younger women.
Endometrial cancer is diagnosed in 8,500 women a year and 75 per cent of cases are in women aged 40 to 74. It’s the fourth most common cancer in women after breast, lung and cancer of the colon and rectum. The main symptom in post menopausal women is vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include pain in the back, legs or pelvis, tiredness and nausea. Be reassured though that only 10 per cent of post menopausal vaginal bleeding is caused by endometrial cancer.
In all cases, your sonographer will give a detailed report and medical follow-up recommendation if necessary.
How safe is ultrasound?
If you would like more information about the safety of ultrasound technology please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Why pay privately for an ultrasound scan?
Popular reasons for booking a private pelvic ultrasound scan directly are to avoid a long wait for an appointment and the convenience of choosing a time and date to suit you. In addition at Ultrasound Direct we assign more time to each appointment than the typical hospital equivalent and the results from the vast majority of our scans are given to you on the same day.
What should I do to prepare for my pelvic ultrasound scan?
Drink 0.5 litres (I pint) of clear fluids, (not milk or fizzy drinks), one hour before the appointment and don’t pass any urine until after the scan. This will make it easier for the sonographer to get a clearer view of your pelvic area. It’s also easier if you wear a skirt and top or trousers and top so that you can lift up / roll down your clothes to allow the sonographer access to your pelvic area.
How can I find out more about booking a pelvic ultrasound scan?
Our pelvic ultrasound scan costs £189 including all fees.
If you are interested in booking a pelvic ultrasound scan with Ultrasound Direct please go to http://www.ultrasound-direct.com/clinic-locations/