Gynaecology (Gynae) or Pelvic scan £170
All appointments can be arranged without a referral from your doctor. A referral or letter from your doctor or Consultant is advisable so that they know you are attending for a scan and, in the event that we find a problem, we can send them a copy of your report to ensure you receive the appropriate after care.
A woman’s pelvic or ‘gynae’ organs will change throughout her life.
Below are examples of some common problems many women experience and for whom an ultrasound scan may help with a diagnosis.
What is the menopause?
Put simply, the menopause is when your ovaries stop producing a hormone called oestrogen and you no longer release eggs so you stop having periods. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. For a small number of women menopause occurs earlier. If it happens before you are 40 it’s called premature menopause (or premature ovarian insufficiency).
There is no exact length of time over which your periods to stop. It could be a few months or several years – your periods may become less regular as your oestrogen levels fall and this time is called peri-menopause.
Women of child bearing age are often referred to as ‘pre-menopausal’.
Below is an idea of the kind of problems pre-menopausal women suffer and that ultrasound can help find a reason for:
• Painful or heavy periods (dysmenorrhoea or menorrhagia)
• Irregular periods (too frequent or infrequent)
• Problems with fertility (inability to get pregnant)
• Pelvic pain
Having a Pelvic scan can help to diagnose can help to diagnose what may be causing these symptoms. Common examples are:
• Ovarian cysts
• Enlarged (or shrunken) ovaries
• Tumours (cancerous and non cancerous)
• Polyps in the endometrium (womb lining)
• ‘Lost’ coil
Ultrasound can exclude many conditions and is a simple procedure for the patient to undergo which means it is usually the first test a woman will have if she is having any symptoms or is concerned about her ‘Gynae’ organs.
Sometimes, the cause of the problem is not apparent on Ultrasound but if everything appears normal and the patient is still having symptoms, the doctor or Consultant can then refer the patient for blood tests or perhaps exploratory surgery to help with the diagnosis. One example when this can happen is in the diagnosis of endometriosis – a condition where the lining of the womb grows in other parts of the body. When this ‘bleeds’, there is no exit for the blood and so it collects in the pelvic and/or abdominal cavities and can cause pain until it is re-absorbed by the body. Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose by Ultrasound alone and where a woman experiences severe pain during her period and no other cause can be found, endometriosis must be considered.
Post-menopausal women do not have periods. If you have not had a period for 12 months or more, you are considered to be post-menopausal.
Any vaginal bleeding in a post-menopausal woman should be investigated. The bleeding can be due to a benign (non-cancerous) condition but some gynaecological cancers can also cause irregular bleeding.