The gynaecologist will do an internal vaginal examination to check for any lumps or swellings. You may also have an examination of your back passage (rectum). Your specialist will arrange for you to have some of the following tests.
You will usually have a blood test to check your general health and how well organs such as your kidneys and liver are working.
You may have a blood test to check if you have higher than normal levels of a protein called CA125. CA125 is a protein that most women have in their blood. A raised level of CA125 is sometimes linked with fallopian tube cancer or ovarian cancer.
You may have an abdominal ultrasound or an internal vaginal ultrasound to check whether the fallopian tubes look enlarged or abnormal. For an abdominal ultrasound, you’ll be asked to drink plenty of fluids so that your bladder is full. This helps to give a clearer picture. Once you’re lying comfortably on your back a gel is spread on to your abdomen. A small device, which produces sound waves, is then moved over the area. The sound waves are converted into a picture by a computer.
If you have an internal ultrasound scan, a probe with a rounded end is put into your vagina. Although this type of scan may sound uncomfortable, many women find it more comfortable than having an abdominal ultrasound, as you won’t need to have a full bladder.
This is a series of x-rays that builds up a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. The scan is painless and takes about 10-30 minutes.
Most people who have a CT scan are given a drink and/or injection to allow particular areas to be seen more clearly. For a few minutes, this may make you feel hot all over. Before having the injection or drink, it′s important to tell your doctor and the person doing the test if you’re allergic to iodine or have asthma.
Just before the scan begins, you may be asked to place a tampon into your vagina. This will ensure that the best possible picture is produced from the scan. Once you are lying in a comfortable position, the scan will be taken.
This test is similar to a CT scan but uses magnetism instead of x-rays to build up a detailed picture of areas of your body. Before the scan you may be asked to complete and sign a checklist. This is to make sure that it’s safe for you to have an MRI scan, because the scanner is a powerful magnet. The checklist asks about any metal implants you may have, for example a pacemaker, surgical clips or bone pins.
Some people are given an injection of dye into a vein in the arm, which doesn’t usually cause discomfort. This can help the images from the scan to show up more clearly. You’ll be asked to lie very still on a couch inside a long cylinder (tube) for about 30 minutes. The scan is painless but can be slightly uncomfortable, and some people feel a bit claustrophobic. It’s also noisy, but you’ll be given earplugs or headphones, and you can hear, and speak to, the person operating the scanner.