Vague ultrasound scan

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Hi everyone,

I’m a 47 year old mum of two young children. I’ve been perimenopausal for a few years but recently came off HRT as it was no longer managing my symptoms.

I have been bleeding for the past 8 weeks, at times severely, with intermittent pelvic pain. I came off the mirena coil just before Christmas and initially thought the bleeding was because of this. I’m taking tranexamic acid which is helping, however I’m now anemic due to the blood loss.

I had a transvaginal ultrasound this week which has shown a mass on my cervix, so my GP has fast-tracked me for a hysteroscopy. He said it wasn’t clear what the mass could be - he said possibly a polyp or cyst but couldn’t be certain.Is this vagueness normal? I’d assumed that a polyp or cyst would be clearly detected on an internal ultrasound? It’s the uncertainty that’s stressful and I keep thinking the worst. 

Thanks so much for reading and I would be grateful to hear from anyone else who is going through something similar xx

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    I’m sorry to read you are going through some unexplained symptoms at the moment, and although I’ve not been in quite the same situation I hope you don’t mind me answering.

    In answer to your question, yes, unfortunately vagueness at this point is quite normal as more tests would be required before a diagnosis can be established for you. The ultrasound has seen something, but at this point it can’t be known just from the TV scan what it is.

    With your symptoms of bleeding and pain the next step would be to have an examination with an gynaecologist, and possibly a biopsy of the mass which has been seen. I’m sure you’ll have been told that the hysteroscopy will involve a tiny camera being used which goes up into your womb, and this will give a better picture than an ultrasound. I was also given a hysteroscopy at my first gynae appointment on my referral. I had biopsies taken at this point from the mass which was seen on my cervix. I didn’t have any ultrasound scans of any type.

    It’s difficult not to worry at this point, I completely understand that, but you are going to need to sit tight for now and wait for more tests. I know that’s very tough, but ultimately your doctor needs to make sure what he is dealing with. It could be something benign like a cervical polyp, but they will want to rule out cancer. 

    Please feel free to ask any questions in the group and keep us posted on how you get on. I hope you don’t get a cancer diagnosis, but there will be support for you in the group if you do. Please feel free to ask any questions or share your worries and we’ll be here to help you if we can.

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for your kind and reassuring words. It’s comforting to know I can come here for support.

    I appreciate that I’ll need a biopsy for a diagnosis, however I just wrongly assumed that the internal ultrasound would detect the different types of mass. I guess I was worried/paranoid that the GP was being deliberately vague because he suspects a malignancy. This is my brain going into overdrive!

    Anyway, I’ll sit tight and keep you posted. Many thanks again for your support.

    Emily xx

  • Hi Emily

    Your gp honestly will not know what this is right now-he might suspect a malignancy of some sort, but what I can tell you is that any form of ultrasound scan is not typically used in coming to a cervical cancer diagnosis. Ultrasound scans can miss things too, so in some ways they can be a little crude rather than exact.

    So in having this type of scan, it’s more of a general type of investigation as a starting point. This type of scan will sometimes find something, but would not be able to define what it is, so your gp can’t actually speculate as he really has no idea. Did he examine you before sending you for the scan? 

    Our minds can race ahead when we don’t have all the information we need, and typically we can imagine all sorts as we wait. Waiting is a big part of the whole diagnostic process and typically one of the most difficult times for us all, so hopefully you’ll be seen soon as you have been fast tracked for your referral. Just concentrate on what you know for now if you can, rather than imagining things-you are in the system to have your symptoms investigated and that’s the main thing. 

    I hope you can enjoy your day and have some nice things planned.

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for this. Yes it makes sense that the ultrasound is more of a starting point, I just assumed it would be more detailed. My GP didn’t examine me, he just referred me for the ultrasound based on my symptoms.

    I’ve never missed a smear test so I’m assuming they would’ve detected a malignancy during the last one? I think the most recent one was a couple of years ago…

    I’ve had a lovely day thanks, too much chocolate! Hope you have too.

    Emily xx

  • Hi Emily

    I’m surprised your gp didn’t examine you, but this will happen when you go for your appointment next.

    In terms of smear tests, they are not a diagnostic test for cervical cancer, which I think is a common misconception.

    The first thing done in a smear test nowadays is a test for the hpv virus, and if this is negative, no further testing of cells is done. As the hpv can go between active and dormant states, it is possible for cells to have already changed but the test to be negative for hpv. Also, hpv isn’t the only cause of cervical cancer.

    I’m not meaning to worry you unnecessarily, but I see so many women relying on a smear test as a diagnostic tool and it’s actually not. Smears can miss things-nothing is 100% accurate, and the smear test is basically just a sweep of the outer cervix.

    My cervical cancer was the adenocarcinoma type which starts in the cells higher up in the cervix where the smear test doesn’t reach. It’s often missed. I was “lucky” if you can call it that, in that my gp did examine me, and although she didn’t say anything and referred me immediately, by that point I had a tumour that was visible to the naked eye. I’m just glad I had that referral! But this was MY experience and yours may well be very different. Let’s hope there’s a less sinister explanation for your symptoms. 

    I’m glad you’ve had a good day-I’ve had a lovely Sunday dinner cooked for me, and it’s been very relaxing! 

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah,

    Hope you’re doing well.

    Just a quick update - I’ve been fast tracked for a colposcopy but don’t have a date yet. This was over a week ago and when I called the clinic to chase them up today, they told me that they had ‘no capacity’ and need to see my transvaginal ultrasound scan before adding me to the waiting list…

    (In my GP’s referral he’s written ‘suspected gynaecological cancer’ which has also frightened me.)

    Thanks so much for reading.

    Emily x

  • Hi Emily

    Apologies for delay. I have been hospital following a stroke. I will reply when I am able.

    Sarah xx


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  • Don't be too panicked by this. Sometimes they put "suspected cancer" when it's only a slight possibility, just to make sure you get referred faster. If GP had put "suspected cervical polyp" you'd probably be waiting for months.

    I got fast tracked for bleeding which turned out to be a cervical polyp, but went straight to hysteroscopy no ultrasound like you.

  • Hi  

    I'm so sorry to hear you have had a stroke. I hope you are ok. Sending you my best wishes for a speedy recoveryx

  • Hi Sarah,

    I’m so sorry to hear this and hope you feel better soon.

    Sending all good wishes.

    Emily xx