Ovarian Screening Scan

Ovarian screening scans can check for any signs of suspicious growths on or around your ovaries. Screening can ensure that you get the treatment you need as soon as possible, if a problem is detected. We recommend this scan for all women who are at higher risk of ovarian cancer.

What are the indications or reasons for having an ovarian screening scan?

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women, but it is still fairly rare. About 1 in 75 women will develop this cancer at some point in their lives. However, some women are more likely to be affected than others. You should consider having an ovarian screening scan if you are at higher risk.

The main risk factors for ovarian cancer are:

  • Being post-menopausal or over the age of 50
  • A history of ovarian cancer in your family
  • A history of breast, bowel or endometrial cancer in your family
  • Carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

Other less significant risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts

Your risk of ovarian cancer will be reduced if you’ve ever used the contraceptive pill, you’ve had children or you’ve breastfed. It can be difficult to work out your risk of ovarian cancer from all these factors. We can advise you on whether ovarian screening is right for you.

Even if you are not in a higher risk group, you should still be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Frequently feeling bloated or too full even when you haven’t eaten much
  • Swelling in your abdomen

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see your GP or gynaecologist, who may refer you to us for an ovarian screening scan. Although there may be another explanation for your symptoms, it is best to be sure.

How is the scan done?

The ovarian screening scan is a trans-vaginal ultrasound. A narrow probe will be inserted into your vagina so that the ultrasound waves can be focused on your ovaries. Your doctor may also recommend that you have a blood test alongside the ovarian screening scan as this can help to detect cancer.

What preparation is required?

  • It’s best to empty your bladder just before the scan as this reduces the chance of discomfort and helps us to get a clearer view of your ovaries.
  • You will need to remove the lower half of your clothing, so make sure you wear something that’s easy to take off.

What can this scan detect?

The ovarian screening scan can detect potentially cancerous growths. It can’t confirm that a growth is definitely cancer, but it can tell us whether you need further tests.

  • We will carefully examine both of your ovaries for signs of growths and abnormalities. We can tell what kind of growth we’re looking at from the scan so we’ll know if there’s a chance it is cancerous.
  • We’ll also look at the surrounding pelvic area for any signs of cancer.

Is it easy to make an appointment?

We can arrange an appointment for you at short notice if you are concerned about ovarian cancer. We have appointments available in the early mornings, evenings and at weekends if you aren’t able to come in during normal working hours.

What happens after the scan?

You will have a chance to talk to your sonographer about the results after the scan. We will also provide a full report that you can share with your GP or other doctors.

If nothing was found but you are at higher risk of ovarian cancer, we may recommend that you come back for another screening scan in the future.

If we do detect a problem, you may need further testing. The scan can’t confirm that you have ovarian cancer, but it can identify abnormalities or growths that could be cancerous. We can refer you on to a specialist to have the diagnosis confirmed and to begin treatment if necessary.


Read Our Reviews  

Thank you to all our patients for considering coming to our clinic. We aim to meet the highest standards.

Clinic Locations

Visit our clinic in Central London and Cheshire


137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
Nearest Underground Tube Stations

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street


Festival Hall, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7HR
Nearest Overground Train Station

Alderley Edge