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CA 125 blood test

CA 125 blood test measures the level of blood antigens that are considered tumor markers. Typically the CA 125 blood test is used monitor the progress of ovarian cancer. But the CA 125 blood test is not considered a very accurate diagnostic tool. This test is used in combination with trans vaginal ultrasound and pelvic examination. CA 125 blood tests often return false positive results. Besides hardly about 50% of women with ovarian cancer have elevated levels of CA 125. CA 125 levels can be elevated due to menstruation, endometriosis, fibroids and pregnancy. The newer CA 125 blood test is said to be more accurate. This test is called CA 125 - II. Readings of above 35 U/ml are considered abnormal. CA 125 blood test is used to check the effect of treatment on women suffering from ovarian cancer. It is not used to check otherwise healthy women for ovarian cancer.

Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic ultrasound is used to detect and pain in the lower belly (pelvis) organs and examine the ovaries, uterus, cervix and the fallopian tubes. In men, it is used for bladder, prostate gland and seminal vesicles study. A pelvic ultrasound reads clearly both the organs and structures that are solid and uniform like the uterus, prostate gland or fluid-filled like bladder. It is usually used to find the cause of pelvic pain, such as ectopic pregnancy in women and tumors or masses. Trans vaginal ultrasound helps in studying the uterus and other organs better.

Scrotal ultrasound is primarily used to evaluate the disorders of the testicles and surrounding areas. Pain and swelling in the scrotum and mass in the scrotum area or any other trauma can be detected and evaluated by a scrotal ultrasound. The scrotal ultrasound is a valuable tool in determining the cause of testicular pain and swelling. Ultrasound imaging helps to identity inflammation of the scrotum and an absent or undescended testicle, testicle torsion, abnormal blood vessel or a lump or tumor. Normally it is used to detect if the prostate is enlarged.


Menorrhagia

Menorrhagia refers to excessive loss of blood during menstruation. Many pre-menopausal women experience menorrhagia as a response to erratic hormonal activity. The endometrium may develop in excess due to hormonal imbalance and lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Uterine polyps can lead to cases of menorrhagia. Polyps occur due to excessive hormone production or consumption.


Uterine fibroids or tumors can trigger off heavier than normal menstrual bleeding or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Women suffering from pelvic Inflammatory disease, thyroid problems and liver or kidney disease are also likely to notice excessive bleeding. In rare cases, menorrhagia is caused due to deficiency of vitamin K. Women who use IUD for birth control are likely to face excessive menstrual bleeding. Cancers of the female reproductive organs such as cervix cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer cause excessive bleeding.


Tranexamic acid tablets are often prescribed to reduce excessive blood loss during menstruation. It is taken at the beginning of the period and does not stop menstrual bleeding. Tranexamic acid is not a contraceptive. It works on helping the blood in the uterus to clot. Often it is combined with an NSAID. Possible side effects include indigestion, diarrhea, headache and back pain. If the patient has a history of blood clots, tranexamic acid might not be advised.


Endometrial sampling is taken to check for cause of menorrhagia. Hysteroscopy and vaginal ultrasound aids in clinical diagnosis. Once the cause for excessive bleeding is identified, treatment is undertaken accordingly. Thyroid malfunction is treated with medication or birth control pills. Hysterectomy is performed for women who suffer prolonged heavy menstrual bleeding.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 23, 2019