Referral to a specialist for symptoms of womb cancer

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you have symptoms that could be due to womb cancer. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, this might be an urgent referral.

Seeing your GP

It can be hard for GPs to decide who may have cancer and who might have a more minor condition. For some symptoms, your doctor may ask you to wait to see if the symptoms get better or respond to treatment, such as antibiotics.

UK referral guidelines

There are guidelines for GPs to help them decide who needs a referral.

Some of the UK nations have targets around how quickly you’ll be seen. In England an urgent referral means that you should see a specialist within 2 weeks.

This 2 week time frame is not part of the waiting time targets for Scotland, Wales and (in general) Northern Ireland. But wherever you live, you are seen as quickly as possible.

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you are over 55, and have postmenopausal bleeding. This means any unexplained vaginal bleeding that happens more than 1 year after your periods have stopped because of the menopause. 

They might refer if you are under 55, and have unexplained vaginal bleeding that happens more than 1 year after your last period because of the menopause. 

You might be referred for an ultrasound scan if you are over 55 and have:

  • a new vaginal discharge or have a vaginal discharge with a high platelet count (shown in blood tests), or blood in your urine 
  • blood in your urine, with one or more of these: low haemoglobin, high platelet level, or high blood sugar level (shown in blood tests)

In Scotland

Your doctor should offer you an urgent referral to a specialist if you have:

  • been taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and have unexplained bleeding after stopping your HRT at least 4 weeks
  • unexplained bleeding and you are taking tamoxifen
  • bleeding after finishing your periods following your menopause
  • bleeding between your periods

You may have an ultrasound scan if you have a swelling in your tummy which your doctor doesn't think is related to your bowel or bladder. 

Ask your GP when you are likely to get an appointment

If you're still worried

Sometimes you might feel that your GP is not concerned enough about your symptoms. If you think they should be more concerned, print this page and the symptoms page. Ask your GP to talk it through with you. Then you might be able to decide together whether you should see a specialist.

Related links