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Being a woman, there is a good chance that one day you will need to see a Gynaecologist (Women’s Health Specialist) at some point in your life. Keeping up to date with your PAP smears/Cervical Screening Tests and any health concerns is important so I thought I would share a few facts about a visit to the Gyno so that if you end up coming to see us one day it’s not so daunting!
Fact no. 1
We forget what your vagina looks like 3 seconds after we do your examination and its like any other body part (like looking at a hand!) to us.
Fact no. 2
We train in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for 6 years delivering babies as well as helping patients with women’s health issues so we have literally seen it all! Blood and guts, being elbow deep in body fluids is where it is at every day (nothing is too weird or gross for us).
Fact no. 3
We are also trained surgeons and are able to perform surgery when needed to fix your women’s health problems. We are your one stop shop when your lady parts are causing you grief.
Fact no. 4
In Australia usually you see a GP/Family doctor before seeing us who has triaged the problem you are having and worked out that you need to see us. You can self-refer but you won’t get a Medicare rebate (government supplement to help cover the cost of the appointment) if you see us without having seen your GP first. It is also important to have your own GP you trust for all you other health concerns.
Fact no. 5
Waxing and shaving is not necessary prior to seeing a Gynaecologist. It is personal preference whether you groom ‘down there’ or not! Having a shower before if an internal exam is preferable as being clean makes our job easier.
Fact no. 6
We don’t always do an internal exam when you come to visit us. If you have recent up to date PAP smears/Cervical Screening Tests and STD screen and you have no abnormal bleeding or pain, it may be as simple as seeing us for a chat and ordering some tests.
Fact no. 7
In America and Europe it is routine to see a Gynaecologist for a check every couple of years but in Australia your GP usually performs your routine checks.
Fact no. 8
We don’t require you to have a pedicure prior to visiting us – we don’t mind if you nails are coloured nor do we mind if you haven’t shaved your legs!
Fact no. 9
No question is out of bounds or a ‘silly question’. We love random questions about your body and lady parts and we believe the more informed you are about your body the more empowered you are, so ask away!
Fact no. 10
Reasons you may see us range anywhere from abnormally heavy or painful periods, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, Polycystic ovarian syndrome/irregular periods, vaginal prolapse, painful intercourse, abnormal PAP smears/cervical screening test results, contraception chats and insertions of IUDs, pre pregnancy counselling, pregnancy care (although not all Gynaecologists do Obstetrics (care of pregnant ladies) as well), problems trying to conceive etc.
Do you have more questions about what a Gynaecologist does? Ask us!
Dr Bronwyn Hamilton
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist