Visiting a doctor for any reason can bring with it some apprehension or nervousness. Gynaecological health is a private and sensitive issue which can add to these feelings but they are as understandable as they are common.
The gynaecology team at Chelmsford Hospital provide a confidential and relaxed environment within which you can explore your symptoms together with your consultant. Having cared for many women over the years, our gynaecologists represent the best in women’s health knowledge and practice.
Your Gynaecology Consultation
Gynaecology consultations may differ slightly depending on your individual needs but the core remains the same.
When sitting down with your consultant, there will be thorough discussion surrounding your medical, sexual and menstrual health. At Chelmsford we know the impact this can have on women’s lives, which is why we also look carefully at the mental health and pyschosexual elements that may also be involved.
This allows our clinical team to fully understand all aspects of your health and lets us work together to formulate a holistic plan that is effective, safe and designed with your specific needs in mind.
These routine consultations combine discussion, clinical examinations as well as counselling and advice. For your convenience there are male and female consultants available if you wish to see a particular gender.
Will I need a physical examination?
This depends on a number of factors including your symptoms, time since last check up and age. In most cases a physical examination is useful to add to information collected during your initial discussion.
You will be asked to change into a gown and sit on an examination table with your feet supported by stirrups. Your consultant will begin with an external examination, looking for any lumps, bumps or any abnormalities such as signs of infection.
The Bimanual Exam
This is an internal test which looks for the presence of such gynaecological conditions such as cysts or a rotated uterus.
To carry out the exam your doctor will lubricate two gloved fingers and examine your vaginal wall whilst the other hand presses gently on your lower abdomen. Taking less than a minute, some women feel some slight discomfort but pain is uncommon.
The Speculum Exam
This exam has a reputation for being uncomfortable, but in the hands of our highly experienced team there is little to worry about. Our consultants have access to a variety of speculums to ensure both comfort and diagnostic accuracy.
Once lubricated, the speculum is inserted into the vagina and holds the vagina open. This allows view of the cervix and for a sample to be taken for a cervical or ‘pap’ smear.
Preparing for your consultation
There is no special preparation or steps to take before coming for your consultation. There are however some things which can make it easier for the doctor to reach a diagnosis.
If you are in the middle or finishing a period it would be best to delay your consultation until it has finished completely for around 24 hours or more. Refraining from tampon use, vaginal lubricants or cleansers in the 48 hours leading up to examination will allow for more accurate and speedy diagnosis.
It will also help if you can bring any records you have of your medical, sexual and recent menstrual history.