Here in the UK, we’re not accustomed to making an appointment with a gynaecologist. Unlike our cousins across the Atlantic, who seem to have all the various specialists on speed dial. But we prefer to take all our problems to the GP and let them decide whether or not to refer it on.
GP practices are often overwhelmed. However, if you’re fairly sure of the area of expertise needed to deal with your problem, there’s no reason why you can’t bypass the GP altogether and go straight to a specialist.
If you’re suffering from problems related to menstruation, fertility, pregnancy or pelvic pain, then visiting a gynaecologist could be the best first step.
What is a gynaecologist?
Gynaecologists are doctors who have studied for at least seven years to specialise in women’s health, with a particular focus on the female reproductive system.
Some problems that a gynaecologist can treat include:
- Infertility and fertility issues
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Menstruation problems
- Issues related to the menopause
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases
- Urinary tract infections
Why should I visit a gynaecologist rather than my GP?
GP stands for General Practitioner, which means that they have a broad knowledge of many diseases and conditions. This enables them to diagnose the problem, and either treat it or refer to the relevant specialist.
If you are unsure whether your problem is gynaecological in nature, then the GP is always a good first port of call. Abdominal pain, for example, can be caused by irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or even appendicitis.
In fact, whatever the nature of your problem, the GP is unlikely to turn you away. But if you are experiencing unusually heavy or painful periods, for example, or suspect that you may be perimenopausal, you may find that you get to the root of the issue faster if you go directly to a gynaecologist.
It can also be beneficial to visit a gynaecologist once a year for a check up, regardless of whether you are experiencing problematic symptoms down below.
What will happen when I visit a gynaecologist?
That depends on the nature of your visit. If you are having a routine check up, the gynaecologist is likely to talk you through your general health. This includes the regularity and heaviness of your periods, any associated pain etc. And this would be before performing a pelvic and vaginal examination.
If, however, your appointment is related to a particular issue, the gynaecologist will perform the necessary enquiries and examinations pertaining to that specific area.
A gynaecologist is qualified to not only diagnose but also treat many different conditions related to women’s health.
For more information, or to book an appointment, please contact us.