- Strona główna
- Gynaecological prophylaxis
Every woman over the age of 16 who has started menstruating or having sexual intercourse should have regular examinations for diseases of the reproductive system, at least once a year. The gynaecological consultation involves an extensive diagnostic examination, including a history of the patient’s health, past diseases, lifestyle, nutrition, stimulants and genetic predisposition, especially tumours in female relatives. It is advisable to choose a date for the examination that, without writing it down in a diary, will allow the patient to remember when to make her next appointment after a year – in the case of prevention. This could be the month of a birthday, a holiday, the period before a holiday, the month of an important date. This will make it easier to remember preventive health care.
Many women find gynaecological examinations embarrassing. For this reason, in our clinic we focus on the psychological comfort of our patients. We take care to ensure full comfort, both during the interview and the examination. The basic one is a manual vaginal and breast examination, which can be extended with further examinations if necessary. The most common is an ultrasound of the genital tract, which the doctor performs vaginally or through the abdominal integuments, the latter especially during the patient’s pregnancy. By far the most important gynaecological examination is cytology, which should be performed regularly once a year – this is the taking of a smear of cellular material from the cervix and examining it under a microscope. If there are any abnormalities in the result, the gynaecologist will recommend a colposcopy, which, using an optical apparatus called a colposcope, will allow the results of the cytological examination to be verified. In case of doubt during the breast examination, the doctor will order an ultrasound or mammography. If the results are worrying, a biopsy will be performed, i.e. a sample will be taken to determine the type of lesion and its nature.
The gynaecological examination covers both the external and internal reproductive organs of the woman – the labia minor and major, the clitoris, the vagina, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the breasts. The first stage is a fairly detailed interview with the patient, i.e. a medical history about health, nutrition, both physical and sexual activity. The second stage is the examination in the gynaecological chair – first, the gynaecologist assesses the condition of the external organs and then uses a speculum to view the cervical orifice. This is followed by a manual examination to assess the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Finally, the patient’s breasts are examined. If the visit is combined with a cytology procedure, a smear of cellular material is taken from the disc and cervix at the time of the manual examination. If the doctor notices any worrying symptoms during the examination, he or she will recommend detailed examinations, such as an ultrasound.
An alternative to traditional testing
What about when a patient who has not yet started a sexual life and is a virgin comes to the doctor’s surgery? Should she be afraid of such an examination? Or should she postpone it? Absolutely in such a situation there is no cause for concern. First of all, the doctor should be informed. He or she will then use a smaller speculum, or dispense with this element of the examination altogether, or carry it out through the anus. This is possible due to the immediate vicinity of the organs. They are separated only by a thin layer of peritoneum – the sinus of Douglas. During such an examination, not only the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes can be assessed, but also the large intestine and the sinus of Douglas itself.
Gynaecological examination in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in every woman’s life; expecting a baby is a great joy, but it also requires special care for health. That is why regular visits to the doctor and examinations, including cytology and ultrasound to monitor the baby’s development, are so important. The doctor in charge of the pregnancy will set a detailed schedule of visits.
Gynaecological prophylaxis is an extremely important part of caring for one’s own health. Regular examinations will allow possible abnormalities to be detected and early treatment to be initiated; this is particularly important in the case of oncological diseases.