Women require gynaecological check-ups at various stages of life – from preconception counselling to regular screening for healthy older women for conditions such as precancerous cervical changes or pelvic floor prolapse. A well-woman check-up includes a full physical examination and relevant screening tests such as mammograms and blood tests.
Most women who become pregnant do so without a prior check-up. A preconception assessment could be useful to screen for pre-existing health conditions such as low thyroid function or diabetes, which could impact the unborn baby, as well as for genetic conditions such as thalassaemia or cystic fibrosis.A preconception assessment includes a full history, physical check-up and all relevant investigations. Simple advice about diet and exercise for pregnancy will be discussed, as well as safety of prescribed medications.
Heavy periods are common for many women at different stages of life, and could result from uterine fibroids or polyps. Occasionally no physical cause can be found.Dr Kwok will take a detailed history and conduct a physical examination. He may then arrange further laboratory tests and ultrasounds. Management may include simple medication through to a hormone-containing intra uterine device (IUD) or surgery.
Australian screening for precancerous changes of the cervix changed in 2018. We now screen for cancer-causing human papilloma viruses rather than looking for precancerous cells in the first instance. Abnormal results may cause some anxiety, and Dr Kwok will discuss the findings and put you at ease. An examination called a colposcopy is usually required.
Many women have ovarian cysts without pain. While most ovarian cysts are not harmful and may resolve spontaneously, some require further investigation and treatment – often with keyhole surgery.
Vaginal childbirth and the passage of time play a large part in the common conditions of uterine and vaginal prolapse, and urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises are the first line of treatment. A pelvic floor physiotherapist may also be of assistance, and in more severe cases, surgery is an option.
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