Samitivej Examinations for Women

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For women, getting gynecological examinations is absolutely essential for helping you stay healthy and to alert you to future health problems. However, most women who have never been to a gynecologist before, view the experience as embarrassing and awkward. Here at Samitivej Women’s Health Center, our goal is to provide you with not only a safe and trustworthy exam, but a comfortable and stress-free one as well.

How often should I get a gynecological exam?

Women of every age should get exams on a regular basis, as directed by their physician.  However, women who are over 30 years old and women who are sexually active should be especially attentive. Women who are at risk for cancer due to family history, especially cervical cancer, should get more frequent exams, as directed. For women who are not in a risk group, once per year should be enough. Young girls should start getting exams between 14 and 15 years old.

I am a nervous first timer. What should I do?

It is normal for a first timer to feel nervous. It might help if you bring a parent, a friend or someone you trust to accompany you to the examination. You can speak to a friend or family member who has already had exams so that you can have a rough idea of what to expect. It is perfectly alright to inform your doctor that you are nervous so that he or she can explain the procedure and put your mind at ease. If you are highly uncomfortable during any part of the process, let your doctor know. For most women, the subject of gynecological exams tends to be taboo and many feel embarrassed to discuss it, even with close friends. Therefore, it is important for first timers not to feel ashamed. Remember, you are in professional and experienced hands with doctors at our hospital. Your health should always come first.

What should I expect?

At Samitivej Women’s Health Center, we offer a variety of check ups. For a first timer who is still too shy and nervous for a full gynecological check up, we start with just a basic urine test. For those who are more confident, our full check up includes taking your blood sample and blood pressure. This gives us an idea of your overall health, cholesterol level, and risks of a heart disease. If you are sexually active, there might be specific tests for certain sexually transmitted diseases.  You will also undergo an ultrasound or an X-Ray which is especially adept at detecting signs of cancer. You can also get your breasts checked for any abnormal lumps. The doctor can also show you how to test this yourself so you can learn to detect early signs of breast cancer without having to visit the hospital too often.

A pelvic exam is also carried out. In this procedure, the doctor will first examine your vulva for any irritation or any other abnormalities. Then, an equipment called a speculum is used to spread open your vaginal walls to examine your cervix and vagina. For women who have reached the age of 20, a Pap test might also be performed. The doctor will use a small brush to take a sample of cells from your cervix and it will be sent to the lab for testing. These internal check ups can be a little uncomfortable for some women and you can tell the doctor if you are too uncomfortable, but always remember to try and stay relaxed.

At Samitivej, we also offer vaccination to prevent cervical cancer for young girls. If you or your daughter is more than 10 years old, be sure to drop by and get protected from this dangerous disease as soon as you can.

Looking for a doctor for your Pediatrics questions? We recommend:
Chantarat Suratanakavikul, M.D. Chantarat Suratanakavikul, M.D.
Ob/Gyn, Women – Gynecology, Samitivej Sukhumvit
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Ask your doctor questions so that you are well informed.

We hope you are comfortable enough to discuss all your health issues with your OB-GYN doctor. Here are some common subjects women discuss:

  • Sex and sexuality

  • Skin

  • Birth control

  • Sexually-transmitted diseases

  • Menstrual periods

  • Family health history

  • Emotional ups and downs

  • Weight

Most women have similar health concerns and our doctors are experienced and can answer all your questions. No question is too foolish or too awkward. Your doctor is here to help and inform; get as much as information you can.

References.

  1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Your First Gynecological Visit. Available from: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq150.pdf. Accessed on May 12, 2015.
  2. Mayo Clinic: Pelvic Exam. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pelvic-exam/basics/definition/prc-20013064. Accessed on May 12, 2015.

Photo Credit: Clara S. via Compfight cc

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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