Women’s Health

Women’s Health

It is recommended that all women aged 18 and over attend their GP every 2 years for a Women’s Health Check.

It is also recommended that a 20 to 30 minute consultation is made in order to carry out several examinations and health checks.

Pap Tests

For some women Pap tests can be a little scary the first time, particularly if you’re not sure what to expect. The good news is that the whole procedure is usually done within just a few minutes.

Having regular Pap tests is the best way for women to protect themselves against cervical cancer. A Pap test looks for changes to the cells of the cervix that, if left untreated for a number of years, could develop into cancer. Thankfully, most cell changes aren’t dangerous and will either clear naturally from our bodies or will go away with the right treatment.

It is recommended all women aged 18 to 70 who have ever been sexually active have a Pap test every two years, or one to two years after first sexual activity, whichever is later. That said, it’s fair to assume that almost all women take part in regular cervical screening throughout their lives.

Many of our practices have nurse lead pap smear clinics with a credentialed cervical screening services nurse. Credentialed is a process that has recognises the individual expertise of a nurse, as well as demonstrating to consumers and colleagues that a nurse is able to provide quality process to ensure standards of practice are met and maintained.

Antenatal Care

When you first learn that you’re pregnant, get in touch with your GP as soon as possible so that you can start your antenatal (pregnancy) care.  Antenatal care is the care you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy.

You’ll be offered a series of appointments with your GP, a midwife, or sometimes a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician).

Your doctor will check that you and your baby are well, give you useful information to help you have a healthy pregnancy (including healthy eating and exercise advice) and answer any questions you may have.

Postnatal Care

The physical changes a woman experiences after birth are dramatic and amazing.

The pelvic floor gradually regains its strength after birth. This process is greatly aided by practicing pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and making sure that they are done soon after the birth.

Breast feeding is an important part of the Postnatal period with Mother and child settling into the feeding routine.  Speak with your Maternal Health Nurse and/or your GP to assist you with any difficulties as you become comfortable with the many changes you face following the birth of your baby.

Problems women can experience during the postnatal period include: tiredness, perineal pain, breast problems, backache, haemorrhoids, constipation, depression, anaemia, headache and urinary symptoms. It is wise to seek the advise of a your GP if any of these problems are experienced in the postnatal period.

Sexual Health

It is important to realize that there is no ‘normal’ sexuality and the quality of a woman’s sexual experience is affected by individual differences, by life situations, by age and hormonal levels, and by overall health and well-being.

A sexual problem, often referred to as sexual dysfunction, is anything that interferes with a woman’s sexual satisfaction. There can be many challenges that affect a woman’s sexual functioning, such as depression, fertility issues, illness, disease, aging and disability. However, learning to adapt to these challenges is very important in maintaining a positive view of sexuality.

Sexually transmitted infections include chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea, genital warts, genital herpes, thrush as well as HIV and hepatitis.

Even if there are no signs and symptoms they can still develop complications or pass on the infection to others. Often the only way to know whether you have an STI is to get tested.  If you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted infection you should avoid sexual intercourse or any sexual activity completely until advised by your GP.

Mental Health