What’s a gynaecologist?
A gynaecologist is doctor who specialises in the health of female organs. They treat health issues relating to the female reproductive tract, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and breasts. A gynaecologist may also attend to urological and gastrointestinal symptoms.
At Northside Gynaecology, we’re proud to host a team of all-female specialists in women’s health.
When should I start seeing a gynaecologist?
If you have a medical or health concern, it‘s essential that you go and see your GP as soon as possible. Once your GP has completed their examination, they will recommend a course of treatment, or refer you to a specialist.
You may need to see a gynaecologist to treat concerns about the female reproductive system (including the breasts, uterus, ovaries and the vulva) that your GP can’t manage alone, or if further input form a specialist is needed.
Other treatments best suited to gynaecologists include…
- Managing your menstrual, pregnancy, fertility and contraception
- Treating sexual health concerns (Libido, pain, or abuse)
- Preventative health examinations and screenings (cervical screening).
Some health concerns can be attended by both a GP or a gynaecologist. These include thyroid issues, birth control measures, and concerns about mood changes.
We recommend that you start your health check with your local or family GP. If necessary, you can request a referral to one of the doctors at Northside Gynaecology for specialised care.
At what age should my daughter be seeing a gynaecologist?
Most healthcare issues facing girls between 11-18 can be managed by your GP or paediatrician, although there are cases where it is best for a gynaecologist to provide medical care.
- Delayed puberty (no breast tissue by 14) or menarche (no menstruation by 16)
- Painful menstruation or other period concerns
- The inability to use a tampon
The Cancer Council of Australia recommends that anyone with a cervix, aged between 25 and 74 years old, should participate in the National Cervical Screening Program.
The program aims to reduce illness and death resulting from cervical cancer, and women are invited to have a cervical screening test every 5 years.
The Cervical Screening Test replaces the old Pap Smear, and is only done every 5 years. The test is more effective, and can detect the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that causes cervical cancer.
To learn more about how the new cervical screening test works, visit our dedicated page on cervical screening.
What to expect from your visit to the gynaecologist?
Your experience will mostly depend on why you went to see the doctor in the first place. For adolescents visiting for the first time, the visit might include a general chat with the doctor, recording health information, and discussing what future visits might include.
A more pressing visit might require an examination.
It’s recommended to visit your gynaecologist annually for a check-up. This might include a screening, an evaluation, and the offering of medical advice.
You might also get any immunisations required, a physical and pelvic examination, and recommendations for at-home care. Depending on age, you might also use this visit to have your breasts examined for cancer.
It is important to remember…
- To provide the doctor an honest and full account of your health concerns – don’t withhold information just because you think it isn’t important.
- If you’re having a cervical screening, it might be uncomfortable, but won’t be painful.
- There is no need to wax or shave before your visit, and don’t be ashamed of body odour. This might be an indication of something the doctor needs to be aware of.
- It’s recommended that you don’t schedule your visit while having your period, unless you have pressing concerns.
- We recommend abstaining from sex, using tampons or a vaginal douche for two days before your gynaecological examination.
- It’s ok to feel nervous or uncomfortable about your appointment. Feel free to bring a friend or family member along for support.
To be a fully qualified obstetrician/gynaecologist in Australia, you need to obtain a 5-6 year medical degree and complete a 1-year internship at a hospital, followed by a year’s residency, and 6 years of vocational training (FRANZCOG).
Many gynaecologists undertake extra training in subspecialty areas to provide more individualised care.
Dr Archna Saraswat completed her fellowship at the Royal Women’s Melbourne, Mater Mothers Hospital, South Brisbane and Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital.
Dr Liana Tanda currently works part-time as a Staff Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Caboolture Hospital. She has a special interest in managing vulval disorders.
Dr Caroline Wewenkang graduated with honours from the University of Sydney, and she gained her fellowship from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
If you require further information about Northside Gynaecology, our doctors, or our services, then please give us a call today.
538 Gympie Road
(07) 3088 9005
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm
We are close to the Westfield in Chermside, and have free parking on site.