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Started by vulva cancer survivor Kath Mazzella, International Gynaecologist Awareness Day aims to, among other things, raise awareness of gynaecological and sexual health and share information in an open forum. Ahead of this special day on 10 September, Mum & Baby has some guidance on what you should know about visiting your gynaecologist.

When to visit the gynaecologist

Make an appointment as soon as you start having sex or at the age of 21 if you’re using tampons. Also, visit the gynaecologist if you suspect that something’s not quite right, for example, if you experience unusual discharge.

What to ask when choosing a gynaecologist

Find out if she’s a network doctor on your medical aid. If you’re paying cash, ask how much her consultation fee is. Ask about her office hours, where she’s based and who will see you if this gynaecologist is unavailable. Make a list of questions if necessary – nothing is off-limits.

What to expect

The gynaecologist will do a general check-up, which could include a urine test, taking your blood pressure, and checking your heart and lungs. He or she will examine your vagina on the outside and the inside, and do a pap smear and a breast exam. Ask your doctor how long the pap smear results will take and follow up if necessary.

For more healthcare tips and information, sign up for Mum & Baby, powered by Vodacom’s Siyakha. This service is free from your Vodacom SIM card and doesn’t use any data!

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