What is gynaecology?
Gynaecology is the specialised treatment of the female reproductive system as part of overall healthcare for women. There is a lot of crossover with obstetric treatments, which is the branch of medicine that deals with pregnancy, childbirth, and midwifery, while gynaecology generally deals with the reproductive health of women who aren’t pregnant.
A doctor may refer their patient to a gynaecologist for a number of reasons. Our gynaecologists possess the most up-to-date clinical skill and knowledge, working with other skilled specialists when required to offer you the best possible care
At Western Specialist Centre, we have some of the best gynaecologists in Melbourne. Please contact one of our offices to make an appointment.
When should I see a gynaecologist?
It is recommended that you see a gynaecologist annually or anytime you have any concerns regarding your reproductive organs, vulva or vagina.
Some of the most common conditions treated by gynaecologists include:
- Family planning such as contraception
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Problems with ligaments, muscles, and other tissue that supports the pelvic organs
- Urinary and faecal incontinence
- Issues related to fertility, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
- Premalignant conditions such as cervical dysplasia and endometrial hyperplasia
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Benign reproductive tract conditions such as ovarian cysts, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, breast disorders, and fibroids
- Congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
- Gynaecological emergency care
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Cancers of the reproductive tract and breasts
- Sexuality, including health issues related to bisexual and same-sex relationships
It is recommended that a woman starts to visit a gynaecologist between the ages of 13 and 15, to ensure a good start to her fertile years.
What should I expect during a gynaecologist visit?
What happens during your gynaecological visit will depend on your reason for visiting and your individual situation.
During your first visit, you may just talk with your doctor, find out what to expect in the future, and get some general health information.
- During any gynaecological visit, it is worth remembering:
- It is not necessary to wax or shave before the visit
- An honest account of your health concerns and lifestyle will give your gynaecologist a better idea of your situation and will allow them to help you more
- You can still go ahead with your appointment if you have your period, but you can postpone it if you feel more comfortable, though Pap smears are best done away from your period
- Body odour is natural, however if it is a concern, your gynaecologist needs to know
- A gynaecological examination may be uncomfortable but is not usually painful
- It is best to avoid vaginal douching, sexual activity or using tampons for two days before a gynaecological examination
Our skilled doctors are trained in a wide range of gynaecological surgeries, and can perform the following operations:
- Diagnostic hysteroscopy for endometrial sampling or irregular periods
- Removal of submucosal fibroids and endometrial polyps
- Endometrial ablation for managing heavy menstrual bleeding
- Allows your doctor to see abnormalities in the lining of your bladder and urethra
Cervical abnormalities treatment<
- LLETZ – Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone, removes a small part of the cervix
- Cervical cautery – treatment for problems associated with the cervix using heat
- Cone biopsy – a cone shape segment of tissue is removed from the cervix for examination
- Vaginal hysterectomy – removal of the uterus
- Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH)
- Sub-total abdominal hysterectomy and total abdominal hysterectomy
- Total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH)
Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery
- Treatment of adhesions
- Removal of ovaries
- Treatment of ectopic pregnancy
- Removal of ovarian cysts
- Ablation/excision of endometriosis
- Surgical blocking or tying of the fallopian tubes
- Testing for fallopian tube function and patency
Pelvic floor surgery
- Prolapse repair using native tissue and approved, safe mesh
- Fenton’s procedure – remove scarred or constricted tissue around the entrance to the vagina or perineum
- Sub-urethral slings for incontinence
Gynaecological care for fertility
Gynaecology is closely linked with care for fertility issues and IVF treatment. We offer complete treatment from diagnosis, conception, to delivery, including:
- Myomectomies for uterine fibroids
- Endometriosis treatment
- Polycystic ovaries and PCOS
Myomectomies for uterine fibroids<
Uterine fibroids are a common benign growth that will affect more than half of all women at some point in their life. Uterine fibroids are mostly harmless but can cause health complications and fertility risks.,/p>
A myomectomy is a procedure that is performed through small incisions with the aid of a camera (laparoscopically) or abdominally. This surgery can effectively extract fibroids without removing the uterus and can usually be done through keyhole surgery with a quick recovery and minimal scarring.
Endometriosis can be diagnosed by performing a biopsy via laparoscopy. Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the womb grows in other areas of the body, causing cyclic bleeding outside of the usual areas. Surgical diagnosis may not be necessary in some cases.
A range of hormonal and non-hormonal medications or surgical interventions can be offered as a part of treating endometriosis.
Polycystic ovaries and PCOS
A comprehensive treatment plan is required to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can contribute to obesity, infertility, osteoporosis, diabetes, and excess male-pattern hair growth. The oral contraceptive pill and other drug treatments can be offered as well as lifestyle advice to help manage PCOS.
Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is an option to aid in fertility by triggering ovulation and treating PCOS. Laparoscopic ovarian drilling involves making a small incision in the belly button to access and destroy part of the ovaries to restore regular ovulation cycles. This surgery is minimally invasive and usually has a recovery time of a few days to a few weeks.
Ongoing gynaecological care
Some of the ongoing gynaecological care we offer covers:
- Pap tests and colposcopy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Menopausal symptom management
Pap tests and colposcopy
A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a cervical cancer screening procedure. Cells from your cervix are gently scraped away and examined for abnormal growth. The procedure may be mildly uncomfortable but won’t cause any long-term pain.
A colposcopy is a cervical cancer test. Your doctor is able to get a closer look at your cervix and find any abnormal cells.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
We offer antibiotic treatments for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID occurs when an infection spreads from the vagina to the endometrium, cervix, and fallopian tubes. The infections can be caused by an STI, after a ruptured appendix, or a bowel infection.
Menopause usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. We offer a range of treatment options to address the symptoms of menopause, including hormone replacement and other various medications.
For the best gynaecologists in the western suburbs contact one of our offices in Caroline Springs, Footscray, Melton, and Tarneit.