We provide exceptional, compassionate primary care to women, helping you with everything from family planning, contraception and sexual health, through to menstrual and menopausal problems, cervical and breast screening.
Below are some of the common questions we get asked about women’s health. If you have any other questions, feel free to make an appointment with one of our friendly GPs.
What is a cervical screening test and do I need to have one?
A cervical screening test is a tool for detecting the HPV infection that causes cell changes linked to cervical cancer. It involves taking a sample of cells with a brush which is then sent to the laboratory, the results usually come back within a week. It is recommended that all women between the age of 25 – 70 have the cervical screening test.
It is a quick and safe procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. If requested, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) screen can also be done on the same day. At Denmark Medical Centre all of our doctors are proficient in cervical screening and treating STI’s.
I've had the cervical cancer vaccine. Do I still need cervical screening?
Since 2007 the government has introduced free Gardasil Immunisations which can protect against cervical cancer. It is important to be aware that cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which is very common and approximately 75% of people have been exposed to this virus.
There are over 200 types of HPV and only a few of these affect the cervix. The Gardasil vaccine only protects against a few types of HPV therefore regular cervical screening tests are still required.
What is the best form of contraception for me?
We can work with you to find the form of contraception that suits you best.
As well as prescribing short-acting contraceptives like the pill, we also have GPs who are qualified to insert longer-acting forms of contraception such as Implanon and Mirena.
Implanon is a long-acting, progesterone-only contraceptive that is inserted under the skin in the non-dominant arm. It lasts for three years, and is then removed and can be replaced.
Mirena is an intra-uterine device that’s more suitable for women who have already had children. This long-acting contraceptive is inserted into the uterus using a similar procedure to the cervical screening test. It lasts for five years, after which it can be removed and replaced. It does not affect fertility – women can fall pregnant within three months of having it removed.
How do I know if I am menopausal?
Most women reach menopause between 45 and 55 years of age. Tell-tale signs and symptoms can include hot flushes, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, mood swings including irritability and anxiety, and loss of libido.
The good news? There are a number of things you can do to manage your menopausal symptoms, including lifestyle changes, practical strategies, complementary therapies and hormone replacement therapies. It is important to look after both your emotional and physical health so that you can continue with daily life. We’re here to help.