The fear to make certain things transforms us slowly but surely into victims. So it happens with those who are afraid to pass the threshold of the gynecological office. Data shows that a quarter of the women in Romania does no ever go to the gynecologist, and over a half of them have never heard of the HPV virus, the one that can lead to cervical cancer. Few are those who know that is mandatory to go to a gynecological consult at least once a year for the women over 20 years old and sexually active. During the consult the doctor may discover if the woman suffers from genital disorders and may recommend a treatment. But as our lack of sexual education goes hand in hand with the fear of the gynecologist, health problems are more and more frequent even for young women. I talked about this problem with dr. Doina Mihăilescu, MD in obstetrics gynecology and I tried to find out if the fear to step into the office of a gynecologist has real fundaments or is purely caused by lack of education, and who should take care of this real problem.
„I can gladly say that we are starting to have an education on this issue. We are talking of the urban environment were internet is at hand, information travels. If we compare with the entire feminine population of the country, the situation is not encouraging. Also, if we report to different age segments, we observe that, regardless of the environment, women over the age of 50 do not go to regular consults unless encouraged by their children.”
For a woman who does not have problems that require treatment, it is common sense to go to a consult once a year, but ideally it would be twice a year. The annual checkup gives us the safety that we may prevent an important alteration of our health condition and we can take action in minor stages of the different illness. The most frequent cause of mortality in our country among the feminine population is the cervical cancer. Unfortunately, at European level we are on first place when it comes to death caused by cervical cancer. Annual screening would bring major benefits from this point of view. “The fear to come to a consult really exists, but I think it’s more about bad information”, says dr. Doina Mihăilescu. Moreover, it’s not just the economic factors that stop a woman from taking care of her health. „It’s not expensive and I believe there is a wide range of possibilities because the private market has developed a lot and it offers a varied range of services. Sometimes it is a problem. Unfortunately, our society has developed chaotically and there are economic problems at national level. We try and say that they must, that they can, but there are real financial problems which determine patients to neglect themselves. It is gratifying when patients with a minimum wage come to a consult annually, being aware that health is important and enables them to continue to fight”, she continues.
Among the most important tests that we need to do annually are the Pap exam, a transvaginal ultrasound and breast ultrasound. “The first consult should be made in the first 6 months after starting their sexual life. Young women are afraid of the gynecologist, that’s true, that’s way I try to have a friendly chat with them to make them feel comfortable. Consultation is not like an interrogation but as an open discussion. We go to the gynecologist to be open, ask questions, to get a clear image from the specialist, to build a long term relationship, right? We should visit each other every year.”
And yes, indeed, a relationship is built on trust and responsibility, so it is important that when you are choosing a gynecologist to keep in touch with him, to ask him the questions that you have and tell him what are your fears regarding any problem that arises or any change you see in your own body.
So, dear readers, if you want to prevent situations far more dramatic than you can imagine, don’t hesitate to go to a consult, it is not expensive and can save your life in some cases.
The article appeared on the website: elacraciun.ro