The lockdown has been an opportunity to pause for thought, a time to reassess our priorities in life. Many of us have realised just how important good health is.
Making sure we put our wellbeing first, could be one of the most positive post-lockdown resolutions anyone can make. It's something women in Europe are already doing.
Better survival rates from female cancers
A regular health check-up focussing on gynaecological and reproductive health is the norm in other European countries. Seeing a gynaecologist on a regular basis can ensure women keep optimally healthy – and vitally, any problems can be diagnosed and treated swiftly.
The UK system of waiting until women have noticeable problematic symptoms, instead of being proactive at checking and providing care, is clearly not working. According the World Health Organisation (WHO), British cancer survival rates have long fallen behind other countries of similar wealth and incomes.
For example, the UK has worst survival rates for ovarian cancer, with only 34 percent alive five years after diagnosis compared to the European average of 41 percent. The five-year survival rates from ovarian cancer is strongly related to the stage at which the cancer is detected – the earlier the better.
UK’s survival rates remain similar to Eastern European countries, well behind countries which prioritise women’s health, such as Finland and Sweden.
Book a yearly check up with a gynaecologist
So, what are Finland and Sweden doing differently? They prioritise an annual check-up with a specialist gynaecologist.
Each adult woman in Sweden is entitled to a yearly health check to ensure their reproductive health, a smear test, STD tests, and a breast examination. In Finland, in one landmark study, it was revealed that most women (86%) preferred a gynaecologist to a general practitioner for contraceptive matters. This is also the case in other wealthier Western countries.
Seeing a gynaecologist regularly is associated with a clear and positive impact on women’s health.
A yearly check-up will depend on your age and personal health history. It may include:
- Blood tests to monitor hormone levels and cancer risk
- Bone density scans to look for signs of bone thinning and osteoporosis
- Pelvic ultrasounds to assess endometrial conditions. fibroids, cysts, and tumours
- PAP smears to monitor abnormal cervical cells and cervical cancer
- Pipelle biopsy to test for endometrial cancer and other womb conditions
- Advice on contraception and coil fitting
- Hormone treatment for PMS and menopause
- For patients already having a check-up and/ or treatment, we also offer antibody testing for COVID-19
Our leading gynaecologists at The London PMS & Menopause Clinic are pleased to offer full consultations.