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Women's health

Ease your women’s health worries

Women’s health covers a wide range of areas, from gynaecology and symptoms of the menopause to cancer screenings and general well-being.

Commonly, you might seek a consultation if you are worried about any of the following symptoms or concerns:

  • Period abnormalities (heavy flow, irregular periods) and menstrual disorders
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginal/uterine prolapse
  • Incontinence/leakage
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pregnancy counselling and miscarriage
  • Cystitis
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Breast cancer screening
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus) & STD screening
  • Menopause
  • Peri-menopause

We see patients of all ages, with advice and treatments tailored accordingly. Younger women may see us for STD screenings and advice on contraception, whereas middle-aged women may seek advice on peri-menopausal symptoms or period irregularities. Women of menopause age often come in for information on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and to discuss expectations of the menopause, as well as possible psychosexual issues, such as a low libido.

Whatever your age, our women’s health specialists at Mount Alvernia are here to help you, and direct you towards treatments or ways of managing your condition to bring you relief, ease anxieties, and help you maintain good health and well-being.

Peri-menopause focuses on the period of time when your body starts to adjust and transition to the menopause. Alongside period irregularities, you may experience:

  • Cyclical mood swings
  • Hot flushes
  • Bloating
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome

Menopause itself, when your periods stop and your ovaries no longer function for reproductive purposes, can have a variety of effects on a woman’s body, including but not limited to:

  • Hot flushes
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hair loss
  • Incontinence
  • Low mood
  • Low sex drive
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Regular urinary tract infections

Any changes to the body can be worrying, and you may feel you have no one to talk to. Our consultants are here to listen to your concerns, providing advice and treatment where possible to help you manage these changes.

Many patients visit our Women’s Health services for preventative measures, such as screenings for STDs and HPV. A cervical screening (smear test) is the standard test for HPV, and is encouraged every three years for women aged 25-49. If any abnormalities are picked up from the smear test, your consultant will normally follow up with a colposcopy.

Colposcopy is an examination of your cervix, where a biopsy (small sample of tissue) is taken and sent away for analysis. Often, the problem can be treated at the same time with a LLETZ operation (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone), removing a part of the cervix where the abnormal cells have been found. This is done with a thin wire loop which is heated electrically, typically taking around 20 minutes. You’ll then have a follow-up smear test to check for further signs of abnormal cells after six months.

Treatments and medication for the menopause may include HRT, which involves introducing more oestrogen and/or progesterone hormones into your body, and your consultant will be able to advise on the dosage and type of HRT based on your symptoms. It is usually delivered either as a tablet, through the skin with a gel or adhesive patch, or injected as an implant beneath the skin.

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the uterus, often used when treatments for painful and heavy periods haven’t been effective. Endometriosis, fibroids, or certain cancers may also be treated in this way.

A hysterectomy can take three forms:

  • Total hysterectomy – where the uterus and cervix are removed
  • Sub-total hysterectomy – where just the uterus is removed, leaving the cervix intact
  • Radical/extended hysterectomy – where the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and upper part of the vagina are removed

It is considered to be major surgery, and afterwards you won’t be able to get pregnant or have any more periods. Your consultant can help you weigh up the benefits while making sure you understand the ramifications of this surgery. Any choice to proceed will be entirely yours, armed with all the relevant information.

Your initial consultation will vary slightly depending on the symptoms you present with, but your consultant will always begin by asking for a detailed medical history. This is your chance to explain any concerns you may have or talk about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Your consultant will want to know:

  • What symptoms have you had?
  • How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe that pain? Is it a stabbing pain or does it spread out? Is it constant or intermittent?
  • Do any activities exacerbate your symptoms?
  • Has it been getting progressively worse?
  • What are your expectations/goals for recovery?

Your consultant will likely follow this up with a physical examination. If you have presented with gynaecological concerns, this will include a pelvic exam.

You will then be signposted according to your symptoms. This may mean booking a mammogram if you have concerns over lumps in your breasts, or a pelvic ultrasound for suspected conditions such as fibroids. Transvaginal ultrasounds (introduced via the vagina) are used to examine any potential abnormality of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This can provide an accurate diagnosis, allowing your consultant to offer you a range of treatment options.

Available privately, we offer the Wellwoman Health Check as a one stop clinic. This involves a discussion of any symptoms you might be experiencing or concerned about, followed by a cervical screening and breast cancer screening. A thyroid function test is also carried out to assess your hormone levels, alongside usual BMI (body mass index) and blood pressure checks.

Many women come in for a Wellwoman Health Check even if they haven’t had any concerns or symptoms, merely wanting to double check their health for any underlying issues or to catch any illness at an early stage. This helps provide reassurance and peace of mind in between other screenings. You can have these checks at any point, but yearly screenings are popular with many of our patients.

By choosing to have your treatment at Mount Alvernia, you’ll be able to take advantage of all these great benefits:

Assessments ASAP – If you’ve been concerned about any particular symptoms, you’ll want to be seen by a consultant without any unnecessary delay. By seeing patients rapidly, our consultants can get you started on the right course of treatment as soon as possible.

Wellwoman Health Check – An all-encompassing general health check for women, this can help detect early signs of cancer with cervical and breast cancer screenings, as well as giving you the platform to discuss any of your women’s health concerns.

 

Patient Satisfaction – 98% of patients in 2020 said they would happily recommend Mount Alvernia Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 99% also said that the quality of care here at Mount Alvernia Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.

Personalised care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs, based on an accurate diagnosis. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey.

Convenient appointments – With appointments available at dedicated clinics five days a week, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

If you want to speak to a specialist about any of your women’s health concerns, why not get in touch with our reception team today to book a consultation? Our consultants can organise the necessary diagnostic tests to investigate your symptoms, and outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any further scans or surgery if required.

For expert personalised care, please contact Mount Alvernia to book an appointment now.

Specialists Offering Women's health

Dr Ahmos Ghaly

Consultant in Sexual Health

MBA, LLB (Hons)

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

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Mr Paul Curtis

Consultant Gynaecologist

MB ChB, FRCOG

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

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