What can you expect during your gynecology consultation?

By Dr. Nathalie Leroux

Our administrative staff will first greet you at the clinic and collect all relevant personal information, such as your date of birth, address, and RAMQ number. Our clinic is entirely private, and we do not charge any fees to the RAMQ. However, your RAMQ number allows us to obtain information from your Quebec health record, including any laboratory tests, imaging scans, and medication(s) you may be taking, allowing us to be more efficient during our interview with you and help ensure the accuracy of the information, for example, medication dosage or the result of a recent analysis done with your family doctor.

The gynecologist will walk you to the consultation/examination room for your examination. We will give you ample time to explain the problem that led you to consult with us. Some doctors prefer first to ask you a few questions about you and your general health: personal and surgical history, lifestyle, medication and allergies, which allows them to get to know you better and could also help to orient the questionnaire according to your state of health, which can play a role in your current illness. In either case, the doctor will address your concerns; no subject is taboo. Some patients may be intimidated to talk about personal problems. Still, our doctors know how to put you at ease no matter the topic: contraception, abnormal menstruation, pathology or concerns about external genitalia, libido, sexuality, sexual orientation, menopause, etc.

Eventually, it will be time for the gynecological examination. Although this is often described in a derogatory way and considered painful, we must demystify this part of the evaluation. First, the gynecologist examines the external genitalia to detect any pathology. If you have any questions about a particular region or the asymmetries of the vulva, we will be happy to discuss them with you. Next, the gynecologist uses the speculum to assess the internal organs, such as the vaginal walls and the cervix. We use metal speculums because, other than being cooler than plastic, they allow for a more gradual adjustment to minimize discomfort. It is essential to stay relaxed during this part of the exam. The entrance of the vagina contains powerful muscles; the contraction of these muscles around the speculum makes the examination uncomfortable. If this is your first gynecological examination, we will be happy to explain in detail how it will take place and show you the best way to place yourself on the examination table. Hence, we are as efficient as possible. Depending on the indication, the gynecologist performs a PAP test to detect pre-cancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. You may feel a mild, menstrual-like pelvic cramp during collection.

A vaginal exam completes the evaluation. We sometimes call this the bimanual examination, as the gynecologist inserts two fingers into the vagina. At the same time, the other hand presses on your belly, thus allowing the examination of the uterus, ovaries and any pelvic masses.

The gynecological examination is thorough and usually takes 5-10 minutes but is often shorter than five minutes.

Following this part of the assessment, our specialists can discuss the various diagnoses related to your situation. They will suggest the necessary investigations to determine a proper diagnosis. Sometimes, the specialist may recommend medical or surgical treatments. The consultation usually takes 30 minutes, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions.

Following the first consultation, we will provide a medical follow-up. It could be done by tele-medecine (by phone) for subsequent appointments if a physical examination is not mandatory.

Following the resolution of your problem, you can return to the care of your family doctor. However, the clinic also offers routine follow-up services (annual examination: Pap test, HPV, STBBI, etc.) in gynecology.

We hope to see you soon!

The Sensolia medical team