In honor of this year's US National Women’s Health Week observance from May 10 to 16, we encourage our female patients – Thai citizens and international patients of all countries - to schedule a woman’s wellness exam if you haven’t done so recently. Our caring team of doctors at Bumrungrad International Hospital take pride in making sure you are healthy, even in areas of your body that warrant a more private evaluation.
Women are often reluctant to schedule an annual pelvic exam. Common feelings about these exams include being uncomfortable, anxious, embarrassed, or afraid of pain or the diagnosis.
And that’s ok. But it’s important to acknowledge that your body’s health can change over time. Knowing about a complication sooner, rather than later, is the first step in preventative care.
Why a woman’s wellness exam is important
Periodic pelvic exams are important because they can detect reproductive diseases or complications early on. In the event a problem is detected, these early detections can lead to earlier treatments and a more successful outcome.
A wellness exam can reveal abnormalities for patients who don’t know that their symptoms are, in fact, not normal. If you’ve grown accustomed to pelvic pain or pressure, an exam can detect and reveal potential problems.
A woman’s wellness exam is a private yet educational opportunity to learn more about your own body, to become familiar with your body’s baseline, and to learn the signs of abnormalities. It’s also a good opportunity to receive guidance about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Women who are more comfortable with their gynecologists are less likely to ignore the warning signs and have more confidence contacting their doctor if they suspect a problem.
After the completion of a pelvic exam, your doctor can usually tell you if it reveals anything unusual. Pap test results may take approximately three days. Your doctor will discuss with you any next steps such as additional tests, follow-ups, or treatments if needed.
Symptoms of pelvic complications
Knowing how your body feels normally and confirming your day to day symptoms with your gynecologist may help in the future diagnosis of more serious complications.
Symptoms of the more severe pelvic abnormalities for women include, but are not limited to:
- Cervical Cancer : irregular vaginal bleeding; vaginal discharge that is watery, tinged with blood, or has an unpleasant odor; pelvic or back pain; problems going to the bathroom
- Uterine Cancer : abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge; pain with urination and sex; and abdominal pains
- Ovarian Cancer : increased abdominal size and persistent bloating; persistent pelvic discomfort; quickly feeling full when eating; changes in bathroom habits
- Polyps and Cysts : abdominal swelling; pelvic pain before or during your menstrual cycle; painful bowel movements; pain in the lower back or thighs, or during intercours.
Schedule a woman’s wellness exam at Bumrungrad International Hospital
Bumrungrad International Hospital offers comprehensive OB/GYN facilities in our Women’s Center. We conduct general pelvic exams and PAP smears. Additional gynecological services include, but are not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of yeast infections; urinary tract infections; premenstrual syndrome; menopause; sexually transmitted diseases; endometriosis; pelvic problems; menstrual disorders (e.g. progressive pain, heavy or prolonged or irregular periods); and immunizations based on age and risk factors.
If required, our Women’s Center also offers biopsies, ultrasound, GYN surgery and oncology, and laparoscopy in the case of more serious conditions.
Although women are commonly encouraged to schedule a wellness exam once a year, talk with your doctor about how often they recommend you doing so. To schedule an appointment, call +66 2011 2222 Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm, Saturday from 7am to 7pm, and Sunday from 8am to 8pm. Our Women’s Center is in the main Bumrungrad Hospital Building. Take the Main Lobby escalators to the 2nd floor and turn left towards the North Wing.
By Dr. Wandee Arrerak, Gynecologic Oncologist at the Women Center, Bumrungrad Hospital.