Female Health

Featured topics

Pap smears

Contraceptives

Breast Cancer Screening

Have you had a Pap Smear this year?

A Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer.  It is extremely important to have one done annually once you are sexually active.  It takes 5 minutes and you will only experience slight discomfort!

 

This helps to detect abnormal cells and cancer of the cervix early when management options are still possible.  

 

Make an appointment for your annual pap smear today!

How is a Pap smear done?

Pap smears are meant to be quick and painless. A speculum (pictured below) is inserted into the vagina.  This helps to visualise the cervix aka the mouth of the womb.  

 

Can you see the cervix?
A speculum
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The cervix is cleaned and a brush is used to collect some cervical cells.  

 

The pic on the left shows what the cervix looks like through a speculum as well as cells being collected with a brush.

 

 

 

The head of the brush is then put into a specimen bottle or cells from the brush are smeared onto a glass slide.  

 

This is then sent to the lab where a pathologist looks at the cells under a microscope.  

Contraceptive tablets & Injections

Hormonal contraceptives take 2 main forms.  Either they contain oestrogen and progesterone OR progesterone only.  

 

Combined Oral Contraceptives 

There are many contraceptives on the market at the moment; the most popular being the oral contraceptive pill.  

 

This is a mix of Oestrogen and Progesterone, the 2 female hormones.  These are used for birth control, acne, and to regulate abnormal menses.  

 

Examples:

  • Nordette

  • Yaz

  • Yasmin

  • Qlaira

 

Not all patients experience side effects.  Some common side effects include:

  • Nausea which resolves after your body gets used to the hormone

  • Weight gain

  • Increased risk of clots especially if you are a smoker and >35yrs old

Progesterone only contraceptives

Some contraceptive tablets contain progesterone only.  E.g.: Provera

 

Injectable contraceptives

Contain progesterone only.  These are Depo provera and Nur-isterate.  These are given 3 or 2 monthly.  We offer these at our practice.  

 

Side effects of progesterone only injection are:

  • Weight gain

  • Depression 

  • Acne

Contraceptive Implant

March, 2016

It is common for people to forget to take their pill regularly and fall pregnant as a result. Patients may also miss their 2 or 3 monthly injections.  

A newer contraceptive that is quite effective is called Implanon®.  This is a small rod that is injected just beneath the skin of the upper arm.  It provides contraception for 3 whole years.

A local anaesthetic injection is given first so the procedure is painless.  

 

It must be inserted and removed by a trained professional.

We offer this service at our practice.  

 

The Implanon must be ordered in advance.

 

Book a consultation if you would like more info or have an Implanon inserted.

Breast Cancer 

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women.  

Risk factors 

Female gender 

Advancing age

  • Long period of Oestrogen exposure 

      - Early age of first period < 12yrs

      - Late age of menopause > 55yrs

      - Oral contraceptive pill use

  • Family history of Breast, ovarian or prostate cancer

  • Inherited genetic mutations

  • Obesity

  • Not having children

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Radiation exposure

Self breast exam

 

The best time to do a breast exam is a few days after your monthly period.  

Follow these steps:

  • Stand in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight

  • Look for changes in size, shape, colour

  • Raise your arm and feel around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the centre

  • Check the entire breast and armpit area

  • Repeat on opposite breast

Make self exams part of your monthly routine. 

Mammograms

 

A Mammogram is a type of X-ray specifically for the breast.  It is used as a screening test for Breast cancer.  

A mammogram can detect lumps and micro calcifications within the breast tissue.

How it works:

  • You will have to remove your top and bra 

  • The breast will be placed on a flat plate and be compressed slightly by another plate

  • X-rays pass through the breast

  • A top and side view is taken

  • A digital image will be produced 

  • This will be repeated for the other breast

Tip:

  • Wear a easily removable top and bra on the day of your mammogram 

Low density tissues, such as fat, will appear translucent (dark grey).

Dense tissues, including connective and glandular tissue and tumours, appear white. 

© 2020 Dr M Raboobee

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Virtual / Online Consultations are offered via Zoom and Skype

@drmraboobee

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