Gynecology in Kenya
Gynecology is a branch of medical practice that deals with the female reproductive system and breasts. Gynecology has three major subdivisions: oncology, maternal medicine, and maternal-fetal medicine. Some of the diseases that gynecologists deal with include gynecological cancers, menstrual disorders (amenorrhea, menorrhagia, and dysmenorrhea), incontinence, pelvic prolapse, vaginal, cervical and uterine infections, and infertility. Gynecology sometimes overlaps with other fields of medicine such as urology and obstetrics.
Gynecologists also perform some surgical procedures related to the female reproductive system such as dilation and curettage, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, tubal ligation, hysteroscopy, diagnostic laparotomy and appendectomy (mainly during other gynecological procedures such as hysterectomy or a cesarean section). They may also work together with urologists in performing cystoscopy and sub-urethral slings to treat urine incontinence.
In Kenya, gynecology deals with several aspects including
- General Gynecology
- Gynecology during pregnancy
- Menstrual care
- Pelvic floor care
- Cancer prevention and screening
- Tests and cervical procedures
Some of the gynecological clinics in Nairobi include
- Kenyatta National Hospital
- Savannah Healthcare services
- Nairobi Women’s Hospital
- Marie Slopes-Eastleigh Nursing Home
- Aga Khan Hospital and Nairobi Hospital
Selecting a gynecologist
A gynecologist is more than just a doctor, s/he is a person you can confide in the most intimate details of your body such as abnormal periods and other problems related to reproductive health. Choosing the right gynecologist is therefore very important. What are some of the pointers guiding a woman towards the best gynecologist?
Before choosing a gynecologist, ensure that you have other people’s opinion on the kind of services offered by the gynecologists. The reviews and recommendations should come from people you trust. Remember, you will be trusting him or her with your reproductive health problems.
Select a gynecologist who also doubles up as an obstetrician. Having a gynecologist who can play both roles will come in handy especially when trying to conceive, during and after pregnancy. It will also put you at ease to have a familiar specialist dealing with your reproductive health instead of jumping from one specialist to the next.
- Select a friendly and approachable professional
Your gynecologist will be someone you share with intimate details of your reproductive health. S/he should, therefore, be a person who is easy to talk and relate to. The gynecologist should also be open and patient in answering questions you may have or providing counseling, and gentle when handling you during examinations.
Select a gynecologist who is easily accessible from your residence and has flexible hours that may accommodate emergencies.
Choose a gynecologist who you feel comfortable being around. Comfort with your gynecologist creates openness thus improving the chances of having your problems dealt with accurately.
When to consult a gynecologist
Your sexual and reproductive health is important and may require you to visit a gynecologist both for regular checkups and presence of certain discomforts or worrisome issues. Women are advised to have regular checkups as soon as they become sexually active, when planning for conception, delayed periods, changes in your normal period, pain in the pelvic and abdominal region, pain when urinating, urine incontinence, discomfort in the breasts and any related abnormalities such as a lump or discharge, vaginal discomfort and pain and at menopause. Women should also visit gynecologists for regular checks for cancer screening in the reproductive region. Irregular bleeding between periods, during or after intercourse and fibroids also necessitate a visit to the gynecologist.
What to expect
Visiting a gynecologist might feel uncomfortable at first from the thought of exposing your privates to some unknown person. However, knowing what to expect when visiting a gynecologist will put your mind at ease as you plan your visit. A gynecologist collects your family health history and conducts a physical examination. Other procedures include urine routine and urine culture, serum prolactin, blood sugar analysis, thyroid profile, pelvic ultrasound, Pap smear, mammography, and counseling.