Women’s Health

    Contraception 

    Since September 2022, all women and people with a uterus aged between 17 and 25 can avail of free contraception in Ireland

    The costs covered are:

    • GP or doctor appointments to discuss contraception
    • Prescriptions will be free of charge at your GP and filled for free at the pharmacy
    • Your choice of contraception which you will decide in consultation with your GP
    • Fitting and Removal of Implants and Coils
    • Any check-ups and follow up care as needed
    • Emergency Contraception

    Most methods of contraception are covered as Dr Kiely explains in this video.

     

    <a href="https://youtube.com/shorts/KHMWilT8nyc?feature=share">https://youtube.com/shorts/3H3XUjA1HCQ?feature=share</a>

     

    You can book your free appointment by clicking HERE

     

    We provide a comprehensive contraception service, and we also offer detailed advice and testing regarding fertility and conception, along with full Antenatal services during pregnancy.  

    In-depth advice is available about the wide array of contraceptive options available to women and men. These include  

    • Contraceptive pills,  
    • Injections,  
    • Barrier methods (condoms – male and female, diaphragms),  
    • Implants (Implanon) 
    • Intra-uterine devices (Mirena, copper coils),  
    • Long-term devices (patch, vaginal ring),  
    • Permanent solutions (referral for male or female sterilisation). Please note that we do not carry out either vasectomy or tubal ligation. These procedures require referral onwards to a specialist.  

    The doctor will discuss these options in detail with you to help decide which is most suitable for you. Special procedures (fitting of Implanon, Mirena and copper coils) must be discussed in advance at an earlier consultation with the doctor.   

    We are also happy to advise regarding crisis pregnancy options.  

    Coils 

    Implanon (female)  

    This is a small plastic device containing a low dose of hormone, which is released slowly over three years. It is inserted into the upper arm and should be removed or replaced after three years. It can be removed sooner if necessary.  

    Mirena and copper coils (female)  

    Mirena is an intra-uterine system containing a low dose of hormone which is released gradually over five years. After this it should be removed or replaced and can be removed sooner if necessary.   

    Copper coils (intra-uterine device) can also be fitted here, these are similar but contain no hormones.  

    It is important to understand that occasionally we will fail at inserting a coil.  

    This will be explained to you in the pre-insertion consultation and there is a charge for a failed insertion as the device cannot be re-used.   

     

    Emergency contraception (female)  

    We offer advice regarding the need and options for emergency contraception. The post-coital pill, commonly known as the ‘morning after pill’, can be taken up to 3 days after unprotected intercourse, but is most effective if taken within 24 hours. The emergency coil can be fitted up to 5 days later but is not suitable for everyone.  

    Nuvaring (female)  

    This is a small plastic ring which is inserted into the vagina and remains there for 3 weeks per month with a 1 week break after. A new ring is inserted every month.   

    Evra patch (female)  

    This consists of 3 weekly patches per month with a 1 week break after. Many of these long-term contraceptive options are particularly useful for women who are unsuited to the pill or forgetful about taking it.  

    Permanent Solutions  

    Female sterilisation (tubal ligation) and male sterilisation (vasectomy) are permanent contraceptive procedures.   

    Whatever your reason, you can discuss these options with the GP who can advise you and make a referral for the procedure if necessary.  

    Please note that we do not carry out either vasectomy or tubal ligation. These procedures require referral onwards to a specialist. 

     

    Menopause Clinic 

    Menopause (your last period) occurs at an average age of 51 years. 75% of women experience symptoms in the lead up to this or once they reach menopause. This usually occurs somewhere between 45-55 years, but symptoms can occur earlier or later than this.  

    Menopause can also affect your bone health, heart health, sexual health, psychological health, and sleep.   

    We have the experience and expertise to offer treatment and support to most women - however in certain situations, such as if you have a personal history of breast cancer, we may need to involve a more specialised doctor as these cases can be particularly complex.  

    We ask you to let us know if you have a history of breast cancer so we can give you appropriate advice.  

     What will happen during the appointment?  

    • Menopause symptom assessment - We will suggest treatment options depending on your symptoms and preferences. We prescribe Bio-identical hormone treatment when appropriate.  
    • Cardiac Health Assessment - this includes an examination, your personal q-risk screening score and blood tests if not recently done. We can add ECG screening at this stage if appropriate.  
    • Bone Health Assessment - a comprehensive history-taking, BMI and a FRAX score assessment which measures your risk of suffering an osteoporosis-related fracture in the coming years.  
    • Lifestyle Assessment and Advice  
    • Contraceptive Advice  
    • Breast Exam  
    • We will arrange a smear test if one is due  
    • STD Screening if appropriate. For details of our screening service:  Click here  

      How do I book a menopause consultation?  

     In May 2021 we launched our GP-led specialist Menopause Clinic to deal with the unmet need for a dedicated service among our patients.  

    The most effective way to ensure our patients received the best in advice and treatment was to make sure that we had enough time to spend on the appointments and this was not possible during our normal GP appointment schedule.  

    Typically, your appointment will last about 60 minutes with this time spilt between our doctor and nurse. 

    Book your appointment now. Follow this link, complete the form and we'll do the rest.

    Click Here

     

    A review appointment is required at 3 months and then every 6 months to check your blood pressure and ensure the treatment is suiting you.  

    We will reassess your risk factors annually after that.  

    Contact us for the next clinic date. 

     

    STI Screening 

    We offer a full screening service for sexually transmitted infections. There are many such infections in circulation, many of which can be picked up easily by men or women. 

    • Chlamydia 
    • Gonorrhoea 
    • Genital warts 
    • Trichomonas 
    • Hepatitis B 
    • HIV 
    • Syphilis 
    • Herpes 

    In many cases you may not even know you are infected and can pass on an infection to a partner without realising it. 

    All our clinical staff have specific training in this area so can do all the necessary swabs and blood tests. Genital exams are offered but are not compulsory.  

    Urine tests and/or a self-administered vaginal swab can be used if you do not want any physical examination.  

    We provide the service with discretion and complete confidentiality and can send your samples anonymously so only your GP here can identify you, if required. 

     You may find it easier to come for such testing in the privacy of a GP surgery rather than a busy public STI clinic in a hospital. 

    A morning appointment is preferable, so samples reach the lab in time. 

      

    If you have symptoms (discharge, pain, lumps, sores, burning on urination) please attend as soon as possible as we may be able to start you on treatment while we wait to order tests. When booking, we will ask if you are symptomatic as we must book you in with the GP if so.  

    Non-symptomatic or peace of mind testing can be carried out by our Nurses.
     

    If you DO NOT have symptoms and simply wish to be checked for peace of mind, please wait a minimum of 10 days and ideally for 14 days after the date of the contact that you are concerned about as any infection can be undetectable before this, making your trip to us a waste of your time and money. 

    For men, please do not urinate for 1 hour before your appointment as this can affect the accuracy of any tests. 

     

    Chlamydia 

     Chlamydia is the most common STI in Ireland with almost half of all cases diagnosed in those aged 15-24 years. It is often asymptomatic in both sexes but particularly in females and the bacteria can travel into the womb and fallopian tubes causing chronic inflammation which may then lead to pelvic pain, infertility and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.  

    HIV 

    If you have a specific concern regarding HIV and are genuinely concerned that you could have been exposed to the virus via sexual contact with someone known to have or likely to have HIV, please do not wait. 

    Depending on the circumstances, you may be a candidate for a therapy called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you present to hospital within 72 hours of the contact.  

    You will need to attend your local emergency department or hospital based STI clinic for this therapy. 

    Do not book in here first as you are wasting valuable time by doing so. 

     

    Cervical Cancer Screening 

    We are registered with Cervicalcheck - the National Cervical Screening Programme - for provision of Cervical Cancer Screening (smear tests). These are available free of charge every 3 years for women aged 25-45 and every 5 years from age 45-60. This test detects early pre-cancerous changes in the cervix. 

    Please note that a smear is NOT a test for sexually transmitted infections, although these can be done at the same visit if you mention this in advance.

    More details about smears are available on cervicalcheck.ie, where you should also check if you are eligible for a free smear. Please bring your invitation letter or CSP ID number with you when coming for a smear. Please note that if you are not eligible for a free smear, you can have it done privately with us, but it is preferable, not to mention cheaper, to remain within the Cervicalcheck protocols. 

     

    Well-Woman Screening 

    This requires an extended appointment and will be adapted to your age and specific complaints, considering your past medical history and family history with particular emphasis on diseases that affect females, eg. breast, cervical and ovarian cancer screening. 

    All females aged between 25-65 years are eligible for a free cervical smear test once registered with CervicalCheck. If your smear test is due, you will be offered this as part of your WellWoman appointment.  

    The medical includes 

    • Comprehensive history taking. 
    • Breast exam, 
    • Physical examination 
    • Urinalysis. 
    • Smear test is included if you are due a smear. 
    • Blood tests and ECG may be done if appropriate. 
    • BMI (body mass index) 
    • Cardiac risk assessment 

    If you would like a cholesterol test you should be fasting for 12 hours so book an early morning appointment. 

    Based on the results of the above tests the doctor will advise you regarding lifestyle/diet changes and schedule follow-ups or referrals as appropriate. 

     

    HPV Vaccination, Testing and Cervical Cancer 

    What is HPV? 

    Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that affect your skin and the moist membranes lining your body, for example, in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. 

    HPV is a common and highly contagious infection, with over three quarters of sexually active women acquiring it at some time in their lives. 

    There are more than 100 types of HPV. Around 40 types of HPV infection can affect the genital area. 

    What can HPV infection do? 

    Infection with some types of HPV can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells within your cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer or genital warts which is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK & Ireland 

    Other types of HPV infection can cause minor problems, such as common skin warts and verrucae. 

    Cervical cancer does not affect boys and men because they do not have a cervix but other cancers that can affect men – such as cancer of the anus, penis, head, and neck – are also linked to infection with HPV types 16 and 18. 

    See here for more details. 

    Vaccination: 

    Females aged 9-26 can avail of a course of vaccinations to protect them against Human Papilloma Virus, the virus responsible for over two-thirds of cases of cervical cancer in women and most genital wart infections in both sexes. 

    The national Cervical Cancer Vaccination programme is administered by Point of Care and you can find full details on their website here 

    This programme will be extended to cover boys from the start of the 2019 school year. 

     

    HPV Testing 

    Our female patients can have this testing in our medical centre. HPV testing is now included in the normal cervical smear test and is done at the same time as your smear test. 

    If you are not eligible to have a free smear under the Cervical Check programme you can opt to have a smear test done privately. 

    The cost of these tests is not covered by the Medical Card. 

     

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