If you are referred to a gynaecologist by your GP you will initially be seen in a hospital outpatient clinic. A history will be taken in the usual. As for any contact with a doctor, especially a new one, remember to tell the gynaecologist exactly what is worrying you. Gynaecological problems are frequently bound up with the most intimate side of life, so here it is especially important to be frank. If you have a pain or a discharge which is ruining your sex- life, then tell the gynaecologist just that. He will then understand your problem and won’t have to rely on intuition.
A gynaecologist will also want to know the date of your last menstrual period, so work this out before you see him. After the history, a gynaecological examination will follow, as described above. Not infrequently, even after this, the gynaecologist may need to find out more about the inside of the uterus. He may sometimes recommend that a patient come into hospital for a day for a ‘D & C or ‘scrape’. The letters stand for dilatation and curettage, a minor operation often used for diagnostic purposes but sometimes for treatment for various conditions. Under a local or general anaesthetic, the mouth of the uterus is gently stretched open and instruments passed inside the uterus to remove small portions of the lining. It is the commonest gynaecological operation and there is negligible risk involved. Occasionally a limited examination of the inside of the uterus will be performed in the out- patient clinic, without the patient being admitted to hospital.