Women are advised to undergo gynaecological examination at least once a year, since regular screening increases the chance of detecting certain inflammatory diseases, or even premalignant or early stages of cancer in time.
Gynaecology deals with the diseases and treatment of female genital organs. A specialist examination consists of the examination of the uterus and the ovaries, as well as cervical screening. Annual screening is necessary even if there are no complaints, and in case of gynaecological problems (for example cramps in the lower abdomen, changes in the breast, menstruation disorders), women should visit a specialist without delay. Neglected inflammatory or infectious diseases may cause serious problems and may even lead to infertility over time. For cancerous diseases, early diagnosis significantly increases the chances of a full recovery.
A regular screening of this disease is extremely important, as in Hungary, cervical cancer is the second most common cancerous disease in women under 45. Each year, an average of 1,500 new patients are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is a malignant cancerous lesion, which develops asymptomatically in the mucosa of the cervix over decades. Certain studies suggest that it is caused by carcinogenic types of HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV spreads by physical contact, body fluids, as well as vaginal, anal or oral sex; thus, it affects every sexually active person regardless of age.
The specialist asks the patient about her medical history, diseases that run in the family, current complaints, her menstrual cycle, and also about her sexual life, and pregnancies. This is followed by a painless physical examination.
Vaginal ultrasound provides a detailed picture of the whole pelvis, and the location and structure of the uterus. Moving the gel coated probe does not cause pain. Ovulation can also be monitored by ultrasound.
During colposcopy, the specialist examines the surface of the vagina and the cervix using colposcope – a device with a magnifier. The examination only takes a few minutes and it is painless.
The gynaecologist swabs the surface of the cervix and the initial part of the cervical canal; the swab is assessed by a cytopathologist. Alterations of epithelial cells in the swab may indicate certain pathological conditions.
In addition, the gynaecologist advises on family planning and birth control, to perform infertility examinations, to treat complaints accompanying menopause, and also to examine and treat vaginal and pelvic infections and inflammations.