As women, it’s natural for our bodies to change through every age and stage of life. And, sometimes, we
need a little extra support to be our healthiest, happiest selves. That’s why we created this guide to visiting
the Gynaecologist, so you’ve got the tools you need to be the best version of YOU.
What does a Gynaecologist do?
A Gynaecologist specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect a woman’s reproductive
system. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist if you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis,
infertility, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, incontinence, or sexual dysfunction, among other things.
Why do I need to go?
Seeing a Gynaecologist regularly supports good reproductive health and detects unwanted conditions early,
whether or not you’re experiencing any problems.
You may benefit from the support of a Gynaecologist in many areas of health. Some of these are:
• Pelvic pain
• Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
• Polycystic ovary syndrome
• Sexual dysfunction
• Cancer of the reproductive organs
Women need strong pelvic floor muscles to support their uterus, bladder, bowel and sexual function, so if
you’re experiencing incontinence or sexual dysfunction, your Gynaecologist may recommend pelvic floor
exercises to reduce symptoms. Alternatively, they may refer you to a Urogynaecologist; a doctor specialising
in pelvic floor conditions or a specialist physiotherapist.
A Gynaecologist can also assist with concerns about menstruation or menopause, fertility and pregnancy,
and recovery from sexual assault. Whatever worries you have about your sexual health and reproductive
system, a Gynaecologist can help.
What questions should I ask?
We know it can be confronting, but we encourage you to be open and ask as many questions as you have.
There is no need to feel embarrassed – we guarantee that your Gynaecologist has heard it all (and more)
Before your appointment, you should ask about fees and confirm what is covered by Medicare or your private
health insurance. During your appointment, ask questions about any changes, discharge or pain you have
been experiencing, STIs, your libido, orgasms, or anything else related to your reproductive and sexual health.
How often should I go?
Australian health experts recommend visiting the Gynaecologist once a year for general screenings after
becoming sexually active or by the time you turn 21 (whichever comes first) and more regularly when
experiencing health concerns.
It’s best to have a cervical screening every five years after the age of 25, as encouraged by The Cancer
Council. Remember, cervical screening is not the only reason to visit the Gynaecologist; annual appointments
are crucial to diagnose problems early so you can maintain good health.
How much does a Gynaecologist cost?
In Australia, visiting a Gynaecologist through the public health system is covered by Medicare. You will likely
be subject to a fee if you see a Gynaecologist in a private clinic or hospital. Talk to your doctor or their staff
about what Medicare covers and what you’ll be required to pay out of pocket.
Your private health insurance may cover some of the costs if your appointment is in a hospital, but you can’t
claim the costs of an appointment outside of a hospital. It is best to ask your health fund for specific
Although you do not need a referral to see a Gynaecologist, if you don’t have one, your private health
insurance provider and Medicare will be unable to contribute to the cost.
How do I find the right Gynaecologist?
Your friends and family are a great resource for recommendations straight from their own experiences,
otherwise, your General Practitioner can recommend a good Gynaecologist in your area.
You can also visit the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists site to
find a specialist.
A friendly reminder…
Looking after yourself comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s taking time to exercise, sometimes it’s a
visit to the Gynaecologist, and sometimes it’s spending time with your loved ones. Do something for yourself