Gynaecologists spill the beans about ridiculous patients and super awkward situations they have been forced to witness.

Here are the Top 7 things that annoy gynaecologists:

|1. When patients cancel appointments due to their period|

“I have never had the pathologist reject a sample and I’ve done over a dozen paps for women on their periods.”

Gynaecologists are accustomed to this ‘phenomenon’. Please don’t feel self-conscious and cancel.

#period #tampon

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|2. When you don’t scoot your butt all the way to the base of the exam table|

This is essential. Although many women don’t think about this due to being nervous, keep this in mind the next time.

|3. When your partner comes along|

We all need moral support but for the sake of the gynaecologist and yourself- leave your partner at home.


Did you know?

Dr Natalia Novikova is South Africa’s first certified aesthetic gynaecologist.

|4. When you don’t indicate that you’re feeling discomfort|

Gynaecologists know that this is not an easy procedure to undergo, and they can sense when you are uncomfortable (figuratively and literally).

So when you have a male gynaecologist and you would much prefer a female gynaecologist (vice versa), please specify when you book the appointment so that the experience doesn’t psychologically scar you for the rest of your life.


|5. When you apologise for pubic hair|

Gynaecologists treat so many patients that apologising for not shaving is unnecessary. In all honesty, they don’t even notice or care!


Related article: Food Cravings and your period

|6. Don’t hide your symptoms|

Some symptoms appear to be embarrassing, but keep in mind that there is nothing that a gynaecologist has not see before.

By omitting important facts because they are embarrassing or lying outrageously will thwart your chances of receiving suitable treatment.

|7. Your vagina is not one size, fits all|

Don’t stick things in there that aren’t meant to go in there.


[Gynaecologists who provided us with insight on the quirks of their profession stated that they would prefer to remain anonymous.]

On a super serious note:

A heavy workload, fear of litigation and the profession’s unprofitability are deterring many gynaecologists from practising. South Africa has been suffering a massive shortage of these specialists.

Dr Haynes van der Merwe, of the SA Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, and a gynaecological oncologist at Tygerberg Hospital, described working conditions in the field as “extremely difficult”.

While those in the public sector often had to deal with overcrowded maternity units, sometimes 160 percent full, in private practice gynaecologists had to pay around R250 000 in medical insurance.

“Obstetrics and gynaecology are supposed to be one of the nicest and most fulfilling specialities, as it is about saving the lives of women and babies, but in recent years working conditions have become terribly hard.

Today, there are lots of gynaecologists who have become alcoholics and stopped practising due to litigation, which has increased tremendously in the medical profession. It seems law firms are targeting the industry. Somehow we seem to be the soft targets,” Van der Merwe said.

Professor Silke Dyer, deputy head of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at UCT and Groote Schuur, said: “Yes it’s very labour-intensive, but it’s a hugely rewarding speciality. People who train as gynaecologists have a lot of dedication and passion for what they do”.

She said the shortage of gynaecologists resulted in poor maternal outcomes; and was one of the reasons South Africa would not improve its maternal health in 2015, she said.

The country had only 0.2 specialists for every 1 000 patients, while the international recommendation was 0.4.

– Richelle Neethling/ Sipokazi Fokazi