First a period post and now talk of going to the gynaecologist? What sort of travel blog is this? A real one. As females, we need to go for regular check-ups and going often puts us off even in our home countries, so imagine living abroad. We literally cook up any excuse to get out of it and for good reason; it’s not the greatest experience. My checkup was well overdue and I really needed to go see someone to check up on my PCOS.
In 2013 I lived in Thailand and I didn’t have a period for 8-months – I was terrified. I had no idea what was happening to me and I should’ve gone to the doctor, but I didn’t. Let’s be clear – I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I was nervous that the doctors in Thailand would do another kind of test and it would be unfamiliar to me. Irrational fear, of course, and from a place of complete and utter ignorance. When I got home and finally went to see a gynaecologist, they scolded me for waiting this long. I realized how silly I was being and vowed I wouldn’t let fear get in the way of my health in the future. Fast-forward to the present day in South Korea and I really needed to go for my routine check-up.
Finding a gynaecologist in a foreign country
The Internet is a wonderful place, even if you can’t find a website in English, there are tons of expat groups on Facebook that have ongoing discussions on just about every topic. That’s what I did, I found someone on the Korea Expat Women Group that came highly recommended by other foreigners. The foreigners mutually agreed that there were English speaking doctors and nurses that could help me.
The clinic is called MediFlower and they have an “International Clinic” section that deals with foreigners specifically. I have no complaints about my visit, friendly staff welcomed me and everything was explained perfectly. They even mentioned a nice package that I could’ve gone with to save me money (It included other tests to go with what I wanted) and also walked me through the routine questions very clearly.
Dr Kim was wonderful and spoke great English. She talked me through everything and made sure I understood what I was seeing on the scan. We had a great discussion on minimizing PCOS symptoms and having more seamless periods. The whole thing was over in 5-minutes with the promise of my pap smear results within the week.
Let’s talk price
I can’t speak for other countries, but in my country, this would’ve set me back a lot more than the $80 I paid. The last place I went to in South Africa cost over $100 and that was four years ago. For me, the place was beautifully decorated, the nurses were very helpful and the actual consultation was wonderful.
I’m more than happy to pay $80 for a pap smear test and an internal ultrasound of my ovaries. Here’s hoping the test will come back positive and that it can be the final cherry on the top of this great experience!
So, ladies, there is nothing holding you back from getting those needed checkups. They aren’t the greatest things, I know this, but they really are important. Put your health first in this instance and get it over with.