At Riverstown Medical Practice we provide care for women from youth to menopause and beyond. Services include family planning, emergency contraception, infertility consultations, care during the menopause and ante-natal care.
We are delighted to announce that we will be taking part in the HSE scheme to provide free contraception consultations to our female patients aged between 17 & 26 years inclusive. All that is required is your PPS number to prove eligibility. Please call Reception 071 9165463 to book.
We provide a comprehensive family planning service. We can insert and remove the Mirena Coil and the Implanon implants for contraception. A comprehensive initial assessment is carried out following which the most appropriate form of contraception is suggested. All forms of contraception, including the combined pill, the ‘mini’ pill, barrier contraception and sterilisation counselling are available according to individual preference and suitability for the woman involved.
Ideally we hope in this practice to avoid needing emergency contraception but the reality is that it may sometimes be necessary. Currently there is a ‘morning after pill’ available in pharmacies. This may not be suitable for women over a certain weight or who have realised late that they need it. We provide a prescription which can be taken for up to five days after the event. If you are in doubt about whether you are at risk of becoming pregnant please come and see one of our team.
Unfortunately, as it is becoming more common for women to start their families later, infertility is becoming more common. Within the practice we have considerable experience in the initial assessment and investigation of a couple’s fertility. This usually involves an initial consultation with the woman trying to become pregnant identifying risk factors, checking overall health and establishing if in fact ovulation is taking place. Blood tests need to be taken early in the cycle (usually day 3) and a week prior to the period (usually day 21). This means a number of visits may be necessary. The male partner where relevant must also be assessed and semen analysis organised. When all of the investigations are completed a referral is arranged where appropriate with the relevant results to one of the infertility services.
We are delighted to offer combined ante natal care to all of our pregnant patients. The Combined Ante Natal Care model is a service funded by the HSE and must be applied for at your first visit. It involves nine planned visits, the first to confirm your pregnancy and the last the six week check for you and your baby. It includes normal ante natal and early post natal care and monitoring pregnancy related complications such as raised blood pressure in cooperation with the hospital service. Unfortunately attendances for any other illnesses which arise during pregnancy (such as chest infections, kidney infections etc) will incur a cost for private patients.
The Menopause or ‘The Change of Life’ occurs in all women. It is the permanent cessation of menstruation. It can occur naturally or be due to specific treatments such as to surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy or when the ovaries are removed often at time of hysterectomy.
The ovarian failure/removal results in low or rapidly reduced levels of hormones, most notably oestrogen, which trigger menopausal symptoms.
The Menopause itself is a retrospective diagnosis, hence it can be diagnosed officially twelve months after a woman’s last menstrual bleed. However, menopausal symptoms are often experienced in the ‘Peri Menopausal’ period, hence despite having their periods the fluctuating levels of oestrogen cause significant symptoms in many women.
With increasing life expectancy for women, we can expect women to live almost as long after the menopause (the permanent cessation of periods) as before it. While it has become the exception rather than the rule for women to take HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy, the problems of the menopause have not gone away. Unfortunately women are now more likely to suffer in silence rather than come for help with those problems as they believe nothing can be done.
The problems which arise include hot flushes, mood changes, joint pains, incontinence, painful sex caused by vaginal atrophy and memory changes to mention a few. Also Osteoporosis starts to become an issue for some women. After the menopause there is a change in women’s metabolism causing their cholesterol to rise and therefore causing an increase in cardiovascular disease making heart attacks and stroke more of a possibility. Don’t suffer in silence. Sometimes HRT may be the answer for you and there are other treatments and lifestyle changes which can help.
Please note there is an additional charge for initial menopause consultations as outlined in our charges section. This is because the consultation is much longer than normal.
While this is more common after the menopause, it can develop in women as young as their twenties after a difficult birth. Women often hide this for years during which time treatment is more than possible. If this is a problem for you please make an appointment to be seen by one of our doctors. It is never too late to get help.
Cervical Check provides a free national screening programme for all women between the ages of 25 and 60. You can register with CervicalCheck and make an appointment when you have received your letter from Cervical Check inviting you to do so. Please ask for an appointment for a cervical smear which should ideally be done in the middle of your cycle.