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Gynecological complaints are intimate – Interview Volkskrant Special

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THEREFORE, INTIMACY, TRUST AND DISCRETION ARE IMPORTANT ASPECTS.

Women with gynecological complaints prefer to discuss these in a small, familiar setting. At gynecologist Carla van der Wijden, involvement, listening and personal attention are central. Her areas of special interest are contraception, the pelvic floor (including incontinence) and endocrinology.

WHAT DO WOMEN COME TO A GYNECOLOGY OUTpatient clinic?

“Actually for all kinds of general gynecological complaints such as menstrual problems, sexual problems, prolapse and/or incontinence problems, fertility problems, menopausal complaints or for a second opinion. Women with such problems may feel lost in a large hospital. That is why I started working from the hospital in a smaller center. To offer women more time and to give personal attention in an accessible way. Intimacy, confidentiality and discretion are important aspects.”

TELL ME ABOUT THE PRINCIPLE 'SHARED DECISION MAKING'?

“Patients are becoming increasingly self-reliant and sometimes come up with a complete printout from the internet to discuss their problem. The gynecologist then aligns with what the patient knows and considers important, acts as a counselor and gives advice. After this, women can make a conscious choice to do or not to do something. This is called 'shared decision making'. GPs also play an important role, because they refer patients to us. In addition, women come in via the internet, another specialist or through word of mouth.”

WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM EXISTING CARE?

“Everyone is welcome, for both insured and uninsured care. There is also an evening consultation hour, because time for women and the human dimension is important. Furthermore, it is an ordinary outpatient clinic with two gynaecologists, an ultrasound technician and a nurse. There is close cooperation with a physiotherapist, sexologist and psychologist. I think that the deepening in the woman and the one-on-one approach is a pleasant addition to the existing care.”

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