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Cervical Screening: Common Myths Debunked

It’s extremely important to attend your regular smear test when due – as this helps save thousands of lives each year. A smear test is a simple routine health check that unfortunately many women put off. The biggest risk factor for cervical cancer is not having a smear test and remaining unaware of the development of the pre-cancer.

London Gynaecology’s Clinical Nurse Specialist, Jennifer Byrne spoke to @wyldemoon to quash the 10 most common thoughts and worries about this check up.

Everyone who walks into the examination room feels awkward. Being anxious beforehand is normal but turning up for smear tests every three years is so important. Tell your nurse that you’re feeling nervous and remember you can always bring a friend or a family member with you.

Also don’t be afraid to ask questions – sometimes knowing exactly what’s going to happen and in what order can help. We don’t mind stopping

No procedure or exam should be painful but it might feel uncomfortable. If it gets too much, tell your nurse – we really don’t mind pausing. Most exams won’t take more than a couple of minutes.

We don’t care what your ‘down there’ looks like! We see hundreds of women every week – and they come in all shapes and sizes. We aren’t here to judge or even look – our job is to check inside the vagina and look at the cervix to make sure everything is healthy.

To keep reading more of Jennifer’s advice and tips, click here.

Jennifer offers a range of Nurse-led services including smear tests from our conveniently located clinic in the City of London, learn more click here.

Happy New Year!

To everyone around the globe, London Gynaecology wishes you a Happy New Year filled with joy, prosperity, love, and good health.

We hope that you have had a happy and healthy start to 2023.


Another year has come to an end, and this past year can be summarised with some incredible insights.

In 2022 there were over 11,000 appointments served by the incredible team, for new and follow up consultations.

Over 6000 new patients were seen by us, that’s more than 16 a day.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2023.

Shortlisted Doctify Review Award 2022

Doctify launched their first Patient Voice Awards, the industry’s first data-driven and transparent recognition programme honouring providers that put patients at the centre of everything they do.

We were absolutely delighted and proud to be informed that we have been shortlisted for this award for the category of ‘ Review ‘ of the year!

The Doctify Review Award recognises and highlight the most unique and heart-warming review on the platform that showcases a patient’s real experience and provides reliable and representative feedback about the care they have received. Something London Gynaecology has always put at the heart of everything we do.

As London’s leading gynaecology clinic, this shortlisting is testament to the hard work of our team.

We now await the results.

Mr Pisal Presents Period Poverty with a Cheque for £7619

We were delighted to present The Gift Wellness Foundation led by Founder and chair Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed a cheque for £7,619, that will be used to help support women experiencing period poverty across the UK.

The funds were raised by kind and generous donors after Mr Narendra Pisal, consultant gynaecologist completed the Chicago Marathon in October. His aim was to help raise funds for this dedicated charity that supports women in crisis by providing non-toxic sanitary pads.

The total amount raised to date is £7,619 – this will provide over 80,000 sanitary pads and will help over 900 women for 6 months. The Gift Wellness Foundation aim is to eliminate period poverty in Britain’s most deprived communities by 2025.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported this fundraiser. London Gynaecology was proud to support this fundraising campaign and we are committed to raising awareness and supporting this fantastic charity in the future.

Sheerluxe awards London Gynaecology

The Gynaecologists To Book An Appointment With Now

SheerLuxe has become one of the most successful women’s magazines for those in the know – without actually printing a magazine. It is the number one online destination for women wanting to lead a stylish life.

Hundreds of women who urgently require gynaecological treatment are being left to suffer in silence and thousands more remain on the waiting lists. Gynaecology waiting lists reach record numbers and women are forced to wait for a routine appointment or treatment.

Women living with debilitating symptoms say they are suffering with poor mental health as more than 1 in 20 people in England face a year long wait for treatment

When it comes to sexual and reproductive health, it can be hard to know what’s “normal” and what may be a sign of a potential health problem. Even if you feel embarrassed about certain issues, your gynaecologist has seen and heard it all and is there to help you.

Sheerluxe recently awarded London Gynaecology for being the best gynaecology clinic for sexual and reproductive health.  Same day appointments are available at London Gynaecology so why not book with London’s largest gynaecology clinic today.

If you’re experiencing issues related to sexual desire or sexual function, we can help. Although these issues are quite common, especially as women age, they are not frequently discussed or properly diagnosed.

Sexual health is an important part of your well-being. Many women with sexual complaints suffer in silence. Our team of gynaecologists and urologists has advanced training in conditions that can affect your sexual health.  A regular sexual health check can be performed at any time for peace of mind. Book your appointment today.

For the full article click here.

Our clinicians are recognised by insurer Aviva

Currently the most popular insurance provider in the UK, Aviva has won plenty of awards over the years for the quality of its insurance policies.

Amongst Aviva’s most popular insurance policies, the company offers full health coverage across a range of hospitals in the UK. We see patients who are covered by Avivia private health insurance If you are paying with private medical insurance, it is essential you contact your insurer to confirm they will cover the costs of any treatment. You must do this before you have a consultation, investigation, any diagnostic imaging or surgery.

Our clinicians are recognised by all major insurers; including Aviva.

Private medical insurance with Aviva could be for you if:

Most insurance companies pay fees in full, however with some there may be a small shortfall. Please check your policy with your insurance company prior to visiting. If you are Aviva insured, contact us to book your appointment.





Helping End Period Poverty

At London Gynaecology, it goes without saying that women’s health is a subject close to our heart.  We are continually focussed on delivering the best care to our patients and we also try to help women who we don’t see in our clinics.  Over the years, we have supported many charitable causes that are focussed on improving the lives and healthcare of women.

This Sunday, consultant gynaecologist and keen runner, Mr Pisal, is putting on his running shoes to run the Chicago marathon to help end period poverty with the Gift Wellness Foundation.

Sadly, studies show that 1 in 10 girls and women in the UK cannot access feminine hygiene products during their period (known as period poverty) and this is only anticipated to worsen in the current financial climate.  The Gift Wellness Foundation aims to eliminate period poverty in Britain’s most deprived communities by 2025.

We have always been humbled by the generosity and kindness of patients, colleagues and friends, who like to support our charitable efforts, so if you would like to donate to this cause, help Mr Pisal over the finish line and take us closer to eliminating period poverty, please click here.

London Gynaecology are proud to have donated the first £1000.

Gynecologists Finally Debunked Vulvas

No two vulvas are the same. There’s no standard! Vulvas can be all kinds of shapes and sizes

Cosmopolitan Magazine invited Miss Julie Bowring, consultant gynaecologist in Sexual and Reproductive Health at London Gynaecology to shed light on that everyone has a unique and different type of vulva!  There are no set number of vulva types. Each vagina is unique and specific to every person. So there’s not necessarily a “normal” vagina shape or standard way your vagina should look. “You know the saying, ‘No two snowflakes are exactly alike?’ Well, the expression could just as easily refer to the vulva and vagina,”

Get ready to learn all about the vulva as we answer the question ‘what is the vulva?’, bust misconceptions and uncover the truths about the vulva we wish everyone knew as much as Julie.

The vulva and the labia vary hugely in size and appearance for woman to woman. They also undergo a lot of physiological changes from being a young girl to having children and after the menopause. It is common to have asymmetry in the body and also in the vulva.

There is no right shape or size of labia and it can change during your various life stages. Having a longer labia that sticks out is not abnormal and women should be reassured by this. In very few women, there are genuine symptoms arising from the elongated or enlarged labia and these women should be managed in a multidisciplinary manner before surgery is considered.

Vulvas are incredible unique and they vary just like all our bodily characteristic – so from the labial size to the shape.

MYTH : Hair-free vulvas are cleaner

No this is a common misconception. Pubic hair has several purposes one of which is to catch bacteria and other potential harmful organisms.

MYTH: Vulvas are light pink

No. Vulvas vary in colour just as your skin tone varies. However, if you notice a new area of skin that has changed in colour, please do see your GP.

MYTH: Labia are small, tidy and tucked away

The vulva has two folds of skin either side which is the labia majora and minora – they are designed to stick out, how far will vary and they do not have to be tucked away out of sight.

MYTH : Healthy vulvas are smooth

No this is not true. The vulva skin has a number of reasons why it might not be smooth for instance sweat glands and hair follicles may cause the skin to appear slightly bumpy. But, if you are worried about a new lump or raised area please see your GP or gynaecologist.

MYTH: Discharge is a sign of an unclean, smelly vagina

No this is not the case. Normal physiological vaginal discharge that is not itchy or irritant is good as it cleanses the vagina and reduces friction. Smelly discharge can be a sign of infection such as bacterial vaginosis or candida infection. Best way to get rid of the smell is to start appropriate treatment after seeing a doctor.

We offer a comprehensive service for women with vulva problems so if you have any concerns book your consultation today click here.

Symptoms of gynaecological cancer you shouldn’t ignore.

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM), so time for us to shine a spotlight on it.

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month and womens gynaecological organs include womb, cervix, fallopian tube/ovary, vagina and vulva. ⁠

Every year, more than 21,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer – however circa. 95% of women with symptoms will not have a gynaecological cancer. This means 60 people receive this life-changing news each and every day. Although the likelihood of having a gynaecological cancer diagnosis is low, it is crucial to recognise symptoms and to understand what is normal for you.

Womens Health recently invited Mr Narendra Pisal and Mr Saurabh Phadnis, our consultant gynaecologists here at London Gynaecology, to discuss about the symptoms and ‘red flags’ you should never ignore when it comes to your vulva.

Symptoms of gynaecological cancer you shouldn’t ignore

Abnormal bleeding/discharge

Any type of abnormal bleeding should be investigated, but bleeding between periods, bleeding after intercourse or post-menopausal bleeding could be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer and can occur with other gynaecological cancers as well. These symptoms should be investigated without delay.

Lumps, bumps & ulcers

Vulval cancers often present as lumps and bumps or ulcers which are easily felt without searching, so you may feel something unusual whilst going to the toilet or during daily activities such as walking and sitting. If your lump is persistent and won’t go away it’s time to get it checked out.

Persistent itching

Persistent itching ‘down below’ could be a sign of thrush, but without the accompanying symptoms could be a pre-cancerous sign of vulval cancers. This may also present as tenderness of the vulva, pain or burning sensation.

Abdominal bloating / distention

We all have our days of feeling bloated, especially at certain times during our cycle, but if you feel constantly bloated or have tummy distention (where the tummy is visibly bigger) then this may be a sign of ovarian cancer. Some women with these symptoms describe that they can’t fit into their jeans or trousers, but they haven’t noticed any weight gain, in fact there may be weight loss.

New onset of abdominal pain

As women we are all used to a bit of tummy pain, but after the age of 45, a new onset of abdominal pain could be a sign of ovarian cancer and medical attention should be sought. Before the age of 45, abdominal pain is more likely to be an infection, or other gynaecological issue such as endometriosis, which also needs a GP assessment.

Other gynaecological symptoms you shouldn’t ignore

Whilst the following symptoms may not indicate cancer, these symptoms can sometimes be significant and — though they aren’t necessarily cause for major concern — are worth seeking early advice on.

Sudden onset of lower abdominal pain

In young women, acute and severe lower abdominal pain can have many causes. They can include important ones such as an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) and ovarian cyst complications. Always do a pregnancy test to rule out an ectopic pregnancy and see your doctor for an assessment.

Heavy and painful periods

Heavy or painful periods can sometimes be caused by conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis. Whilst these conditions are not life-threatening, they can affect the quality of life in a major way. Seeking medical attention and early diagnosis can help with planning an appropriate treatment pathway.

Urinary frequency and stinging

An increase in the need to urinate, and stinging when doing, so can indicate a bladder infection and can be easily ruled out or treated. But these symptoms can sometimes indicate a pelvic mass such as a fibroid uterus or an ovarian cyst.

Urinary leakage or incontinence

Urinary leakage or incontinence is a common symptom in women and as many as 40% of women suffer from it particularly after childbirth and menopause. Simple measures such as physiotherapy with pelvic floor exercises can make a huge difference.

Pain during sex

Pain during intercourse can indicate conditions such as endometriosis, and if persistent, you should seek medical attention.

Acute onset of vulval blisters and sores (ulceration)

Sores, yellowish copious vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and bleeding after intercourse can sometimes indicate a sexually transmitted infection. It is always a good idea to get a sexual health check ticked off before embarking on a new relationship.

Symptoms of menopause

Symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, poor quality of sleep, anxiety and mood swings can affect your work and life in a major way. Hormone replacement therapy can be useful and there are also other nutritional and non-medical ways of helping these symptoms.

How long can you have cervical cancer without knowing?

Cervical cancer is a very rare consequence of a common viral infection known as human papilloma virus (HPV). 80% of men and women get HPV infection at some stage in their life and most would shake it off through their own immunity. HPV can be acquired through sex, but can also be transmitted by intimate genital contact.

The time interval between getting the HPV infection and development of cervical cancer is approximately 15 years. This gives plenty of time for prevention through smear tests. If women undergo routine and regular smears, HPV infection and precancerous lesions can be easily detected and treated, thus effectively preventing cancer.

The biggest risk factor for cervical cancer is not having a smear test and remaining unaware of the development of the pre-cancer.

It is therefore important that women see their GP, gynaecologist or practice nurse if they have any of the symptoms mentioned above. Book an appointment today if you have any concerns click here.

Birth control, headaches, and migraine: What’s the link?

What’s the link between birth control and headaches?

No birth control method is perfect, and each type has its risks. Each body is different and may react to forms of birth control differently. We explore the link between birth control and headaches or migraines.

What exactly is a migraine with aura, for readers who are unfamiliar with the term?

About one in three people with a migraine have migraines with aura. The auras usually happen before a headache.

Auras usually start happening gradually over about five minutes and last for up to an hour.

Auras are most commonly to do with your sight. Your speech can also be affected. Some people feel disoriented or confused, or can faint, although this is rare.

The common aura symptoms related to your sight include:
• blind spots
• seeing coloured spots or lines
• seeing flashing or flickering lights
• seeing zig zag patterns
• temporary blindness

Other aura symptoms can include:
• numbness or tingling sensation like pins and needles in parts of your body
• muscle weakness
• feeling dizzy or off balance

What’s the link between birth control and migraines with aura? Is there a specific type of birth control that affects it?

If you have migraine with aura, you’re about twice as likely to have an ischaemic stroke (a type of stroke caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain) in your lifetime, compared to those without migraine. However, the overall risk linked to migraine is still very low, and you are far more likely to have a stroke because of other risk factors like smoking and high blood pressure.

The combined oral contraceptive pill (‘the pill’), the contraceptive vaginal ring (‘the ring’) and the contraceptive patch (‘the patch’) contain the hormone oestrogen. They are all called ‘combined hormonal contraceptives’. Taking oestrogen causes you to have a slightly increased risk of having a stroke (compared with the normal risk).

Taking combined hormonal contraception therefore further increases the risk of a stroke in women who have migraine with aura. Because of this, women who have migraine with aura are not usually given combined hormonal contraceptions.

If you have migraine without aura you should be able to take combined hormonal contraception, unless you have other risk factors like smoking or being overweight.

Does this mean that birth control could increase risk of stroke, bearing in mind migraines with aura can increase risk of ischemic stroke?

The risk of having a stroke is low even if you have migraine with aura and take combined hormonal contraception and is likely to be even lower if you do not smoke or have high blood pressure. However, as the risk is directly related to the oestrogen in the combined hormonal contraceptives, it can be avoided by using non-oestrogen methods of contraception.
The World Health Organization have made recommendations to ensure safe prescribing of combined hormonal contraceptives by identifying women at risk of stroke and, where the risks outweigh the benefit of the method, offering alternative contraception.

A history of aura at any time, even if it occurred during childhood, is felt to be an unacceptable risk factor for the development of a stroke and so women with this should not use combined hormonal contraceptives for contraception.

Can people continue to take birth control if they experience migraines with aura, e.g. if they’re taking it for health reasons? If yes, how can the severity of migraine with aura (and any potential risk of stroke) be mitigated — if at all?

Women who have migraine with aura are not usually given combined hormonal contraceptions. There are a number of other methods of contraception available, for example, the progestogen-only pill (POP), the progestogen injection, intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) or the intrauterine system (IUS), and barrier methods that are usually suitable.

What forms of contraception are safest, for someone experiencing migraine with aura?

As above


Do you have anything further to add on the topic of the link between birth control and migraine with aura/risk of stroke that I haven’t asked?

In some women with migraine who take the combined pill or use the combined patch, migraine attacks can be triggered by the drop in the blood level of oestrogen during the pill-free or patch-free interval. So long as these migraine attacks are without aura AND you were already known to have migraine without aura before starting the pill or the patch, there is usually no need to stop the pill or the patch.
If these migraine attacks are without aura but are troublesome and not easily treated with pain killers, then options include:

Tri-cycling your pill. This means taking the pill continuously for three packets (nine weeks) without any breaks, followed by a seven-day pill-free interval. This keeps the level of oestrogen constant whilst you take the three packets. By doing this you have fewer withdrawal bleeds and therefore fewer migraine attacks.


A change to a different method of contraception.

Dr Shivani Dattani, can assist to determine the best method of birth control for you.  So click here to book your appointment today.