Women’s Health & Family Planning

Antenatal Care

All doctors in Clifden Medical Practice participate in the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme.

The Maternity and Infant Care Scheme provides an agreed programme of care to all expectant mothers who are ordinarily resident in Ireland. This service is provided by a family doctor (GP) of your choice and a hospital obstetrician. You are entitled to this service even if you do not have a medical card. The scheme also provides for two post-natal visits to the general practitioner.

The GP provides an initial examination, if possible before 12 weeks, and a further 6 examinations during the pregnancy, which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit/hospital. The schedule of visits may be changed by your GP and/or hospital obstetrician, depending on your individual situation.

If you have a significant illness, e.g. diabetes or hypertension, you may have up to 5 additional visits to the GP.

Care for other illnesses which you may have at this time, but which are not related to your pregnancy is not covered by the Scheme.

After the birth, the GP will examine the baby at 2 weeks and both mother and baby at 6 weeks.

Infant Care Services

The GP who attends the mother also provides care for the newborn baby; they will provide two developmental examinations free of charge at 2 weeks and 6 weeks following the birth.

The baby’s entitlement to other free GP services depends on whether they have a medical card/GP visit card. Under the new Under 6 Scheme, parents who register their child at hse.ie are entitled to a GP visit card.

If you have a medical card for yourself, you should apply for one for your baby as soon as you get the baby’s PPS No. You can do this by phone to your Local Health Office. You will not be able to get free services from your GP until you can produce the baby’s card (except for the 2 examinations above).

Contraception and Family Planning

In-depth advice is available about the wide array of contraceptive options available to women and men. These include contraceptive pills, injections, barrier methods (condoms – male and female, diaphragms), implants (Implanon), intra-uterine devices (Mirena, copper coils), other longterm devices (patch, vaginal ring), permanent solutions (Vasectomy, female sterilization) and emergency contraception. The doctor will discuss these options in detail with you to help decide which is most suitable for you. Special procedures (fitting of Implanon, Mirena and copper coils) must be discussed in advance at an earlier consultation with the doctor.

Our doctors also provide counselling, fitting and removal of both the Implanon device and Mirena Intrauterine System.

For more information on methods of contraception click on: www.thinkcontraception.ie

Cervical Screening

All doctors in Clifden Medical Practice are registered with the National Cancer Screening Service for provision of cervical cancer screening (smear tests). These are available free of charge if you are currently due a smear test (every 5 years from age 25-65). This test is to detect early pre-cancerous changes in the cervix (neck of the womb).

Please note that it is not a test for sexually transmitted infections, although these can be done at the same visit if you arrange this in advance. You can make an appointment for your smear test.

More details about cervicalcheck, the national cervical screening service are available on their website www.cervicalcheck.ie.

Cervical screening for women outside the cervical check eligibility framework is also available on a private basis – please call to discuss if you wish to avail of this service.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

We provide HPV vaccine (gardasil/cervarix). If you are interested please make an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss this.

Crisis Pregancy

If you have discovered you are pregnant and did not plan to be this can be very distressing.  Our doctors and nurse offer confidential and supportive advice on all options that are available to you in your pregnancy.  Please telephone our reception to make an appointment.

For further information on unplanned pregnancy visit myoptions.ie.

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Screening

We offer a full screening service for sexually transmitted infections in Clifden Medical Practice. Unfortunately there are a large number of such infections in circulation, many of which can be picked up easily by men or women. They include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, trichomonas, hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, herpes. In many cases you may not even know you are infected so therefore can pass on an infection to a partner without realising it.

Our doctors have specific training in this area and can do all of the necessary swabs and blood tests. A morning appointment is preferable so samples reach the lab in good time. This service is beneficial whether you have symptoms of infection (these include discharge, pain, lumps, sores, burning in urine), or if you and your partner simply want to know you are both free of infection. We realize this is a sensitive subject so we provide the service with discretion and confidentiality.

You may find it easier to come for such testing in the privacy of a GP surgery rather than a busy public STI clinic in a hospital. This service can be provided for females at the same time as a smear test (if due) but please mention this in advance.

For more information click on: www.yoursexualhealth.ie

Well Woman Screening

We offer advice on all aspects of your health and wellbeing, and also offer well woman screening, which includes a thorough personal history, family history of relevant illnesses, examination including weight, height, body mass index, blood pressure, ECG (heart tracing), breast examination plus cervical screening (smear test) if appropriate. You will also have fasting bloods taken.

If you are interested in this service, please contact reception to arrange a suitable appointment.


Dr. Gabrielle Chhoa is a member of the British Menopause Society.  If you have any query in relation to Menopause and Perimenopause she can offer advice, examinations, and further investigations if necessary.