One of the biggest shocks for expat women in Germany is the gynecological exams.
Remember the good old days with these bad boys?
Yeah well those are a thing of the past so prepare yourself for one of these.
Once you get past the shock of the exam tables there are a few other things you should know.
Curtains and sheets to cover yourself?
Nope, nudity is the norm here and things are not set up in the most modest of ways. So be prepared to be nude from the waist down openly.
Dressing rooms or curtains?
I have never seen them. The doctors often do not leave the room. They tend to just say ok, get undressed and meet me at the chair.
These do tend to be the same as in the US and are done once a year. This is covered by insurance.
This is also a standard part of the yearly checks here. But do note, they do use the invasive wands. This is done instead of the American hand checks.
It was brought to my attention that this is not always covered by insurance and can cost up to 50 euro, so please make sure you ask. :)
Are all costs covered under insurance?
Most but not all. Special testing may be covered at your own expense never hesitate to ask your doctor is the test they are preforming are covered under standard health care plans.
Making an appointment
1. You will need an uberweisen (referral) from your GP. If you skip this route you will have to pay a copay. You only need this once a quarter, not for every visit.
2. Expect long waits. Some places have 6 months waiting times. So try to always schedule your next visit when you leave.
Be prepared with your family history, but don't expect one of those info sheets to fill out. Many doctors will just ask you themselves in the first appointment and then add it into the computer system
I have seen two layouts. 1. The exam room with a room of to the side with a desk and chair for the conversation part, or 2. Combined into one room.
Sometimes they will do one part of the exam and then send you back out into the waiting room, before calling you back again.
They do this by hand generally while you are standing, first with arms to the side, then above the head
It is not covered by health care and must be paid out of pocket. Prescriptions can be obtained through your gynecologist. Price varies per brand and method.
While many doctors speak English, or at least understand it pretty well, you should prepare yourself for the fact that not all do.
Here are some key words to get you started
* Note I am using a american keyboard so any vowel followed by an e is an umlaut :)
Frauenarzt or Gynaekologe= Gynecologist
die Fortpflanzungsorgane = reproductive organs
der Eileiter = fallopian tube
der Eierstock = ovary
die Gebaermutter = uterus
der Gebaermutterhals = cervix
die Scheide = vagina
die Blase = bladder
die Harnroehre = urethra
die Schamlippen = labia
steril = infertile
die Menstruation = menstruation
das Hormon = hormone
der eisprung = ovulation
der Geschlechtsverkehr = intercourse
die Geschlechtskrankheit = std
schwanger = pregnant
das Pessar = cervical cap
das Diaphragma = diaphragm
das Kondom = condom
die Spirale = IUD
die Pille or Antibabypille = birth control pills
Well I hope that gives you a little info about what to expect at your first doctors visit :)