In spite of the fact that every woman in Latvia is provided with state-funded gynaecologist visit once every three years, 17% of women visited their gynaecologist five years ago. Around 1% of women in Latvia have never been to a gynaecologicals.
Women in Latvia are generally conscientious. Only 1% of women in Latvia have never been to a gynaecologicals, as opposed to half of Latvian men, who, according to data from Mana Aptieka & Apotheka Health Index, have never visited a urologist.
«Women rarely ask pharmacists questions related to such problems. This is because women in Latvia are generally conscientious and always turn to their gynaecologist in the event of health problems. Lately we’ve noticed that some women choose to use the free option to visit a gynaecologist regularly every three years. Women turn to pharmacists for advice only if it is not possible to sign up for a check-up soon,» – explains Mana Aptieka pharmacist Anita Ozolina.
Data from the study shows that 68% women who visited their doctor in the past twelve months were aged 25 to 34. Women aged 55 to 74 visit their gynaecologist the rarest among other age groups. Women with higher education generally visit gynaecologists most often (64%). A look at data detailing gynaecologist visits based on a person’s income reveals that the level of income in this case is no the deciding factor. Although women with high income have been to their gynaecologists the most often in the past year (70%), women with lower income remain no less active in terms of taking care of their health.
«Cervical cancer screening service has been available in Latvia since 2009. Screening helps detect signs of cancer in the earliest stages and ensure effective treatment. State funded cervical cancer screening is available for women aged 25 to 70 once every three years. This means women should get a check-up once every three years. This is enough for preventive measures. Only women with health problems and pregnant women should visit their gynaecologist more often. There is also a matter of whether or not women even respond to letters inviting them to visit their gynaecologist once every three years. In 2015, screening coverage was only 25%, which was the lowest in the past five years. The best screening result so far is that of 2011, when 34.5% of the target population was covered. Effective screening programme means coverage of at least 70%. Unfortunately, there has been a rise in the number of women suffering from cervical cancer in Latvia in the past five years. Measures need to be taken in order to improve screening efficiency and educate women about this problem and options available to them to prevent it,» – said president of Latvian Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Association Dace Matule.