Regardless of where you are in the world, your health should be the most important thing to you. For women, the area of gynaecology is particularly important and a typical gynaecological exam in Prague is similar to the one you would get in the UK. You will be asked to provide your details – such as your name, date of birth and marital status – and it is also a good idea to bring medical records with you if you have suffered from a condition such as an ovarian cyst or ovarian cancer in the past. The gynaecologist will then discuss any concerns you have and any symptoms being experienced, before conducting some exams, such as a breast exam, pelvic exam and an examination of the abdomen.
Those visiting from Western countries might feel like the Czech system is slightly less private and also less sensitive than the exams they are used to. Some gynaecologists will ask you to wear a paper shirt during the exam instead of a gown and also some doctors will conduct the exam while you are sitting in a chair, instead of laying down – although some people say that they prefer the sitting down exam. The more brash nature of doctors in the Czech Republic does mean that they find it easier to talk openly and frankly to their patients though, which is usually seen as a good thing.
When it comes to payment, some gynaecologists will ask for a yearly payment of up to 1,000 CZK from their patients. You do not have to pay this, although if you don’t you could be refused service by the gynaecologist.
Gynaecologists in Prague are also allowed to prescribe the contraceptive pill (Antikoncepční pilulky) to their patients. If you are already taking a contraceptive pill from your home country, you should bring the packet so that the gynaecologist will know what to prescribe you. You can also get hormone injections, hormonal implants and intrauterine devices from a gynaecologist, and spermicides (spermicidy) can be purchased over the counter. Pregnancy testing kits can also be bought freely throughout the city.
It is always a good idea to have insurance when visiting Prague. If you find out that you are pregnant, you will often need to see an emergency doctor and, should you wish to take them, get prescribed two pills of Postinor (morning after pill). This will cost you about 3,500 CZK altogether if you don’t have insurance.
For more serious gynaecological illnesses, such as STDs, there are a number of clinics in Prague offering specialised treatment. These will be able to provide ultrasounds, blood work and other critical services. It is also worth noting that RU-486 (the “abortion pill”) is not legal in the Czech Republic, however abortion itself is. Abortions can be performed on a healthy mother and foetus until the pregnancy reaches 12 weeks, although this can be increased to 24 weeks should medical complications arise. Abortion will not be covered by health insurance unless there is a risk to the mother’s life.