Women’s health in times of COVID-19
In an interview: Dr. Alina Staikov
Even during a pandemic, women should keep an eye on their health and prevention. Dr. Alina Staikov, a gynaecologist, explains why this is so important and which protective measures provide security.
Dr. Staikov, what has changed in your gynaecological practice since the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic?
After the lockdown we have observed a certain insecurity among the women. We are nine specialists at two locations and care for women in all phases of life. We focus on pregnancy care with prenatal consultation hours as well as on the treatment of breast complaints, cycle disorders and endometriosis.
In our widely diversified patient environment, the perception of the pandemic and the reaction to it varied widely – as did the doctors. Everything was new and dynamic. We have implemented all the required protective measures and are following up on the latest information and experiences from home and abroad. After an initially “turbulent” phase, we were able to adapt our procedures and strengthen the patients’ confidence and alleviate their uncertainties.
Is the usual annual check still recommended?
The continuous progress in medicine and modern methods of diagnosis allow us to detect sensitive and serious diseases in women, such as breast and uterine cancer, at an early stage. That is why regular preventive medical check-ups and consultation with an expert is essential, even in a pandemic. It is dangerous not to detect other serious diseases for fear of COVID-19 infection.
Is it a risk to become pregnant in these times?
According to recent studies, the answer is yes. At the moment it is still uncertain whether pregnant women have a higher risk of infection. However, some trials show a higher risk of more serious illness in infected pregnant women. That is why, since August, pregnant women have been considered particularly at risk for COVID-19.
What is your advice to pregnant women and to your patients in general?
Keep to the rules of hygiene: wash your hands/disinfect them frequently, keep a sufficient distance, avoid frequented places and wear a protective mask outside the home. In addition, employers must be informed about the implementation of the necessary protective measures.
How do you manage to protect your patients and yourself from the corona virus? What preventive measures do you implement?
In our practices we have developed a corresponding protection concept. Women with COVID-19 symptoms are primarily consulted by telephone. When entering the practice, it is not only compulsory for everyone to wear a mask. The hands must also be disinfected. Last but not least, in the waiting room the rules of distance of 1.5 metres must be observed.
Ensuring clarity and trust is extremely important. How do you do this?
Transparency and competence are the basis for this. Since we are always available for our patients, we can take away some of their fears and uncertainties. Especially our pregnant women are regularly informed about the latest recommendations of the BAG and SGGG, which is highly appreciated by everyone.
published: 11.09.2020, Annabelle
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