I’ve been putting off this dreaded task for as long as I can. Going to the gynae is intimidating enough without adding language barriers to the mix. My friend recently recommended a doctor with decent English and suddenly I had no more excuses.
It was interesting to compare a Korean gynae visit to an NHS UK one.
1. You obviously have to pay in Korea whereas the NHS visit is free. The prices are very reasonable though and I only had to wait 10 minutes (without an appointment). Some procedures are covered by your insurance but not all of them (take your ARC along anyway).
2. Along with the PAP smear, you can also ask for a sonogram. I have never been offered a sonogram of my uterus ever before and wow, it’s amazing! You can even see what stage of your cycle you’re in!
3. The results are processed within a week. I remember having to wait a month or more for my results in the UK.
You can also have STD tests done: some tests are covered by insurance and others are not. The full series of tests for HPV, for example, would cost 230,000 won. Pricey, but there ARE different levels of tests so don’t let that put you off. Remember, HPV causes cancer.
Overall, I’d say this was a “pleasant” experience, all things considered. So many cancers are treatable if detected early enough. Don’t become a statistic because of nerves and a language barrier.
**In Pohang, you can go to the Yoon Clinic, in Idong, above the Baskin Robins at Sageori (4-way intersection) on the 4th floor.