Lady Bits: A Vaginal Health Resource Guide

Written by Monique Dean-Onyema

Vagina. Va-jay-jay. Lady bits. Down there. However you refer to it, vaginas are one of the strongest, the most mysterious, and the most sensitive organs on the planet. It is such a complex system that even those who own one have a hard time understanding this complicated enigma. It is capable of expanding over twice its size, enduring an extraneous amount of pain, and the most decadent of pleasures. It is no wonder why such a complicated and delicate system would require the utmost level of care.

There are tons of articles and instructional videos out there telling you how to care for your vagina properly: drink plenty of water, avoid douching, wear breathable cotton underwear. But there is one technique that remains tried and true – a pap smear. Women over the age of 21, whether they are sexually active or not, are recommended to get a pelvic examination. Exams are vital for making sure your vagina is the healthiest it can be. Most women would agree that going to the gynecologist is not really high on the list of things one enjoys most in life.

Visiting the gynecologist can especially get somewhat complicated when language barriers and cultural differences come into play. As inevitable as that may be, Gwangju has a variety of hospitals that cater not only to Korean citizens but welcome foreigners to partake in their services. From pap smears to contraception to cancer screenings to prenatal care, there are quite a few hospitals in the city that may meet your reproductive health needs and, depending on where you come from, at affordable prices.

NAM-GU
Love Me Clinic (러브미여성의원)
Website: www.lovemeclinic.co.kr
Address: 704 Seomundae-ro, Nam-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: 062-651-6571/2
Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesdays & Thursdays: 09:30–18:30
Fridays: 09:30–20:00
Wednesdays & Saturdays: 09:30–13:00
Lunch break 12:30–14:00
Closed Sundays & public holidays

Located in the Jinwol-dong area of Namgu, Love Me Clinic has two female doctors who accept patients on a walk-in only basis. The clinic is one of the government appointment hospitals to conduct cancer screenings for cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and thyroid cancer. They also provide general pelvic exams, contraceptives such as intrauterine device (IUD) insertion and removal, pregnancy tests, and prenatal checkups.

BUK-GU
Bitgoeul Women’s Hospital (빛고을여성병원)
Website: www.shinelady.co.kr
Address: 396 Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju
(Yangsan-dong)
Telephone: 062-602-9000
Hours of Operation:
Weekdays: 09:00–20:00
Saturdays: 09:00–17:00
Sundays & public holidays: 09:00–12:00
Lunch break: 12:30–14:00

With 12 doctors on staff, Bitgoeul is an excellent choice for not only those looking for general reproductive health services, but also for mommies-to-be. They provide general pelvic exams and contraception such as birth control pills and IUDs as well as prenatal and postnatal care. Prenatal and postnatal services include:
Prenatal service: prenatal checkup, child deformity checkup, chorionic test, 3D ultrasound, color Doppler checkup, diabetes test, and fetus condition test
Postnatal service: breastfeeding education, food preparation and hygiene management, beauty consulting, physiotherapy, sitz bath and dry sauna. They also have a center where new mothers can take classes in yoga, soap-making, breastfeeding, baby massage, and baby food-making.

SEO-GU
Mizpia Women’s Hospital (미즈피아병원)
Website: www.imizpia.co.kr
Address: 17 Sicheong-ro, Seo-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: 062-380-2000
Hours of Operation:
Weekdays: 09:00–20:00
Saturdays: 09:00–17:00
Lunch break: 13:00–14:00
Sundays & public holidays: 09:00–13:00

GWANGSAN-GU
W Women’s Hospital (더블유여성병원)
Website: www.whospital.co.kr/
Address: 331 Imbangeuldae-ro, Gwangsan-gu,
Gwangju (near Lotte Mart, Suwan Branch)
Telephone: 062-616-9000
Hours of Operation:
Weekdays: 09:00–19:30; 09:00–19:00
(winter season: November to February)
Saturdays: 09:00–17:00
Sundays & Public Holidays: 09:00–13:00
Breaktime: 13:00–14:00

W Women’s Hospital is another hospital in Gwangju that provides general reproductive health services in addition to extensive services for expectant and new mothers. Located in Gwangsan-gu, very close to Lotte Outlet, the hospital promotes prenatal and postnatal birthing services such as prenatal screenings, tests for gestational diabetes, anemia, and fetal deformity. New mothers can also indulge in body massages, postnatal yoga, and skin care treatments after delivering their bundles of joy.

For those looking to avoid hopping on the baby train, they also provide a variety of contraceptives such as IUD, birth control pills, and surgical sterilization. They also offer extensive STD screenings. Make sure to ask for Dr. Lee Hyo-jin, Dr. No Eun-ji, or Dr. Yun Ha-na, the three English-speaking doctors at the hospital.

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