‘One examination could save your life’: What Auburn Hospital’s Dr Ruzica Ardalic wants all western Sydney women to know

As International Women’s Day approaches, Dr Ruzica (Rose) Ardalic has a clear message for western Sydney women: take your health seriously.

Proactive care, education, and advocating for necessary screenings and treatments are essential for women’s wellbeing, and staying on top of regular check-ups is important to ensure you are not ignoring any serious health issues.

Rose is a dedicated obstetrics and gynaecology specialist at Auburn Hospital, emphasises the importance of prioritising health through awareness and education.

She urges women to seek regular screenings, particularly cervical screening tests, which can prevent diseases like cervical cancer.

“One very simple examination can save your life and have a significant impact on your family,” Rose said.

However, she has noticed a concerning trend of women, especially in low socio-economic communities, neglecting these vital screenings.

Similarly, endometriosis, a condition affecting many women, often goes undiagnosed due to misconceptions about period pain.

“I urge all women with symptoms of endometriosis to see their GP, consult a specialist, or visit a specialised clinic,” she said.

Be open and honest about your symptoms.

Menopause, another significant life stage for women, can bring various challenges.

“Simple lifestyle modifications can significantly improve menopausal symptoms,” Rose said.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your GP or visit gynaecology clinics. We can address any issues and make you aware of all options, ensuring you don’t have to suffer in silence.

While progress has been made in discussing women’s health, Rose emphasises the need for continued education and awareness, especially in culturally diverse communities.

Initiatives like the Australasian Menopause Society’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program empower women by providing information in various languages, allowing them to take charge of their health.

Rose also offers invaluable advice for young professionals embarking on healthcare careers.

“Never feel afraid or embarrassed to ask questions,” she said.

“Continuous learning, curiosity, and resilience are crucial in overcoming challenges.”