When I first moved to France, like most people I imagine, I didn’t immediately start looking for a doctor. I waited until I needed to see one and after a few less than successful appointments with various doctors I eventually found a GP that I liked and she became my médecin traitant. When I finally got my carte vitale I started getting my pill from my GP and I thought I was doing pretty well in terms of my santé. It wasn’t until I met my friend Ameline however, that I came to realise that I was missing one big and important piece of the puzzle.
Our conversation went something like this
“What do you mean you don’t have a gynecologist??” Ameline asked incredulously.
“Well what would I need one for?” I asked, confused. “I’m not pregnant and in England you only need to see a gynecologist when you’re thinking about having a baby.”
“Chloe, non non non, il faut avoir un gynécologue en France. Pour ta santé, c’est hyper important.”
And merde indeed, I had no idea that I was supposed to have a gynecologist. I’d had a couple of smear tests already back in the UK but I just hadn’t realised that my GP wouldn’t organise that for me here. In England the nurses at your local doctor’s office send you a letter for your appointment, simple as that. In France it’s actually much more your responsibility to go and get checked out.
So, in light of the new information I had acquired, I booked myself in for an appointment with my now gynecologist who was recommended to me by a fellow expat.
My First Appointment
Let’s be real for a second, I was very nervous and probably even a little frightened before my first appointment. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and I wasn’t even sure I’d understand what she was going to say. Personally I just hoped she would be nice enough to explain things to me if I needed clarification.
In reality, I needn’t have been worried, my gynecologist was lovely and although very straight-talking, she very clearly explained everything to me and what I would have to do in future with regards to visiting her. What she did do was insist I change the pill I was taking. I was a bit taken aback at first as I had been on the same pill for ten years but she went on to explain that it was a ‘3rd generation’ pill. This meant that it had a lot of negative side effects and had actually been taken off the French market years ago. Yikes. She also said that she wanted me to do a blood test, just in case, before giving me a new pill and to be honest I was grateful for her vigilance.
She was also very sweet about the smear test. I know some women say that they don’t find it painful but it’s definitely not a comfortable feeling and it always makes me nervous. My gynecologist very clearly stated that she knew it wasn’t the most fun thing to go through but that she would do it as quickly and as pain-free as possible. When she put it like that, it immediately helped me to relax!
I’d heard that appointments were in the region of €75 so when she asked me to pay just €8 I thought there had to be some sort of mistake. However, this is one of the benefits of going to a gynecologist in a public hospital, it will always be cheaper than a private practice. Remember, you can always get an idea of how much a doctor costs from their ‘categories.’ Category 1 is the cheapest and Category 3 is the most expensive. My private health care reimbursed me the rest a few weeks later so I ended up paying just €1 for my entire appointment! So don’t worry if you’re on a budget, the public hospitals make it possible to get treatment.
The only thing I found strange was that she handed me my smear test at the end. I think she could see by the look on my face that I had no idea what I was so supposed to do with the weird looking test tube in a medical bag I’d just been handed. She explained that I had to take it to a lab, pick up the results a few weeks later and email them to her which I did find that a bit strange at first. I’m used to it now and when I told my French girlfriends they just laughed and said it was normal for them!
The Best Gynecologists in Paris for Expats
So now I’ve explained how an appointment can go, I have also compiled a list of all the gynecologists that come recommended by expatriates living in and around Paris. Thank you in advance to all the ladies that made this list possible and I hope that this article will help you both find a gynecologist and not be scared to book your first appointment! Just make sure you check if a) they take the carte vitale and b) which category they fit into.
Dr Gunita Jolly-Paul (75116)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/medecin-generaliste/levallois-perret/gunita-jolly-paul
Dr Romain Guilherme (75015)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/gynecologue-obstetricien/paris/romain-guilherme
Dr Joelle Peyron-Chamoun (75008)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/gynecologue-medicale/paris/joelle-peyron-chamoun
Dr Georges Horyn (75004)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/gynecologue-medicale/paris/georges-horyn
Dr Jocelyn McGinnis (American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly sur Seine)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/gynecologue/neuilly-sur-seine/jocelyn-mcginnis
Dr Jean Noel Guglielmina (American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly sur Seine)
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/gynecologue-medicale/neuilly-sur-seine/jean-noel-guglielmina
Dr Sylvie Laberibe (75019)
Midwife, can do smear tests and give out the pill etc.
Can book via doctolib https://www.doctolib.fr/sage-femme/paris/sylvie-laberibe