Adolescent Girls & Young Women’s Health & Wellbeing

We provide education, medical care and health information for adolescent girls and young women.

Services include:

  • General health and wellbeing

  • Sexual health

  • Gynaecology

  • Medical conditions

  • Nutrition and fitness

  • Mental health and wellbeing

  • Dermatology


Family Planning/Contraception

Family planning (contraception) is a safe and efficient way to manage your sexual health and wellbeing.

There are several different types of contraception to choose from, and it is important you find the type of contraception that works best for you.

Each type of contraception varies in how effective it is at preventing pregnancy, how much it costs, how easy it is to use, and whether it also protects against sexually transmitted infections (STI). Using two types of contraceptive methods, such as the pill and condoms, increases protection against both pregnancy and STIs.

We are happy to discuss all contraception options available to you so you can make an informed decision as to which type of contraception will work best for you.

The Well-Woman Centre is a valuable resource for you to learn more about the different types of contraception available to women. Just click on the links below to find out more.


Contraception options available at Briarhill Family Practice include:

Progestogen Only (Mini) Pill

  • The Desogestrel pill

  • The Norethisterone pill


Combined Contraception

  • Combined contraceptive pill (the pill)

  • Contraception vaginal ring

  • Contraceptive patch

Vaccines Before, During and After Pregnancy

Vaccines given before, during and after pregnancy offer a safe and effective way to protect you and your child from certain diseases.

We offer a range of vaccinations recommended by the Irish health authorities for women during this important time. If you have any worries or questions about vaccinations you and your baby may require, please contact reception and make an appointment to see your Doctor or Nurse.


Before Your Pregnancy

MMR Vaccine

The MMR vaccine is a combined vaccine that is a safe and effective way to protect you against measles (M), mumps (M) and rubella (R) in one single injection. Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious diseases that can cause serious, and potentially fatal complications such as meningitis, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and deafness. During pregnancy, rubella can lead to serious complications affecting the unborn baby including deafness, blindness, brain damage or heart disease. It some cases, it can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

The MMR vaccine is given in two doses. The first dose is given as part of the childhood immunisation schedule at 12 months, and the second dose is given at four/five years of age as part of the school immunisation programme.

If you are unsure you have received both doses of the vaccine, we can check your immunity and advise if an MMR vaccination is necessary.

Please note: The MMR vaccine is not suitable for women who are pregnant. The MMR is a live vaccine – avoid pregnancy for one month following vaccination.

Useful link

HSE - More information about MMR vaccine

During Your Pregnancy

Vaccines given during pregnancy are a safe and effective way to protect you and your child from certain diseases. They help to protect your baby during the first few weeks of life as the immunity you develop against the disease passes onto your baby in your womb. Vaccines recommended in pregnancy include.

Flu Vaccine

The flu (influenza) vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect you from the influenza virus.

The flu is a highly infectious and acute respiratory (breathing) illness that is caused by the influenza virus. It affects people of all ages and commonly occurs during the winter months.

Getting the flu while pregnant increases your chance of developing complications, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. A common complication of the flu during pregnancy is bronchitis, a chest infection that could lead to pneumonia. Less common complications include:

It can also lead to premature birth and smaller babies, and may even lead to stillbirth or death during the first week of life.

The flu vaccine changes every year to protect against the strain of flu virus going around that year. It can be given to you safely at any time during pregnancy and poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies.

Flu vaccination during pregnancy also provides immunity against the flu virus for babies in the first six months of life.

Useful Link

HSE - More information about flu vaccine during pregnancy


Whooping Cough Vaccine

The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect your child from getting whooping cough during the first few weeks of life. The immunity you get from the vaccination will be passed onto your baby in the womb and will provide passive protection until they are old enough to be vaccinated against the whooping cough at two months old, as part of the childhood immunisation schedule.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious illness that can be life-threatening. Young babies (under six months old) with whooping cough are often hospitalised with severe complications such as pneumonia or brain damage.

But you can help your baby by getting vaccinated from weeks 27 to 36 of your pregnancy. This vaccination will maximise your baby’s protection against whooping cough from birth. 

We protect against the whooping cough with the Tdap vaccine – tetanus (T), diphtheria (d) and acellular pertussis (ap) booster vaccine which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. It is given in one single injection.

If you miss having the vaccination for any reason, you can still have it up until you go into labour, although your baby is less likely to get protection from you. Having the vaccination at this stage protects you from getting whooping cough and passing it onto your baby.

Women should vaccinate against whooping cough during each pregnancy as immunity to whooping cough can decrease over time.

Useful link

HSE - More information about Tdap vaccine during pregnancy

After Your Pregnancy

Whooping Cough Vaccine

Vaccination against whooping cough can also be of value after delivery as it can protect you from catching whooping cough and passing it on to your baby. However, the greatest benefit to your baby remains in getting vaccinated during your pregnancy. If you vaccinate against whooping cough after your baby is born, you cannot pass antibodies to them for protection in their first few months.

Useful Link

HSE - More information about whooping cough vaccine after pregnancy


MMR Vaccine

During pregnancy, your immunity to rubella is regularly checked by your Doctor. If we find you are not immune to Rubella, the MMR vaccine is recommended. Although the MMR vaccine is safe to give while you are breastfeeding, it is a live vaccine and pregnancy must be avoided for one month following vaccination.

Useful Link

HSE - More information about MMR vaccine


Content developed from HSE and NHS Choices
is adapted for Briarhill Family Practice by Briarhill Family Practice.

Well-Woman Health Checks

Well-Woman health checks are a convenient way of assessing your overall health and wellbeing and can help identify early signs of disease.

Early detection of medical issues allows us to work together and be proactive about your health. Together we will explore your current lifestyle, health concerns, previous medical problems and family health issues.

It is vital you mention any specific health concerns or symptoms to your Doctor during your health check. 

Well-Woman health checks are for people without any specific medical problems and do not replace a detailed consultation with your Doctor.

If you have any particular health issues such as heart palpitations or incontinence problems, an additional consultation will be required with your Doctor.

Although health checks offer an easy way of checking your overall health, receiving the “all clear” today does not mean you are free from health problems tomorrow.

For some people, health checks can offer a false sense of reassurance. For example, a smoker who receives the all clear on their scans may feel free to continue smoking even though we know that one in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.

Remember: health checks do not replace an active and healthy lifestyle. 

When choosing a health check, it is important to choose the one which is right for you. Choose between our Essential and Comprehensive health checks below.



Both Well-Woman Health Checks require two appointments – Appointment 1 is with the Nurse, and Appointment 2 is with your Doctor.

To best manage your appointment please

  • Arrive 15 minutes before your first appointment to fill in the Well-Woman Questionnaire.

  • Allow one hour for your first appointment and half an hour for your second appointment.

  • Book the appointments one week apart to allow time for your test results from Appointment 1 to be sent back to your Doctor; who will go through the results with you when you return one week later for Appointment 2.

Appointment 1: Nurse

1 Hour: 15 mins for questionnaire. 30 Mins for tests.

  • Weight, height and calculate your BMI.

  • Blood pressure check.

  • Diet, exercise, cholesterol and general methods to help reduce heart disease.

  • Full blood screen including tests for diabetes, vitamin and iron stores, liver and kidney function, thyroid and cholesterol.

  • Urine test will also be carried out.

Appointment 2: Doctor

30 mins: 20 mins for physical. 10 mins for advice.

  • Full physical examination.

  • Review tests performed in Appointment 1.

  • Advice on heart disease prevention, cancer prevention/awareness, osteoporosis, calcium, and so on.

Before your appointment

Please ensure you drink plenty of water before your first appointment as you will be asked to provide a urine sample on arrival. You do not need to fast before this appointment.


Test results

Results should be available one week after your appointment. Your Doctor will discuss the results of your tests with you when you return for Appointment 2, one week later.



The total cost of each health check includes both appointments and is payable on the day of your first appointment.

  • Well-Woman Essential Health Check is €150

  • Well-Woman Comprehensive Health Check is €250

Due to the extended nature of these health screening appointments, patients are required to give 48 hours’ notice of cancellation. Failure to do so will incur a cancellation charge of €50.

Further investigations such as an ECG or 24-hour blood pressure monitoring will incur a separate charge. Chest x-rays can be performed free in Merlin Park Hospital.


Please contact reception for more information or to book you appointment


Breast Examination & Advice

Breast awareness means knowing what is normal for you so you can recognise any unusual changes that may occur to your breasts.

Breast awareness is important for all women of all ages. The sooner you notice a change, the earlier it can be checked. If cancer is found and treated early, there is a much greater chance of success.


5 Point Breast Awareness Code

Get into the habit of looking at and feeling your breasts from time to time, so you can get to know your body and be breast aware.

Follow this 5-point breast awareness code

  1. Know what is normal for you.

  2. Know what changes to look and feel for around your breasts.

  3. Look and feel for changes.

  4. Talk to your GP immediately if you spot any changes.

  5. Go for routine breast screening after the age of 50 years.


Changes to be aware of include:

  • A change in size or shape – it may be that one breast has become larger.

  • Changes in the nipple – in direction or shape, pulled in or flattened nipple.

  • Changes on or around the nipple – rash, flaky or crusted skin.

  • Changes in the skin – dimpling, puckering or redness.

  • 'Orange peel’ appearance of the skin caused by unusually enlarged pores.

  • Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.

  • A lump, any size, or thickening in your breast.

  • Constant pain in one part of your breast or armpit.

If you notice any symptoms or changes in your breasts or are ever worried about any breast problem, you should come and see us immediately



BreastCheck is a national screening service that provides free mammograms (an x-ray of the breast) to women aged from 50 to 64 years, every two years. This age range is expected to extend to women of 69 years, over the next few years.

A mammogram looks for early signs of breast cancer. Early detection means earlier treatment which in turn increases the chance of a good recovery. Although no screening tool is 100% effective, and breast screening does not find all breast cancers, breast screening has been shown to be a successful way of lowering the number of lives lost to breast cancer.

If eligible, you will need to register with the National Breast Screening Programme to receive your free mammogram. You may do this by logging onto their website at or calling their free phone number on 1800 45 45 55.

Please contact reception for more information or to book your appointment


Useful Links

Irish Cancer Society - More information on breast cancer

BreastCheck - More information about breast screening

BreastCheck - Application form for BreastCheck

Breast Cancer Ireland - Breast Aware app


Content developed from HSE and Irish Cancer Society
is adapted for Briarhill Family Practice by Briarhill Family Practice.

Cervical Smear Test

Cervical smear tests are internationally accepted as a preventative health measure for cervical cancer.

Although no screening test is 100% accurate, cervical screening (the smear test) is recognised as the most effective way of reducing a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer.

The cervical smear test detects changes in the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb). Changes to cells in this area are common, but your smear test can pick up on early changes so they can be monitored and treated. The sooner the abnormal changes are detected, the easier they are to treat. If cancer is found and treated early, there is a much greater chance of success.

The smear test is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes. It is free through Cervical Check, the national screening service.

Private smear tests are also available for women who do not meet the criteria of the national screening service. A private smear test will incur a fee.

Please contact reception for more information or to book you appointment


Cervical Check

Cervical Check is a national screening programme that provides free cervical smear tests to women aged 25 to 65 years, who have ever been sexually active.

If eligible, you will need to register with the National Cervical Screening Programme to receive your free smear test.

You may do this by logging onto their website at or calling their free phone number on 1800 45 45 55.


Your Appointment

Please bring your letter of invitation for the free smear test with you to your appointment as it includes your cervical screening programme ID (CSPID) number.


Useful Link

CervicalCheck - More information about cervical smear tests


Content developed from HSE is adapted for
Briarhill Family Practice by Briarhill Family Practice.


The menopause is one of the most significant biological changes a woman will go through in her life. It is defined as the last menstrual period and involves the natural reduction of hormones produced in the body as a woman gets older.

And it is this falling level of hormones, particularly oestrogen, that is thought to cause the menopausal symptoms that many women experience.

The menopause is a natural process and does not require medical treatment. However, there are treatment options available for the symptoms associated with menopause. Whatever your concern, we will be happy to discuss the treatments options available for you and help you to make an informed decision as to the treatment best suited to your unique  needs.

Most women go through the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years, but this can vary significantly from woman to woman. The symptoms you may experience include:

Early symptoms may include:

  • Hot flushes

  • Night sweats

  • Heart palpitations

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest tightness

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Mood swings

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Poor sleep pattern

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Forgetfulness

Later symptoms may include:

  • Increased frequency of passing urine

  • Discomfort when passing urine

  • Urine infections

  • Leakage of urine

  • Vaginal dryness

Other effects may include:

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Brittle nails.


Please contact reception for more information or to book your appointment


Useful Links

Well-Woman Centre – Well-Woman Centre Guide to the Menopause

Well-Woman Centre – Well-Woman Centre Factsheet on Hot Flushes



Content developed from HSE and NHS Choices
is adapted for Briarhill Family Practice by Briarhill Family Practice.