Table 7

Major themes from free text responses to Question 30: “What is your opinion regarding the role of GPs for FGCS?” Total responses 417 (n 443)

Major themeSubtheme
GP is seen as an educator: (i)regarding FGCS
(ii)genital anatomy
  • Source of information regarding FGCS

  • Information regarding risks of FGCS

  • Provides access to information regarding FGCS

  • Provider of ‘normal anatomy advice’

  • Reassures women regarding their normality

GP is seen as the ‘gateway’ to referral pathway
  • GP should be able to assess women regarding need for surgery.

  • GP should avoid providing referral when only for ‘cosmetic’ or ‘aesthetic’ reasons.

  • GP should refer to gynaecologist rather than to plastic surgeon

  • GP seen as ‘first port of call’ by patients

  • GP should refer to psychologist psychiatrist for mental health issues

GPs request information regarding FGCS
  • Need more information regarding risks of FGCS

  • Need more information regarding FGCS practices

  • Patients expect GP to know about FGCS and genital anatomy

  • GP issued referral in past due to lack of information about FGCS

  • Lack of information is a cause of low confidence giving advice

  • Need more information in order to form opinion regarding FGCS

GP examination of genital area is necessary
  • Provider of reassurance

  • Routine gynaecological examination is an opportunity to educate women regarding genital normality

  • Examination on expression of genital anatomy concern

GP screen for mental health issues is important
  • GP role is to provide or refer for counselling

  • GP reassurance provides relief of minor anxiety symptoms

  • Some serious mental health issues may present with genital anxiety concerns

  • Relationship issues can cause genital anxiety concerns

GP role is very important
  • For patient education

  • For patient reassurance regarding normality

  • For appropriate referral

  • GP is seen as a reliable source of information

GP performs multiple functions
  • GP should ‘listen, examine reassure, counsel, then if necessary refer’

  • This is a sociocultural trend, outside the realm of medicine