Some of the gynecological problems need medical attention. Here are some problems which every woman needs to understand.
- Dysmenorrhea is the most common menstrual disorder, which refers to the dull aching pain during or around menstruation in the pelvis or lower abdomen. Other symptoms can be lower back pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Dysmenorrhea is of two types: primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea with no identifiable pelvic pathology is common in young girls during adolescence. It affects more than 50% of women, and is quite severe in about 15%. Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain which is generally associated with gynecological disorder. It mainly begins later in life and may become worse over time instead of coming down. Its common causes are endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroid, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cyst or any intrauterine device.
- Ovarian Cyst is a common occurrence in the menstrual cycle. It can be of physiological or pathological origin. The decision to observation and follow up versus treatment depends on the symptoms, size and appearance on ultrasound and tumor markers (blood tests). Follicular cysts and sometimes even haemorrhagic cysts resolve on their own over a period of time or with drugs. A corpus luteal cyst also resolves spontaneously. Symptomatic cysts or those at risk of torsion like dermoid or due to endometriosis or suspected tumor should be removed surgically.
- Endometriosis is a common pathology in women who suffer severe period pain or have fertility issues; it occurs when endometrium (lining of the uterus) is present at locations outside the uterus (tubes, ovaries, uterine surface, vagina, cervix, bladder, posterior pouch or rectum). Although its etiology is unknown but proposed theories are of retrograde menstruation in pelvis of menstrual blood, growth from primitive cells or autoimmune). Common symptoms are progressive dysmenorrhea, pain during sexual intercourse, chronic lower abdominal pain or backache, difficulty in passing urine or infertility. Treatment options can be medical or surgical for pain relief or fertility.
- Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) is a common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. An estimated 5 to 10 % of women of childbearing age have PCOD. These women have enlarged ovaries with many fluid filled follicles, which are responsible for hormonal imbalance. Its exact cause is unknown (50% cases could be genetic). Common symptoms are menstrual disorders (irregular or delayed or scanty periods), not being able to conceive, unwanted body or facial hair and/or thinning of hair on the scalp. Others are weight gain especially around the waist, darkening of skin and acne, sleep apnea and occasionally depression or mood swings. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms, ultrasound and hormonal evaluation. Its long-term health effects include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, abnormal uterine bleeding and uterine cancer. Management includes lifestyle changes, regular exercise with low carbohydrate diet, medication and surgery. The mode of treatment is based on a woman's symptoms, age and future pregnancy plans. Surgical laparoscopic multiple punctures of ovary have good results in restoring the ovulation in infertility cases.
- Urinary tract infections (UTI) are an infection of the urinary tract including kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra due to bacteria. It is the most common infection in females; 10 times more common in women than men. More than 50% of women experience UTI once during their lifetime. For more details, visit our previous blog on UTI here.
To conclude, early recognition of symptoms and visiting a Gynecologist right away increases the likelihood of successful treatment.