GYNAE PROBLEMS

5 Most Common Gynae Problems Every Woman Must Know :

Did you know the most abnormal menstrual bleeding is due to Hormonal Imbalance? Most women don't know the signs of gynecological problems, and are especially unaware of symptoms unrelated to the reproductive organs, such as back pain and increased urination, according to a new study. With the widespread availability of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), it is often assumed that women are treating themselves adequately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

So, here are few very common Gynecological problems that every woman needs to know.

Dysmenorrhea :

Primary dysmenorrhea is by far the most common gynecologic problem in menstruating women. It is so common that many women fail to report it in medical interviews, even when their daily activities are restricted. It is usually defined as cramping pain in the lower abdomen occurring at the onset of menstruation in the absence of any identifiable pelvic disease. It is distinguished from secondary dysmenorrhea, which refers to painful menses resulting from pelvic pathology such as endometriosis.
Dysmenorrhea refers to the symptom of painful menstruation. It can be divided into 2 broad categories: primary (occurring in the absence of pelvic pathology) and secondary (resulting from identifiable organic diseases).

Primary dysmenorrhea is another name for common menstrual cramps. Cramps usually begin one to two years after a woman starts getting her period. Pain usually is felt in the lower abdomen or back. They can be mild to severe. Common menstrual cramps often start shortly before or at the onset of the period and continue one to three days. They usually become less painful as a woman ages and may stop entirely after the woman has her first baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain caused by a disorder in the woman's reproductive organs. These cramps usually begin earlier in the menstrual cycle and last longer than common menstrual cramps.

Causes:

Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions in the uterus, which is a muscle. The uterus, the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue of the uterus. Pain results when part of a muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of menstrual cramps include:

  • Aching pain in the abdomen (Pain can be severe at times.)
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs

Ovarian Cysts :

The ovary is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women that are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of a walnut. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The ovaries are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Ovarian cysts are closed, sac-like structures within an ovary that contain a liquid, or semisolid substance. "Cyst" is merely a general term for a fluid-filled structure, which may or may not represent a tumor or neoplasm (new growth). If it is a tumor, it may be benign or malignant. The ovary is also referred to as the female gonad.

Causes :

Ovarian cysts form for numerous reasons. The most common type is a follicular cyst, which results from the growth of a follicle. A follicle is the normal fluid-filled sac that contains an egg. Follicular cysts form when the follicle grows larger than normal during the menstrual cycle and does not open to release the egg. Usually, follicular cysts resolve spontaneously over the course of days to months. Cysts can contain blood (hemorrhagic cysts) from leakage of blood into the egg sac.

Another type of ovarian cyst that relates to the menstrual cycle is a corpus luteum cyst. The corpus luteum is an area of tissue within the ovary that occurs after an egg has been released from a follicle. If a pregnancy doesn't occur, the corpus luteum usually breaks down and disappears. It may, however, fill with fluid or blood and persist as a cyst on the ovary. Usually, this cyst is found on only one side, produces no symptoms and resolves spontaneously.

Endometriosis:

Endometriosis, sometimes called "endo," is a common health problem in women. It gets its name from the word endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus or womb. Endometriosis happens when this tissue grows outside of your uterus and on other areas in your body where it doesn't belong.

Most often, endometriosis is found on the:

  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Tissues that hold the uterus in place
  • Outer surface of the uterus

Other sites for growths can include the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Rarely, endometriosis appears in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Causes :

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations by the backing up of menstrual flow into the Fallopian tubes and the pelvic and abdominal cavity during menstruation (termed retrograde menstruation). The cause of retrograde menstruation is not clearly understood. But retrograde menstruation cannot be the sole cause of endometriosis. Many women have retrograde menstruation in varying degrees, yet not all of them develop endometriosis.

Another possibility is that areas lining the pelvic organs possess primitive cells that are able to grow into other forms of tissue, such as endometrial cells. (This process is termed coelomic metaplasia.

Also, there is evidence that shows alternations in the immune response in women with endometriosis, which may affect the body's natural ability to recognize and destroy any misdirected growth of endometrial tissue.

  • Very painful menstrual cramps. The pain may get worse over time.
  • Chronic (long-term) pain in the lower back and pelvis.
  • Pain during or after sex. This is usually described as a "deep" pain and is different from the pain felt at the entrance to the vagina when penetration begins.
  • Painful bowel movements or pain when urinating during menstrual periods. In rare cases, you may also find blood in your stool or urine.
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods. This can be caused by something other than endometriosis.
  • Infertility, or not being able to get pregnant.
  • Stomach (digestive) problems, these include, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

PCOD (Poly Cyst Ovarian Disease):

PCOD is the most common hormonal reproductive problem in women of childbearing age. An estimated five to 10 percent of women of childbearing age have PCOD.

In our body we have two ovaries. They are used to produce follicles which then grow to form eggs. The eggs then reach into uterus for fertilization, when fertilization doesn’t occur; you have your menstrual cycle operating to take care of it. In cases of PCOD, follicles are created, but they don’t grow into egg. The ovaries keep on generating follicles and this causes too many cysts in it. Eggs are not forming, which gives rise to menstrual cycle and no fertilization. Ovaries are not functioning properly, they continue to make more of male hormones which lead to excess growth of hair or excessive hair fall.

Causes :

The cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not fully understood, but genetics may be a factor. PCOS problems are caused by hormone changes. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another.

Symptoms :

Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to start gradually. Hormone changes that lead to PCOS often start in the early teens, after the first menstrual period. Symptoms may be especially noticeable after a weight gain.

Symptoms may include :

  • Menstrual problems. These can include few or no menstrual periods or heavy, irregular bleeding.
  • Hair loss from the scalp and hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes.
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Fertility problems, such as not releasing an egg (not ovulating) or repeat miscarriages.
  • Insulin resistance and too muchinsulin (hyperinsulinemia), which can cause things like upper bodyobesity and skin tags.
  • Depression or mood swings. For more information, see the topic Depression or Depression in Children and Teens.
  • Breathing problems while sleeping (obstructive sleep apnea). This is linked to both obesity and insulin resistance.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria and are 10 times more common among women than men. More than 50% of women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. About 30 - 40% of UTIs recur within 6 months after the initial episode. When UTIs does recur, it is often because the treatments used to suppress bacteria seem to work at first, but they do not produce a lasting cure. UTIs can also recur if a woman is infected by different bacteria.

Causes :
  • A new sex partner or multiple partners.
  • More frequent or intense intercourse.
  • Diabetes.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli).
  • Staphylococcus saprophyticus.
  • Use of irritating products, such as harsh skin cleansers.
  • Use of irritating contraceptives, such as diaphragms and spermicides.
  • Use of birth control pills.
  • Heavy use of antibiotics.
  • A blockage in the urinary tract (benign masses or tumors).
  • A history of UTIs, especially if infections are less than 6 months apart.
  • Incontinence.
Symptoms :
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • The need to urinate more often than usual.
  • A feeling of urgency during urination.
  • Blood or pus in the urine.
  • Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Chills or fever (fever may be the only symptom in infants and children).
  • Strong smelling urine.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and malaise.