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A collection of symptoms typically occurring between ovulation and menses (discharge of blood and from the uterus) is defined as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual syndrome symptoms can either be physical or emotional.
Physical symptoms and signs include:
- Muscle or joint pain
- Weight gain due to fluid retention
- Bloated abdomen
- Breast tenderness
- Acne breakouts
- Diarrhoea or constipation
While other behavioural and emotional symptoms include:
- Anxiety or tension
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Anger or irritability and mood swings
- Food cravings and appetite changes
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
- Cyclic hormonal changes: The hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate a lot while preparing for a normal menstrual cycle. This fluctuation causes some of the symptoms of PMS.
- Chemical changes: The fluctuation of serotonin, a kind of neurotransmitter (brain chemical), affects the mood, which causes some of the emotional symptoms of PMS. For instance, insufficient serotonin triggers premenstrual depression, insomnia, food cravings and fatigue.
- Depression: If the PMS symptoms are severe, depression could be the underlying cause, though it doesn't usually trigger all of the symptoms.
Treatment: There is no permanent cure for PMS, but a few lifestyle changes and home remedies can work very well for you. Some treatment options include:
- To ease abdominal bloating, drink lots of fluids
- Eat a balanced diet comprised of plenty of vegetables and fruits. Reduce your alcohol, caffeine, salt and sugar intake.
- You can take supplements such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin B-6 and folic acid to reduce mood swings and cramps.
- Take vitamin D supplements to relieve symptoms
- Sleep for at least eight hours in the night to counter fatigue
- Exercise to improve your emotional health and reduce bloating
- Try to reduce your stress as much as you can; read a book or walk to relieve some stress.
Besides, these lifestyle changes, you can take over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce stomach cramps, muscles aches and headaches. Diuretics (drugs that increase urination) are excellent treatments for bloating and fluid retention. However, consult your doctor before consuming any medication or supplement.
Any kind of bleeding from the uterus, which is not normal, can be termed as abnormal uterine bleeding. This refers to bleeding between periods or before periods, bleeding after having sex, spotting, abnormally heavy bleeding or bleeding after attaining menopause. If you are suffering from any of these issues, you need to check with the doctor.
It is very important to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding. There are several examinations and tests that have to be carried out, depending on age. For irregular spotting, a pregnancy test can be undertaken in case you think you could be pregnant. If your uterine bleeding is very heavy, a test has to be performed to check blood count. This is done to observe whether you have anemia. An ultrasound test of the pelvic region will also be advised by your doctor to know the cause of the bleeding. Several hormonal tests and thyroid function tests are required as well.
- Sonohysterography: When fluid is placed within the uterus and ultrasound images of the uterus are taken. An image of the pelvic organs is obtained.
- Hysteroscopy: It can be carried out when a device is inserted via the vagina and enables the doctor to examine the uterus internally.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is also used to get images of the organs.
- Endometrial biopsy: It involves insertion of a catheter to take out a tissue which is microscopically observed.
There are different types of treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding depending upon factors such as the cause of bleeding and the age of the patient.
- Medications: Several medicines are used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Sometimes hormonal medicines are used. Birth control pills are also used to improve the regularity of periods. Hormonal infections, vaginal creams and an IUD device releasing hormone can be used. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to control bleeding. Several antibiotics may also be prescribed.
- Surgery: In some cases of abnormal uterine bleeding, a woman has to undergo a surgery for the removal of growth such as polyps and fibroids, which results in bleeding. While some fibroids can be removed via hysteroscopy, others require different techniques for treatment.
- Endometrial ablation: It can be undertaken to control bleeding. This mode of treatment aims at reducing the bleeding permanently. In case all treatment methods fail, hysterectomy has to be carried out. This is a major surgery and after it is performed, a woman does not have periods anymore and will not be able to conceive a child.
Abnormal uterine bleeding is a major health condition, which may lead to severe complications. Immediate diagnosis and appropriate treatment methods should be undertaken in case of any abnormal uterine bleeding.
The types of sexual problems in women correspond to the stages of the sexual response cycle. Inability to achieve any of the stages can interfere with sexual satisfaction and thus create a problem.
For the benefit of couples suffering from infertility, modern medical science has introduced several innovative procedures. Some of the popular procedures are In-vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), donor eggs and embryos and so on. In addition to these, there are several drugs and surgical procedures that help the couple in getting rid of infertility. Among all these procedures, IUI has gained popularity in the field of gynaecology and infertility treatment procedures. The IUI treatment is also popularly called as artificial insemination procedure. Although this is a popular procedure, it is appropriate that you should also understand its pros and cons.
IUI procedure in brief:
In simple terms, the IUI procedure involves placing the sperm inside the womb or uterus, which in turn would assist in fertilization of the egg. As a result of this procedure, the sperm reaches the fallopian tube, which enhances the chances or rate of egg fertilization.
Conditions precedent of IUI Procedure:
Before initiating the IUI procedure, the fast moving eggs are separated from the slow moving eggs. This separation is done in the laboratory. Further, in order to undergo IUI procedure, the women should be less than 40 years of age. On the other hand, apart from healthy fallopian tube, the women should also have higher ovarian reserves. Also, the sperm should have minimum mortality rate. However, IUI procedure is adopted only if the fallopian tube is healthy. IUI procedure is suggested in case the couple is having difficulty in vaginal intercourse, either because of psychosexual reasons or for reasons of physical disability.
The IUI procedure can be performed either with the husband's egg or with the donor’s egg. Some of the other important aspects of IUI procedure are briefly discussed here:
- The IUI procedure is a short duration procedure and it can be completed within a few minutes. This procedure does not cause any discomfort or pain. The procedure does not require any hospitalisation or administration of anesthesia. Further, the procedure also does not cause any side effects. In fact, compared to the IVF procedure, IUI is cost-effective.
- In order to enhance the level of success, the gynaecologist may suggest IUI procedure every month. In some cases, the gynaecologist may also prescribe a few medicines to simulate the ovulation procedure. Except this, IUI may not involve extensive medication.
You may undergo the IUI procedure under the supervision of sufficiently experienced gynaecologist. Further, you may also ensure the hospital is equipped with modern state of art machineries for carrying out the IUI procedure.
Postpartum hemorrhage is a condition where a woman may lose a lot of blood (approximately 500ml to 1000ml) from her vulva shortly after childbirth. This usually occurs within the first 24 hrs of childbirth and can even result in severe blood loss threatening the mother’s life in case the blood loss is over 2000 ml. Secondary postpartum hemorrhage can also occur until 12 weeks after childbirth and this extra care should be taken, if there is any such possibility.
Symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage:
1. Rapid increase in heart rate.
2. Feeling dizzy while standing up.
3. Increase breathing rate.
4. Feeling cold and chilly even if the room temperature is normal.
5. Sudden fall in blood pressure levels.
6. Fainting or becoming unconscious.
- Uterine atony: This is a condition in which the uterus contracts and may lead to excessive bleeding. Infection in the placental tissue can also lead to postpartum hemorrhage.
- Trauma: This is a very common cause for postpartum hemorrhage. Sometimes, the uterus (womb), vagina, cervix (passage forming the lower end of the womb) and the perineum (area between the vulva and the anus) can get injured. These areas become vascular during the course of pregnancy and may rupture in the process of childbirth causing excessive bleeding.
- Tissue: At times, the whole placenta or fetus tissue does not come out of the body after childbirth. This can lead to profound blood loss resulting in postpartum hemorrhage.
- Thrombin: This is a disorder which occurs when there is excessive bleeding when the blood fails to clot inside the body.
How can you prevent postpartum hemorrhage?
- Oxytocin is a substance which is used after the delivery of the baby. This prevents postpartum hemorrhage. It can be administered in the following ways :
- As an injection which is directly injected into the blood stream.
- After delivery, breastfeeding your baby can also trigger natural oxytocin. This occurs as encouraging the baby to suckle also stimulates the nipples which release oxytocin, thus preventing postpartum hemorrhage.
- In the form of intravenous drips mixed in with important medications. IV drips can administer oxytocin along with other important fluids along with it.
- Uterine massage is also recommended to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. After delivery, massaging the uterus makes the muscles relax and contract. This reduces the risks of excessive bleeding.
A lot of women can also die due to excessive bleeding after childbirth, especially in developing countries including India. This is a cause for concern and proper care should be taken if you start experiencing these symptoms.
Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, can be termed as any type of discomfort, pain or tenderness in and around the breast or the underarm region. It can also be accompanied by a sharp pain or a burning sensation.
There are two major types of breast pain
Cyclical Pain: As the name suggests, this type of pain occurs on a cyclic basis and is linked with one’s menstrual cycle. It may happen when one is going through her periods and is influenced by hormonal imbalance. This type of pain is generally not a cause of concern.
Non-Cyclical Pain: This is generally not common and its cause can be linked to a variety of reasons; cancer or a malignant tumour in the breast being the most severe consequence.
Causes of Breast Pain
Lumpy breasts along with soreness and pain can be caused due to fibrocystic breast tissue.
Hormonal imbalance can also lead to pain or discomfort in and around the breast region. Abnormal prolactin limits can also be a contributing factor.
Breast cancer can also lead to pain, mostly in the left breast. Along with the pain, it can also induce a dull ache, tightness or heaviness in the chest.
Treatments for Breast pain
The various treatments for cyclical breast pain include:
Making modifications in the diet
Administering Vitamin E and calcium supplements
Including thyroid hormonal supplements in the diet
Reducing sodium intake in your diet
For non-cyclical breast pain, which is often the cause of cancer, a thorough examination is recommended. A clinical biopsy will be advised if the lumpy tissues make the tumour harder to be detected through a mammogram.
- If the pain is on account of an injury, then appropriate painkillers will have to be administered to reduce the pain.
Delivering a baby is a painful, but also a pleasurable moment for the mother. But if the delivery is done through a C-section surgery or what is more commonly termed as Caesarean delivery, the pain is not felt during the actual delivery since the woman in under anaesthesia. However, the real challenge is to recover from the operation. The first week is particularly critical. Here are some things you can do to manage it with less discomfort:
- The first few hours, naturally, you will be under close observation till you fully regain conscience if it was a general anaesthesia. If only the lower portion was numbed for the surgery, then also the feelings in the legs etc. will return within a few hours.
- You will start breastfeeding the baby; wear comfortable clothes so that you can feed the baby without any discomfort. If this is the first experience, learn things that you need to know through books or from friends and relatives who would have had a C-section earlier.
- You may feel more comfortable in a recliner than a flat bed. Most hospitals should be able to provide you one.
- You might be better off with a heater pad of your own, since your back may be aching considerably and bringing down the pain is essential.
- Wearing a binder around your tummy is another suggestion given by many women who have had a C-section delivery; besides helping with easing the pain, it also prevents the tummy from bulging, which you would want to avoid.
- Follow the obstetrician’s advice on having a shower and also on resuming some of your physical activities without hurting the stitches or the sutures.
- By Day 3, you should be able to resume eating your normal diet; in many cases, it could be earlier than that.
- Do take care to avoid lifting anything heavy. The heaviest object you can lift is your baby. Make your husband or any other person to help you through this period to avoid any complications later.
- How about medicines? If you are already on any kind of medication and if you had stopped any of them due to the surgical procedure, check with the doctor and resume taking the medicines.
- Keep a close watch on the food you eat, particularly since you will also be nursing your baby. Don’t hesitate to consult the doctor on things you may be fond of, but have to avoid in order to protect the kid from being affected in any way.
Pregnancy and delivery are some of the happiest moments in any mother’s life; so remain cheerful throughout and enjoy the moments. If the delivery has been done through C-section, some of these extra precautions are to be observed to make it easy for yourself to recover fast. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Kegel is named after renowned gynaecologist Arnold Kegel. Kegel exercises are for the strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. You must continue doing Kegel exercises multiple times for several days, to begin to see changes and benefits.
1. It is a highly recommended treatment for urinary incontinence
2. Works well in case of decreased bladder control
3. Strengthens pelvic muscles
4. Relieves abdominal cramps
5. Helps in pelvic toning
6. Prevents organ prolapse
7. Beneficial to those with constipation as kegel exercises help regulate bowel movements
Kegel exercises during pregnancy
During pregnancy, most women suffer from problems related to constipation, which can be kept in check by regular practice of kegel exercises. The strengthening of pelvic muscles is of utmost need during this time, as weakened muscles can lead to a major prolapse if they are unable to bear the weight of a baby. Strong pelvic muscles are required to have a healthy pregnancy. These exercises are useful in preparing the muscles for labour and childbirth. If you notice occasional leakage of urine during the third trimester, it is a warning sign of losing bladder control, which, if left untreated, can worsen during the post partum period. Regularly exercising can help prevent complications occurring due to pregnancy.
How To Do Kegel Exercise During Pregnancy?
Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet without tightening your abdominal, buttock, or thigh muscles. When you're able to successfully start and stop urinating, or you feel the vaginal muscle contract, you are using your pelvic floor muscle, the muscle you should be contracting during Kegel exercises.
You can do Kegel exercises two ways: either by holding or quickly contracting the pelvic floor muscle. To do slow Kegels, contract the pelvic floor muscle and hold for three to 10 seconds. Then relax and repeat up to 10 times. To do fast Kegels, quickly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscle 25 to 50 times. Relax for 5 seconds and repeat the set up to four times.
Squatting: Squatting is helpful during labor because it opens the pelvic outlet an extra quarter to half inch, allowing more room for the baby to descend. But squatting is tiring, so you should practice it frequently during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles needed.
How to do Squatting? An exercise called a wall slide is especially helpful. Stand with your back straight against a wall, place your feet shoulder width apart and about six inches from the wall, and keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly and gently slide down the wall to a squatting position (keeping your back straight) until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds, slowly slide back to a standing position. Repeat five or 10 times.
Pelvic Tilt: What is it? Pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles, help relieve backache during pregnancy and labor, and ease delivery. This exercise can also improve the flexibility of your back, and ward off back pain.
How to do Pelvic Tilt? You can do pelvic tilts in various positions, but down on your hands and knees is the easiest way to learn it. Get comfortable on your hands and knees, keeping your head in line with your back. Pull in your stomach and arch your back upward. Hold this position for several seconds. Then relax your stomach and back, keeping your back flat and not allowing your stomach to sag. Repeat this exercise three to five times. Gradually work your way up to 10 repetitions.
These exercises can yield great benefits with minimal effort. The exercises require no special equipment except comfortable clothes, and a little space to do them.
Do not worry if you are not close to the goal when you begin. Pelvic muscles are like any other muscles in your body. They will become stronger only with time, consistency and mindful work.
Beware: If you sense any pain in your back or abdomen after doing a Kegel set, it is a sign of you not doing them properly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cervical cancer occurs in the cervical cells which are present in the lower part of the uterus. It is usually caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which is transmitted sexually. However, in some cases, the virus may survive for a few years, causing some cells of the cervix to become cancerous.
Cervical cancer is usually classified into two types:
- Adenocarcinoma: This type of cancer starts in the column shaped glandular cells along the lining of the cervix.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Most cases of cervical cancer are of this type. Here, the cancer occurs in the flat and thin cells that are present in the outer region of the cervix.
Symptoms: Usually, very few symptoms show up in the initial stages. However, the latter stages tell a different story. The symptoms at an advanced stage are:
- You may experience pain during sexual intercourse
- Foul smelling discharge from the vagina
- Bleeding from the vagina during sexual intercourse
Causes: Cervical cancer develops due to the mutation of healthy cells which makes turns them into malignant (cancerous) cells. The cancerous cells tend to grow at a fast pace, thus accumulating and forming a tumor. The cancerous cells may also spread to the adjoining areas of the body.
There are certain factors which increase your chances of being affected by cervical cancer:
- Too many sexual partners: The chances of cervical cancer increase significantly if you have multiple sexual partners.
- A weak immune system: A weak immune system makes you highly susceptible to cervical cancer.
- Lifestyle factors: Various lifestyle factors such as smoking can increase your risk of cervical cancer.
The treatment for cervical cancer involves the following:
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves injecting chemicals into the vein to destroy the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy consists of using x-rays to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used alongside chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells.
- Surgery: Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is used in the treatment of cervical cancer. It involves removal of the uterus to treat this disorder.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!