Doctor in Bloom Women & Kids Clinic
Caesarean Section Procedure
Treatment Of Female Sexual Problems
Termination Of Pregnancy Procedure
Treatment Of Pregnancy Problems
Well Woman Healthcheck
Treatment Of Female Sexual Problems
Treatment Of Medical Diseases In Pregnancy
Treatment Of Menstrual Problems
Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) Treatment
Medical Termination Of Pregnancy (Mtp) Procedure
Gynecology Laparoscopy Procedures
Pap Smear Procedure
Urinary Incontinence (Ui) Treatment
Family Planning Procedure
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a common infection in the female reproductive organs like the ovaries, the uterus and the fallopian tubes and also the inside of the pelvis. If left untreated for a long time, PID can lead to severe problems like pregnancy complications, infertility and cancer.
- Cause: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) like chlamydia and gonorrheaproduce vaginal bacteria which travel to the interior organs and cause PID. Having unprotected sexual contact with someone who has an STD is the most common cause of PID. Moreover, medical processes like abortion, miscarriage, childbirth, insertion of contraceptive devices can also lead to bacterial infection. Having sex with a number of people, or having sex before the age of 20, or having had an STD in the past, also increase the chances of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
- Symptoms: The disease may show only minor symptoms or it may not show any symptom at all. When it does, the common symptoms are pelvic pain, discomfort while urinating or having intercourse, difficulties with menstruation and unusual fluid discharge from the vagina.
- Associated symptoms: High fever, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, exhaustion, shivering and fainting.
- Diagnosis: A pelvic examination is conducted to check for abnormal bleedingfrom the cervix (the opening of the uterus), fluid discharge or severe pain in the uterus, fallopian tubes or in the ovaries. Swabs taken from the cervix and the vagina are tested for STDs or other possible bacterial infections that may cause PID. An ultrasound or a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan is conducted to make sure that the symptoms are not being caused by other disorders like appendicitis or other kinds of infection in the reproductive organs. A pregnancy test is also done to take the necessary precautions to protect the fetus from the adverse effects of the infection.
- Treatment: The treatment procedures of PID vary depending on the type of bacteria that caused the infection in the specific case. Antibiotic medication is used to treat the condition. In case of severe complications, the patient has to be hospitalized.
Generally identified as a rare and uncommon phenomenon, vaginal cancer most often occurs in the cells present in the outer lining of the vagina, also called the birth canal. Although primary vaginal cancer is rare and unusual, there are various other types of vaginal cancer that originate elsewhere in the body, but have spread over to your vagina.
Depending upon the nature of origin, vaginal cancer can be divided into the following types:
- Vaginal adenocarcinoma, beginning in the glandular cells on the surface of your vagina
- Vaginal sarcoma, developing in the connective tissue cells and multiple cells lining the walls of your vagina
- Vaginal squamous cell carcinoma, originates in the squamous cells lining the surface of the bacteria
- Vaginal melanoma, developing in melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in your vagina
Symptoms: As vaginal cancer progresses from one stage to the next, you may experience any one of the following signs and symptoms:
- Diluted, watery vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Odd cases vaginal bleeding, for instance, after menopause or after intercourse
- Formation of lumps in your vagina
- Frequent and regular urination
- Pelvic pain
Causes: Normally, cancer develops when healthy cells undergo genetic mutations, subsequently leading to the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cells are known to break off from pre-existing tumors and can easily spread everywhere, in what is referred to as metastasize.
Beyond the natural process of development, here are a few factors, which may further contribute to the growth of cancerous cells:
- Increasing age
- Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
- Exposure o miscarriage prevention drugs
Menstrual disorders are caused by a variety of factors and affect every woman in a different manner. In most cases, it manifests itself in the form of fluctuations in menstrual flow and irregularity in the monthly cycle. Certain disorders are not too severe and can be easily alleviated. Others are more complicated and require the immediate attention of a gynecologist.
As mentioned, there are different specific causes of different kinds of disorders resulting from a range of factors such as hormone levels, functioning of the central nervous system, health of the uterus, etc.
Some of the most common causes of menstrual disorders are as follows:
- Hormonal imbalance: Fluctuating hormone levels in the body have a direct impact on the menstrual cycle. These fluctuations can be caused by dysfunction in the pituitary gland, thyroid gland or adrenal gland. It can also be a result of malfunction in either or both ovaries and the secretion of hormones originating there.
- Anatomic problems: One fourth menstrual disorders are caused by problems of the anatomy. These include various gynecological issues like the presence of uterine fibroids and polyps, reduced uterine contractile strength, adenomyosis (intrusion of uterine tissue into the muscular wall of the uterus), a uterus with an excessively large surface area, and endometrial cancer.
- Clotting irregularities: Abnormality in clotting is a cause of heavy menstrual bleeding in women. It leads to exceeding blood loss from minor cuts and gashes and makes one easily prone to bruising. This may also include medical conditions such as thrombocytopenia (platelet dysfunction) and Von Willebrand disease.
- Medications and supplements: There is a wide range of medications and nutritional or hormonal supplements which often cause menstrual disorders in women and lead to fluctuations in the menstrual cycle. These include medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, estrogen pills, Vitamin E supplements etc.
- Miscellaneous factors: These are comparatively rare and require a greater degree of medical attention. It includes conditions such as cervical cancer, ovarian tumors, liver and kidney diseases, uterine infections, extreme psychological stress, obesity, etc. Incidents such as miscarriages and unsuspected pregnancies are also known to cause abnormal menstrual bleeding.
Most women attain menopause between the ages of late 40s and early 60s, the average age being about 51. This is an important milestone in a women's gynecological history. One major change is altered female hormone levels, and this leads to a lot of physiological changes. From hot flashes to mood swings, there is also increased predisposition to osteoporosis and uterine cancer.
If you have not had your menstrual cycles for close to 12 months, chances are you are into menopause. So, that means absolutely no vaginal bleeding anymore whatsoever. However, if you experience bleeding, even spotting, be on the alert. It is not normal and needs to be examined, and if required, diagnosed and treated.
Postmenopausal bleeding or PMB, as it is popularly called, can be due to a variety of reasons. While it could be something as trivial as inflammation of the uterine or vaginal lining, it could also be an indication of more severe issues like cancer.
- Atrophic vaginitis: Decreasing hormonal levels lead to increased dryness and therefore inflammation of the vaginal and uterine tissue. This is one of the common causes of bleeding after menopause.
- Endometrial atrophy: Also caused by lower hormone levels, the lining of the body of the uterus gradually thins down and can get inflamed.
- Polyps: Noncancerous growths in the uterus, cervix, vulva, or vagina can also lead to bleeding.
- Infections: General infection of any area along the uterine tract could lead to occasional bleeding.
- Cancers: Though only 1 in 10 PMB cases turn out to be cancers, the prognosis improves with early diagnosis and intervention.
Diagnosis: As repeated above, reach out to your doctor if you notice postmenopausal bleeding. Diagnostic methods could include the following:
- Physical examination
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- Endometrial biopsy
- Dilatation and Curettage
Treatment: Needless to say, this would depend on the diagnosis. For very minor cases with diagnosis like altered hormone levels, no treatment may be required other than modification of the hormone replacement therapy. For endometrial atrophy and atrophic vaginitis, use of estrogen creams and pessaries would be sufficient. Polyps would require removal followed by cauterization (application of slight heat) to stop the bleeding.
Cancer: This would depend on the type and location and require a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. Removal of the uterus also may be required in some cases. So, if you have had bleeding of any sort after a year of menopause, do not ignore it.
The ovaries are the egg producing organs, an essential part of the female reproductive system, they are responsible for the production of estrogen and release an egg every month. If the egg is fertilized with a sperm it can result in a pregnancy.
Ovarian cysts are quite common among women. Ovarian cysts are known to be small sacs filled with fluid that are situated in the ovaries.
Causes of ovarian cysts: Among ovarian cysts, the most common one is called the 'functional cyst'. This type of cyst is generally formed during the process of ovulation, wherein either the eggs do not successfully release from the sac or the sac (follicle) fails to disintegrate properly after the release of the egg.
Certain factors that can cause ovarian cysts are:
- Age that is ovarian cysts are more likely to occur in women who have reached menopause
- Being overweight or obese
- Consumption of fertility drugs
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Family history of ovarian cysts and cancer
- Early menstruation, that is, the onset of the period before the age of 11
Symptoms related to ovarian cysts: Generally, ovarian cysts show no specific symptoms and are generally located during a physical examination or an ultrasound. But, in case you suffer from large cysts or those that have ruptured, you may experience certain signs like:
- Pain while having sex. Great discomfort may be felt, particularly when deep penetration is attempted.
- Pain in the lower abdominal and pelvic region. This pain may be intermittent or persistent. It can also vary from being mild to quite sharp.
- Irregularity in the menstrual cycle.
- An uncomfortable pressure in the lower abdominal and pelvic area.
- Acute pain in the pelvic area and the lower back all throughout the menstrual period.
- Pain in the pelvic area after a session of vigorous exercise or strenuous physical activity.
- A feeling of discomfort or pain while urinating or during bowel movements.
- Nausea, followed by vomiting.
- Pain in the vaginal area, or light bleeding.
- Problems with healthy bowel movements.
It's said that blocked fallopian tube is the most common cause of female infertility in about 40% women. Fallopian tubes are channels through which the egg travels to reach the uterus and blockage of these tubes can put a stop to this from taking place. Depending on the different parts of the tubes, this form of blockage is of several types.
What are the different types of fallopian tube blockages?
- Proximal tubal occlusion: This form of fallopian tube blockage involves the isthmus (an area of about 2 cm long, this part of the fallopian tube connects the infundibulum and ampulla to the uterus). This problem occurs due to complications associated with abortion, cesarean section or PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).
- Mid-segment tubal obstruction: It occurs in the ampullary section of the fallopian tube and is most frequently a result of tubal ligation damage. The procedure of tubal ligation is performed to put a stop to pregnancypermanently.
- Distal tubal occlusion: This is a kind of blockage wherein the section of the fallopian tube that is close to the ovary is affected and is commonly associated with a condition known as hydrosalpinx (a condition in which the fallopian tube is filled with fluid). The latter often happens due to Chlamydiainfection, leading to fallopian tube and pelvic adhesions.
The conditions that may give rise to this problem can include:
- Genital tuberculosis (the TB infection that occurs in the genital tract)
- Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in which the embryo places itself outside the uterus)
- Tubal ligation removal
- Complications related to surgery of the lower abdomen
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Uterine fibroids (benign growths that occur in the uterus)
- Endometriosis (development of uterine tissue outside of the organ)
These disorders can lead to the development of scar tissue, adhesions, polyps or tumors to form inside the pathway. Additionally, the tubes can also get stuck to other body parts such as ovaries, bladder, uterus and bowels. Two things can happen to the fallopian tubes, either they can become twisted or the tubes walls may stick together, leading to a complete blockage. Moreover, even if the fallopian tubes are partially damaged, they can remain open so as to enable pregnancy to occur, while increasing your risk for ectopic pregnancy.
Recurrent miscarriage is a condition when there has been three or more successive pregnancy losses. It is different from infertility as, infertility is the inability to conceive. For many cases, the cause of a recurrent miscarriage has not always been found.
A number of factors can cause recurrent miscarriages of which some are treatable.It may not always be possible to identify a cause for recurrent miscarriage in a couple, even after extensive research and treatment procedures. Some of the common causes of recurrent miscarriage are described below:
- Chromosomal abnormalities: Incompatible chromosomes can result into pregnancy losses. When an egg and a sperm meet, of which one of them is faulty, they can't line up properly resulting into chromosomal abnormality. Such conditions lead to miscarriages.
- Uterine abnormalities or Incompetent cervixes: Miscarriages occur if the uterus is abnormally shaped since the embryo is not properly implanted or even if it gets implanted, it may not get sufficient nourishment to survive. If the woman has a weak cervix, it cannot hold the developing embryo, leading to miscarriage.
- Immunologic disorders: Under rare cases, the embryo itself is not accepted by the body. Antiphospholipid antibodies are those, which attack self tissues, such as embryos and prevent them from building up. This leads to recurrent miscarriage.
- Untreated thyroid problems: Conditions such as thyroid or uncontrolled diabetes result in uterine conditions which make it tough for the embryos to survive.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have high levels of male hormones which, result in irregular menstruationand ovulation. This can prevent the lining of the endometrium from maturing that is required for holding the embryo.
- Bacterial infections: There may be presence of a number of microorganisms inside the reproductive tract that may be harmless for the person. But there may be certain bacteria lined up in the reproductive tract, which can prevent development of embryo, thus leading to miscarriages.
- Lifestyle: Smoking and drinking are harmful lifestyle habits, which may increase the chance of miscarriage to a great extent. It is always advised to avoid smoking or drinking when you wish to conceive. Other lifestyle conditions, such as working in certain environments like hospital environments, farms, laboratories, etc, may lead to miscarriages; however, the exact reason has not been identified yet.