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Womens Health Tips

Genital Tract Infections - Know Impacts Of Them!

Genital Tract Infections - Know Impacts Of Them!

Genital tract infections are infections of the genital tract in both women and men, with it being more common in women. Genital tract infections can be of three types – infections spread through sexual contact, called exogenous infections or sexually transmitted infections (STIs); infections spread without sexual contact, called endogenous infections; and infections caused due to medical procedures such as abortion, called iatrogenic infections. Some of the most common Genital Tract infections are - bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, yeast infections (candidiasis), gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes genitalis, etc.

The symptoms associated with genital tract infections can range from no symptoms to severe ones. Women are more susceptible to contracting GTIs and more likely to suffer from complications of the infection. The most common symptoms of GTIs are:

  1. Abnormal discharge from vagina – Foul-smelling discharge with unusual colour
  2. Itching or burning sensation in and around the genital area
  3. Pain or tingling and burning sensation while urinating
  4. Blisters, sores, persistent rashes, warts or bumps in and around the genitals or anus
  5. Pain and bleeding during or after intercourse
  6. Lower abdominal pain
  7. Excessive vaginal bleeding during menstruation

The consequences of untreated or undetected genital tract infections can be quite severe in women, especially in developing countries. It can lead to a number of harmful effects on the reproductive health of women, including chronic infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes, cervical cancer, pregnancy complications and more. Some of the most severe effects of untreated genital tract infections are:

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID occurs when bacteria are spread from the lower genital tract due to unprotected sexual intercourse, or intercourse with multiple partners. PID can lead to scarring and damage to tissues resulting in infertility, chronic pelvic pain and pregnancy complications.

Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies occur when the zygote is implanted outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Genital tract infections can cause scarring and block tubal passage which leads to ectopic pregnancies.

Infertility
Long-term genital tract infections that remain untreated can lead to inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes, which block the descent of the egg. This leads to tubal infertility in women. Further, the untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to damage of uterine tissue that again causes infertility.

Genital cancers
Certain genital tract infections such as those associated with human papillomavirus have been found to be linked to the development of cervical neoplasia and lead to cervical cancer.

Genital tract infections can become life-threatening if left untreated for too long, thus it is crucial to consult a doctor as soon as you notice any abnormal symptoms of GTIs.

Gynaecology Problems - How Can Ayurveda Handle Them?

Gynaecology Problems - How Can Ayurveda Handle Them?

Women can face a number of gynecological issues at various stages of their life. This includes irregular periods, painful periods, infertility, uterine cysts, impotency and frizidity. According to Ayurveda, most of these issues arise from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle that disturbs the balance of doshas. The symptoms exhibited thus depend on which of the three doshas; vata, pitta or kapha is aggravated and which is lowered. This, in turn, means that to treat these gynecological issues, Ayurvedic doctors attempt to correct the balance of doshas through lifestyle changes and herbal remedies.

  • Diet: Women need more energy than men, especially during menstruation. Thus, it is important to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal. Avoid processed foods, teas and caffeinated drinks and focus on whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Do not skip your meals. The type of fruits and vegetables that should be eaten will also be determined by the dosha that has been aggravated. For example, if the kapha dosha has been aggravated, one must eat light food and favour vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots and garlic.
  • Lifestyle: Along with eating the right food, it is also important to eat at the right time. Along with this, you must also get enough sleep, exercise regularly and not be overcome by stress. When it comes to stress management, yoga is very beneficial. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Herbal Remedies: When it comes to herbal remedies, Ayurveda does not merely treat the symptoms shown, but also strengthens the patient’s overall mental and physical health. These remedies have negligible side effects and are easily available. For example, if you suffer from painful periods, ginger, saffron and licorice root could help relieve the pain. Even more serious gynecological issues such as infertility can be treated with Ayurveda. In such cases, the treatment can take many forms. This includes herbal remedies made from Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Guduchi, Triphala etc. and Swedanam to sweat the toxins out of the body. In cases of frigidity, treatment could include remedies made of banyan tree root that has been powdered and milk or milk and powdered Ashwagandha. For the treatment of uterine fibroids, herbal remedies may be prepared from Guggul, Varuna, Aloe Vera or Asoka. These may also be combined together.

Panchakarma treatment can also be very helpful in treating gynecological issues. This involves five different types of treatments based on the patient’s complaint and overall health.
 

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Vitamins & Minerals - Know The Requirement Of It In Women!

Vitamins & Minerals - Know The Requirement  Of It In Women!

Women’s physiologic needs are somewhat different from men. Since they have an altogether different build and physiologic processes they also have a different nutritional need compared to men. Women in different age groups need a number of minerals and vitamins in higher quantities than men in the same age group. Here are some of the most important minerals and vitamins for women.

Calcium 

Calcium is essential for strong bones, healthy muscles, and more in both men and women. However, it is all the more essential for women since they start losing bone after menopause. They need to get enough calcium throughout their lives so that they don’t suffer from porous bones and problems associated with it. You need to build a sustainable bone density within 19 to 30 years of age since you are invariably going to lose some as you age and cross menopause. If the diet is not enough, you may consider supplements but with medical advice. Dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, beans, cereals, almonds, leafy greens, salmon they all deliver a good amount of calcium.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones and women tends to get porous bones as they age. It may also reduce the risk of some cancers and heart diseases. But the significance of Vitamin D lies in the fact that it promotes calcium absorption. Without Vitamin D, calcium-rich diet and supplements would not be of any use. One can get vitamin D in sea fishes like tuna and salmon, fortified milk, fruit juices, cereals etc. One also needs to get enough of sunshine since vitamin D is made in the skin on exposure to sunlight.

Iron

Iron helps increase hemoglobin that in turn enhances the number of red blood cells in the blood. This keeps blood healthy. Women undergo heavy menstrual bleeding, and to counter that they need healthy blood level. Women also need healthy blood level since it is through the blood that the fetus derives all the nutrition. So they need iron-rich diets and/or iron supplements. If they don’t get enough iron, they may suffer from anemia. The best sources of Iron are animal sources since the iron found in animal meat is heme iron, which is easily assimilated by the body.

Folate

Women in the reproductive age group need to take Folate, a type of Vitamin B, that helps in the development of the fetus and reduces the risk of congenital problems like spina bifida in children. One can get enough Folate in brown rice, dark green vegetables, sprouts, spinach, green beans, broccoli, potatoes etc. You can also get it in fortified cereals and bread. However, pregnant women or those desiring to get pregnant need to add folate in the form of supplements in their regimen. For pregnant and breastfeeding women the requirement of folate shots up.

Magnesium

Magnesium supports a number of bodily functions in both men and women, but its significance for women lies in its ability to promote strong bones and preventing bone loss. This is why it is very important for women above 40 years of age when the risk of osteoporosis increases.

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Menorrhagia - How To Get Rid Of It?

Menorrhagia - How To Get Rid Of It?

Excess bleeding or menorrhagia is a common kind of abnormal bleeding occurring at the time of menstruation. Menorrhagia causes more blood loss which leads to anaemia. Fatigue and breathlessness are common symptoms of anaemia.

Symptoms of excess bleeding

A few of the common symptoms of excessive bleeding are: 

  1. Discharge of large blood clots is a sign of heavy bleeding 
  2. Bleeding during the night which causes disruption in sleep as one has to wake up several times in the night to change the sanitary napkin 
  3. Menstruation lasts longer than usual or more than 5 to 7 days. 
  4. Any menses requiring an excess change of pads than usual 

Causes of excess bleeding 

  1. Imbalance of hormones: During adolescence and when nearing menopause, the female body undergoes some imbalance in oestrogen and progesterone hormones. At these points of time, heavy bleeding is common among women. But it’s abnormal. So get it evaluated. 
  2. Abortion / Ectopic pregnancy: Conception occurs in mid-cycle and so by the time a menses start, one could be a pregnant too. So excess bleeding occurring at menses could be also due to an abortion or miscarriage. Unlike the usual course of pregnancy, if the fertilised egg gets stuck in the fallopian tubes and develops there, It results in Ectopic pregnancy. Excess bleeding can be a sign of ectopic pregnancy too.
  3. Fibroids: Growth of fleshy solid tumours in the wall of uterus namely Fibroids can lead to excess bleeding. 
  4. Cancer: Cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers are rare causes of heavy bleeding, but it is possible. So the early detection of these conditions is better for treatment. 
  5. Adenomyosis: This is common in middle-aged women who have given birth to more than two children. In this case, the glands that appear in the lining of the uterus become deeply embedded in the muscle of the uterus wall. These women with adenomyotic uterus have severe dysmenorrhea ( pain during menses ) and excess bleeding. 
  6. Intrauterine device: IUD used for birth causes more bleeding during menstruation. In some the bleeding reduces over time, but if in excess one must get evaluated. 
  7. Pelvic inflammatory disease: PID is an infection that occurs in the uterus, other reproductive organs and the fallopian tubes. Inflammed reproductive organs bleed more and hence cause menorrhagia. 
  8. Other diseases and disorders: Diseases like that of liver, kidneys and thyroids can cause excess bleeding. Disorders in blood levels or platelets can also be a cause. 

Treatment for excess bleeding 

Several treatments are available to treat heavy bleeding during menstruation. Choosing the right one mainly depends on the reasons that cause heavy bleeding.

Non-surgical treatments: 

  1. Hormonal therapy: This therapy is used as a treatment to stabilise the lining of the uterus (endometrium) and thus regulate the menstrual bleeding. 
  2. Non-hormonal medication: A tranexamic acid is a non-hormonal medication prescribed by the doctor that promotes clotting of the blood.
  3. Nonsteroidal drugs: Nonsteroidal medications that are anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen, mefenamic acid helps to reduce blood loss. 

Surgical Treatments 

  1. Hysteroscopy: A long and thin scope can be inserted into the uterus through the cervix and the vagina. The doctor observes the lining of the uterus, remove the excess lining or the endometrial polyps that cause bleeding. 
  2. Dilation and curettage: In this procedure, the mouth of the uterus (cervix) to be dilated and the lining of the uterus is scrapped off to make it shed all at once and stop bleeding. 
  3. Hysterectomy: This involves removing the uterus. It is mainly done for uterus having adenomyosis, fibroids, or cancers, or when the patient does not respond to medical therapies. 
  4. Ablation: Ablation or endometrial resection allows removal of the lining of the uterus. But it may be a temporary measure as the lining recurs. 

To conclude, proper diagnosis, choosing the right treatment for excess bleeding at menses needs to be done urgently as it affects the overall health of the women suffering from it.

Nutrition For Adolescent Girls & Pregnant Women!

Nutrition For Adolescent Girls & Pregnant Women!

Adolescence is characterized by the spurt in growth, a period in which growth occurs really fast. During this time, physical changes affect the nutritional needs of the body, while lifestyle changes might affect eating habits along with the choices of food. On the other, Nutrition is equally important for all those who are pregnant as, during pregnancy, a woman's body goes through a number of physical and hormonal changes. Hence, the way one nourishes her body during this phase will affect one's health as well as her baby's.

Importance of Nutrition for Adolescent Girls

It is the spurt in growth that tends to occur in adolescence that creates an increase in the demand for energy as well as nutrients. The important set of nutrients that require to increase during adolescence include energy, protein and calcium.

Let us briefly look into how each of them is important for adolescent girls:

*Energy: Adolescents require additional energy for their growth and activity. They can meet up the requirements by having various healthy foods like lean protein sources, dairy products containing low fat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

*Protein: Protein requirements of adolescent girls are mainly determined by the amount of protein they require for maintaining lean body mass. Protein is important both for growth and maintenance of muscle. Adolescents usually require somewhere between 45 and 60 gm of protein every day. They can get that through chicken, eggs, beef, pork, dairy products and some vegetables.

*Calcium: An adequate amount of calcium intake is necessary for developing strong and dense bones during the adolescent stage. Milk provides the highest amount of calcium in the diets of adolescents, followed by cheese, ice cream and frozen yoghurt.

**Iron: Adolescent girls require adequate amount of iron intake on a daily basis. Some of the iron-rich foods are Tofu, Tempeh, Natto, Soybeans, Lentils, Other Beans and Peas, Nuts and Seeds, Leafy Greens, Tomato Paste, Potatoes and more. 

Nutritional Requirements for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women go through a number of physical as well as hormonal changes. Hence, nourishment plays a crucial role during this time, which will have an effect on the health of women and well as their on their babies.

-Women must make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet, which will help them stay healthy all through their pregnancy.

-The food that they have turns out to be the main source of nourishment for babies. Thus it is critical to take those foods that are rich in nutrients.

An easy way to ensure that they are getting all the required nutrients is to have different foods from each of the food groups every day. Each and every food group has something to offer for the body. For instance:

  • Grains can provide them with a good source of energy
  • Fruits and vegetables remain packed with antioxidants, fibre and vitamins that are both water-soluble and also fat-soluble.
  • Meats, nuts and legumes can provide their body with protein, folate and iron.
  • Dairy products can be a great source of calcium and also Vitamin D.
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Women Health Care Tips!

Women Health Care Tips!

The shrinking back of the uterus to its natural shape and size may lead to the occurence of afterpains. It usually happens while breastfeeding as oxytocin, the hormone which encourages the uterus to contract is released during feeding.

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Role Of Lasers In Gynaecology - Know The New Trend!

Role Of Lasers In Gynaecology - Know The New Trend!

The CO2 Laser Treatment was first used for the treatment of gynecological disorders in 1973. It was used for treating gynecological disorders including cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and microsurgery of the fallopian tube. Gynecological disorders like stress urinary incontinence, vaginal atrophy, and pelvic floor dysfunction are becoming very common these days. Nowadays, doctors practice Laser

Treatment to cure such problems.

In Laser Treatment, the laser beam is applied only to the affected tissue and has minimal impact on the non-target tissue. It is different from traditional technology and involves minimal thermal damage through laser beam on the internal organs. It is a safe and effective way to cure gynecological problems without the need for open surgery. Laser treatment is also used in the field of cosmetic gynecology for treating various conditions. These techniques involve Vaginal Rejuvenation, Labiaplasty, and Vaginoplasty.

Benefits of Laser Treatment in Gynecology

In the delicate surgeries like laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, the surgeons need to make sure that the laser beam penetration is minimum and not causing damage to the tissues of the internal organ. However, in the case of the CO2 Laser Treatment, the laser beams are very gentle. They are balanced with optimal thermal control and are precise so that the non-target areas are safe.

Some of the benefits of Laser Treatment in Gynecology are:

● The laser method is minimally invasive.

● The impact is restricted to the target tissue only.

● The post-surgery healing time is less.

● Minimum damage to healthy tissues.

● Fewer chances of recurrence of the disease.

● Minimal scarring.

● Simple and requires a few steps only.

● If the abdominal surgeries are coupled with laser technology, it will help surgeons to treat the lesions and reduce the chances of recurrence.

Laser Approach Used for Disease

Laser treatment in gynecology is used to treat the disease like

● Stress Urinary Incontinence: IncontiLase Laser Treatment is used to treat this disease. It involves the tightening of irradiated tissues to gain normal continence.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: ProlapLase Laser Treatment is used to treat this disease. It involves tightening or narrowing of the diameter of the vaginal cavity and strengthening of the vaginal walls.

● Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: RenovaLase Laser Treatment is used to treat this problem. It involves vascularization of the vaginal wall to improve fluid content and provides relief from dryness, irritation, and burning.

● Abdominal Problems: The laser technology, when coupled with the Laparoscopy procedure, is used for abdominal surgeries. The procedure helps in less thermal damage to the tissues and more control over the target area. The surgeon can monitor the penetration to reduce the damage.

Endometriosis: Laser Treatment is very popular to treat the underlying disease like Endometriosis.

Take Away

Laser Treatment is a minimally invasive procedure to treat gynecological problems. The technique causes less damage to the surrounding healthy tissues while treating the problem. It can be opted for treating many gynecological problems; however, it is advisable to consult a doctor before going for this treatment.

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding - How To Diagnose It?

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding - How To Diagnose It?

As a woman goes through life, her hormonal levels change quite dramatically and this can be quite impactful. However, sometimes the impact is not a good one! This can be said to be the cause when it comes to dysfunctional uterine bleeding. This sort of bleeding occurs when the levels the hormones are at cause the menstrual cycle of the woman to become erratic.

Understanding the Diagnosis
When it comes to the diagnosis of an issue such as this, the process must include the ruling out of other more serious problems such as fibroids, a miscarriage, or even cancer which has affected the cervix or the uterus of the woman.

Treatment options
A doctor, post-ruling out these situations, will inform the patient, if dysfunctional uterine bleeding is what is being experienced. When it comes to the matter of how dysfunctional uterine bleeding is to be dealt with, it can be said that the best thing which is to be done is to sit down with the doctor and have a comprehensive chat with respect to what the solutions which are available at hand are.

  1. One of these solutions happens to be hormone treatment. However, it is to be kept in mind that this is usually only made use of in order to stop dysfunctional uterine bleeding which is very severe.
  2. If the woman is not experiencing bleeding which is this bad, a good solution could be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are also known by their abbreviation, which is NSAIDs. Drugs such as ibuprofen are used quite widely when it comes to treating the issue of dysfunctional uterine bleeding. That being said, the matter of the best solution is something which is very subjective and the best judge of the same is only the doctor who has been apprised of all the facts which pertain to the case at hand.
  3. It is only in extreme cases that the uterus as a whole is removed, a process which goes by the name of hysterectomy. This sort of solution is only recommended when a woman does not wish to have any more children.
  4. If a woman who has been experiencing the problem of dysfunctional uterine bleeding is aged between the years of 19 and 39, a good and apt solution would be a combination of low dose hormonal contraceptive treatment along with progestin therapy.

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is something which can mar a woman’s daily life, but it really needs not to be the case!
 

Vaginal Cancer - Know Forms Of It!

Vaginal Cancer - Know Forms Of It!

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:

1. Vaginal adenocarcinoma, beginning in the glandular cells on the surface of your vagina
2. Vaginal sarcoma, developing in the connective tissue cells and multiple cells lining the walls of your vagina
3. Vaginal squamous cell carcinoma, originates in the squamous cells lining the surface of the bacteria
4. 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:

1. Diluted, watery vaginal discharge
2. Painful urination
3. Constipation
4. Odd cases vaginal bleeding, for instance, after menopause or after intercourse
5. Formation of lumps in your vagina
6. Frequent and regular urination
7. 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:

1. Increasing age
2. Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
3. Exposure  to miscarriage prevention drugs
 

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How Is Environmental Pollution Affecting Female Health?

How Is Environmental Pollution Affecting Female Health?

Long term outcomes of increasing environmental pollution via air, water and food include cancer, congenital birth defects in baby, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility.

So what can you do?

1) Get yourself screened for cancer (paps smear, breast cancer screening)
2) Annual medical check-up
3) Start your family early. Don't wait too long after your marriage to start your family
4) Discuss about methods of contraception with your gynaecologist and choose one, rather than going for abortions for unwanted pregnancy.
5) Regular consultation with your gynaecologist during your pregnancy.

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