As a woman, your body undergoes many changes during your reproductive lifetime. And you can be sure that gynecologic health issues will arise from time to time. From painful periods to abnormal discharge or vaginal itching, there are a host of gynecological problems that women deal with frequently. The difficulty is knowing which symptoms are normal and which are not and when it’s time to visit the doctor.
Here are a few of the most common gynecological issues to be aware of!
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is any vaginal bleeding unrelated to a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a general term that includes many gynecological conditions that cause bleeding outside menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding may also be a menstruation pattern that differs from normal. For example, excessively long, absent/irregular menstrual periods or extremely painful ones.
Some causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding could be:
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Menopause related bleeding
Your doctor should always investigate abnormal vaginal bleeding. The treatment of abnormal vaginal bleeding will depend on its cause. Once a diagnosis is established, you and your doctor can determine the best treatment options for your case.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that often appear in women, especially during their 30s and 40s. Fibroids do not always cause symptoms, but women may experience pelvic pain or severe menstrual cramps when they do. They may also notice extremely heavy menstrual bleeding or increased urination frequency. Although fibroids are not dangerous, they can cause discomfort and may lead to complications such as anemia from heavy blood loss.
The treatment of a fibroid depends on many factors like the severity of the symptoms, a woman’s age, and whether she is pregnant or planning to start a family soon.
Pelvic pain affects the lower part of the abdomen (the area between the belly button and groin). Pelvic pain is a common symptom that may be caused by anything from menstrual cramps to a ruptured ovarian cyst. Common causes of pelvic pain include:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Ovarian cysts
Investigations of pelvic pain may include diagnostic imaging or blood tests. The treatment of pelvic pain will be determined by its cause.
Painful and frequent urination are symptoms linked to urinary tract infection (UTI), vaginitis, and STIs (i.e., chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes). All these conditions require medical treatment and should be attended to by your doctor.
UTIs are characterized by painful urination, a burning sensation when passing urine, or strong-smelling urine. They can be treated by a course of antibiotics. Left untreated, the infection of a UTI can travel up to the kidneys.
Vaginitis occurs when the vagina or vulva has an infection or irritation. This disruption in the normal environment of the vagina leads to some of the symptoms of abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, or burning. The causes of vaginitis are numerous, but these symptoms should always prompt further investigations.
STIs can produce symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge, rashes in the genital area, and pain during urination. It is recommended that women experiencing any of these symptoms speak to their doctor or attend a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Untreated STIs can lead to long-term infections and problems with fertility.
Vaginal discomfort is a general term that refers to any condition that causes itchiness, irritability, or pain in the vagina. There are numerous causes of vaginal discomfort, and most women will have at least one experience of this condition throughout their lives. Your gynecologist should investigate any vaginal itching, vaginal odor, or abnormal vaginal discharge.
If you are experiencing any of these common gynecological issues, South Avenue Women’s Services is here to help you. Our welcoming and comforting staff have the knowledge and resources to ensure you get the best care and attention you deserve, from pap smears and STD testing to our abortion services.