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Every woman suffers from some gynaecological issue or the other during her lifetime. That being said, some issues are more common than others. Let’s discuss the most common issues that most women face and how to deal with them:
It is believed that every woman has to deal with a UTI at least twice in her lifetime. Women are more prone to the infection due to a shorter urethra and closeness of the urethra to the vagina.
Practising the following methods can certainly reduce the risk of developing urinary tract infections:
Many women complain of irregular periods too. Periods that arrive before 21 days or later than 35 days are described as ‘irregular’. Some of the most common causes of irregular periods occur due to a hormonal imbalance such as polycystic ovaries, thyroid disorders or hyperprolactinemia. These disorders are lifestyle disorders that can occur due to physical inactivity, poor eating habits, drinking alcohol, smoking and stress.
The only way to treat such issues is to modify your lifestyle. Here are a few tips:
Vaginal infections are very common in Indian women because of the tropical climate. In addition, our spicy food habits cause an alteration in the vaginal pH. Such factors make Indian women more prone to infections. Usually, vaginal discharge is absolutely normal. However, if the discharge is smelly, has cottage cheese consistency, is accompanied by itching or is green, yellowish or blood-tinged in colour, then you should visit a doctor at the earliest. It could be a sign of an infection.
Each infection has a specific treatment method but all infections are treatable. Not treating an infection early on can lead to infection in the uterus, chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
Here are a few tips for good vaginal hygiene to help you avoid infections:
Another common problem which most women suffer from is abnormal uterine bleeding. Normal uterine bleeding is when the amount of blood you lose during a period is between 5 ml to 80 ml. It should be between 2 teaspoons to 12 teaspoons. Usually, a period lasts anywhere between 2 to 7 days. If you are bleeding more than this and passing clots, you should ideally see a doctor for abnormal uterine bleeding.
The causes of this condition can be described using the abbreviation PALMCOIN, where:
P- Polyps in the uterus
A- Adenomyosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows inside the muscle of the uterus, reducing its ability to contract and stop bleeding
L- Leiomyoma, also know as fibroid, is an overgrowth of the muscle of the uterus
M- Malignancy or cancer of the uterus or the ovary
C- Coagulation abnormality is a disorder of the blood which causes clotting issues
O- Ovulation disorders like PCOD, thyroid abnormality or increased prolactin levels
I- Intake of hormones like emergency contraceptive pills or oral contraceptive pills
N- When there is abnormal uterine bleeding but no abnormality is detected.
So, if you are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding, it is best to speak with a doctor to ascertain the cause. Typically, you will be requested to get your hormone levels checked and go for an ultrasound.
Mild period cramps are part and parcel of menstruation. Majority of the women report experiencing painful cramps when they’re on their period.
So, having mild period cramps is absolutely normal. Tips to get over them are:
In case the period pain is too extreme and you can’t seem to relieve it using simple methods, you should ideally see a doctor. Moreover, if the period pain is stopping you from carrying out your daily chores, it could point to an underlying medical condition. The causes behind severe menstrual cramps include endometriosis, adenomyosis, and pelvic infections. All these conditions need to be addressed by a medical professional.
The take-home message is to learn about your body, understand what is normal and what is abnormal. This will help you understand what is going on. Don’t ignore new changes you notice. We can prevent various medical conditions from developing by catching certain diseases in the early stages. Follow a healthy lifestyle and don’t shy away from visiting your gynaecologist. Even when everything is normal, visiting your doctor for annual checkups is recommended.