Every woman will experience some form of gynaecological problems at some point in her life. While many of these issues are common and not cause for concern, some of them can have a lasting impact on the female sexual function – or even be life-threatening. Therefore, knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for can help you treat the conditions swiftly and effectively.
But first, what are gynaecological problems?
What are Gynaecological Problems?
Gynaecological problems are physiological disorders that affect a woman’s reproductive system, including the uterus, vagina and ovaries. Some of them can be severe and affect fertility outlook and quality of life. As such, it is important to keep them in check by monitoring your body and attending timely doctor appointments.
Common Female Disorders
From excess vaginal discharge to pain during sex, the list of female gynaecological problems can be long. Women undergo vaginal bleeding and experience discharge during the monthly menstruation cycle, and any deviation from the norm can signal something amiss. Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Change in menstrual cycle pattern (too early or too late)
- Abnormal bleeding in between cycles
- Pain in the pelvic area that does not feel like the usual menstrual cramps
- Burning sensation when passing urine
- Increased vaginal discharge or discharge that seems off-colour
- Suspicious mass or lump in the genital area
For the most parts, having one or a few of these symptoms may warrant further checks by your gynaecologist. Here are some of the most common female gynaecological problems affecting women in Singapore:
Menstruation typically occurs every 28 days, although anything from 21 days to 35 days is still normal. Most people bleed for between three and five days, but a period can also last from as little as two days to as long as seven days at a stretch. During this period, the average woman loses about 30 – 40 ml of blood.
Menorrhagia, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea are three common menstrual disorders. Defined by heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, menorrhagia can be extremely disrupting to the life of its sufferer. It can be caused by other conditions such as dysfunctional uterine bleeding, fibroids, polyps, endometriosis or even liver or kidney failure.
Amenorrhea, on the other hand, is the absence of a period – either in a young girl who has never had a period by the age of 16 or a woman who suddenly stopped having her period for six months or more. Amenorrhea can be indicative of health conditions such as a low body weight, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or even brain tumours.
Finally, dysmenorrhea refers to excruciating lower back or abdominal pain during periods, enough to incapacitate daily activities. There are two types of dysmenorrhea – primary and secondary. In primary dysmenorrhea, there are no associated diseases and the pain will subside on its own after pregnancy or delivery. The treatment plan would therefore focus on relieving the pain. In secondary dysmenorrhea, an underlying pelvic disease such as chronic pelvic inflammation or uterine fibroids is associated with the pain. In this case, the treatment would target the cause and not just the symptoms.
Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly affects your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining your pelvis. This condition can cause pain – sometimes severe – especially during your period. It can also cause infertility.
Every case of endometriosis is different, and your doctor will assess your condition and prescribe a range of therapy which can include pain relief, hormonal therapy and even surgery. In Singapore, endometriosis affects one in 10 women in their child-bearing years.
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of childbearing age. The main symptom of PCOS is irregular or absent menstrual periods. Other symptoms may include excess hair growth, acne, and obesity. PCOS can cause problems with fertility and increase the risk for other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There is no cure for PCOS, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common type of infection that can affect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungi or viruses.
Most UTIs are relatively harmless and can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, some UTIs can lead to more serious complications, such as kidney damage or blood poisoning. This condition is more common in women than in men, and it tends to occur more frequently in older adults. pregnant women, and people with diabetes or other medical conditions that weaken the immune system.
When to See a Doctor
Gynaecological problems can have far-reaching effects on your health and fertility. Your doctor would be able to provide medical advice such as infertility management and pain relief to help you achieve a better quality of life. As a fertility clinic in Singapore, The O&G Specialist Clinic specialises in gynaecological disorders and women’s health offering a wide range of services from vaccinations to fertility screenings.
Let us help you keep your feminine health in check. Book a virtual consultation to speak to us today.