Even the healthiest woman should pay a visit to a gynaecologist at least once a year. Some of the ailments that affect the reproductive system do not have symptoms that are easily noticeable, so the only way to make sure that everything is fine with you is to have a doctor check you out. Routine examinations and tests take very little time, but they are crucial; most diseases are easily curable if caught early on.
Some of the conditions that occur most often in women of all ages are:
- Chronic pelvic pains. If you have had pelvic pains for about six months non-stop, then you need to see a doctor immediately, even if the pain is not severe. This is often the symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
- Endometriosis. One of the most common causes of infertility, endometriosis describes a condition where the tissue that should line the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. It is usually painful and causes dysmenorrhea, but it can be treated with medication or surgery.
- STI (sexually transmitted infections). Most STIs are asymptomatic, so you may have them without even knowing it. From chlamydia and gonorrhea to some types of HPV and HIV/AIDS, these infections have much greater chances of being cured or kept under control if detected early on, so make sure to get tested regularly.
What is stress urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional discharge of urine; despite popular belief, stress urinary incontinence is not related to psychological stress. It happens when a physical movement (such as cough, sneeze, heavy lifting or even running or exercising) puts pressure on the bladder.
Stress incontinence is more common in women than in men and, while it is not a life-threatening condition, it can cause shame and isolation and, overall decrease the quality of life.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse usually occurs during childbirth, when, because the muscles that hold the organ get weaker; then, the organ descends from its usual place, typically towards the vagina, The organs that can be affected by this condition are: bladder, urethra, small bowel, vagina and uterus. In most cases, pelvic organ prolapse causes pain and discomfort, but it rarely gets to be a serious, life-threatening ailment. Some patients find that the condition disappears on itself after a while, but others need treatment. Whatever the case, the decision to begin treatment or not lies with a doctor.
What is infertility?
Clinically speaking, a patient can be diagnosed with infertility if she failed to achieve pregnancy after 12 months in which she had regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptive means. The one-year window allows the doctor to exclude other factors that may cause the pregnancy to be delayed. After this exclusion, the gynaecologist can focus of the reproductive system and find what caused the infertility.