Gynaecological disorders are essentially disorders of the female reproductive system. Symptoms may be varied and may be mild or severe. They may be an indication of a minor disorder or symptoms of something more serious. It is important not to ignore any symptom that lasts for a while or recurs repeatedly even if it is not associated with any pain.
Some vaginal discharge is normal and occurs because of the bodily changes brought on by the monthly cycle of hormone level fluctuations. However, it may sometimes be excessive or characterized by an unpleasant odour. Vaginal discharge that is not normal may be a sign of infection and can be easily treated.
Sores or la growth on the genitals may be indicative of problems like skin cancer or infections. They may be red in color, itchy and may bleed especially if they are scratched. Sores can develop due to a number of reasons like a sexually transmitted infection or due to other chronic skin problems like dermatitis or exposure to any irritant.
Discomfort while urinating
Burning sensation or discomfort while urinating may be another symptom that one needs to be aware of. It may indicate an infection such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like gonorrhea or syphilis or a bacterial infection of the urinary tract.
Loss of control of the urinary bladder
There may be instances of loss of control of the urinary bladder which is commonly referred to as incontinence, in which a person is unable to control urination. Leakage of urine may occur when one coughs or laughs or lifts something heavy. This is called ‘stress incontinence’. It is an unintentional loss of urine.
Irregular menstruation, heavy menstruation, painful menses or post-menopausal bleeding are some of the menstrual disorders that should be checked by your gynaecologist.
Breast lump and breast screening:
It is important to know how your breasts look and feel so that any changes can be investigated. Clinical breast examination (CBE) by your gynaecologist will also make sure that any lump is detected in time.
Follow the recommended guidelines for mammography and get a regular mammography done. The guidelines differ slightly between whose recommendation it is. Take the advice of your doctor for this. The recommendation of the American Cancer Society (ACS) is that it should be done every year after the age of 45 years while the USPSTF (US Preventive Services Task Force) recommends once every 2 years starting at age 50.
These may be hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, headaches, lack of interest in life and depression, difficulty in sleeping, weight gain, vaginal dryness etc.
When these are severe, it can affect the quality of life. Seek the help of your doctor to manage these symptoms.