Most Common Gynaecological Problems Faced by Women

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“Women’s Problem!”  

Very often, when women are unable to have a comfortable conversation about a gynaec issue they are dealing with, they just use this term and change the topic. However, instead of shying away and avoiding the subject, if more young girls and women knew what these gynaec issues are and how they can receive help, it would make a huge difference in their overall health and well-being. 

It is important to know that speaking to a trusted doctor and getting treated is easy and safe. It is also way better than dealing with complications later on. 

Here are some common ones: 

1) Dysmenorrhea or painful periods 

This is a term to describe pain, cramps and discomfort during the menstrual period. Anywhere between 2% to 29% of women experience quite a bit of pain during their childbearing age. 16% to 90% have to endure substantial pain.  

It may seem like: 

  • Cramps or burning pain in lower abdomen area
  • Pain similar to bloating or gas
  • Pain extending from the lower backs into the hips and legs
  • Discomfort accompanied by nausea, diarrhea or constipation 

Treatment: The most commonly suggested relief method is a hot water bag. The doctor will also prescribe a painkiller, when necessary.  

2) Vaginitis 

This refers to any kind of vaginal ailment that causes itchiness, irritation, burning or discomfort around the private area. Millions of women worldwide are dealing with one or the other form of vaginitis, especially those who frequently use birth control pills, steroids, antibiotics, intrauterine devices, spermicides, and hygiene products like bubble bath additives, or scented vagial deodorants. Additionally, women with uncontrolled diabetes are also at a risk to develop vaginitis. 

Different women have different complaints, which include: 

  • Itching or irritation around the private parts
  • Painful sex and urination
  • Mild bleeding or spotting
  • Change in odour, colour or amount of vaginal discharge 

Common causes include: 

  • Bacterial infection
  • Yeast infection
  • Fungal infection, especially ‘candida’
  • STI (Sexually transmitted infection)
  • Reduced oestrogen levels after menopause or the removal of ovaries
  • Allergic reaction to scented deodorants, old tampons, vaginal sprays or scented detergents. 

Tips to prevent: Being extremely cautious while using personal hygiene products is one of the important ways to reduce the risk of this ailment. Having safe and protected sex, wearing cotton garments, avoiding scented soaps around the private parts and using a dermat-recommended hygiene wash are recommended by doctors, to reduce the risk of contracting any infection. 

3) Abnormal vaginal discharge 

It is normal for women to have vaginal discharge, which is either clear or slightly creamish in colour. The colour, odour or quantity may change when a woman is ovulating, nursing or sexually aroused.  When this change persists, it might be a matter of concern. 

Signs of abnormal discharge: 

  • Thick, whitish discharge accompanied by pelvic pain, itching and painful sex, may indicate a yeast infection. 
  • Post childbirth, a woman may have a pink discharge, which usually indicates the normal shedding of the uterine lining. 
  • Brownish or blood-stained discharge that causes pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding, may indicate an irregular menstrual cycle or, rarely, cervical cancer or endometriosis.
  • Greenish, yellowish or cloudy discharge with a foul smell, itching, pelvic pain or pain while peeing, could be related to an STI. 

Treatment: There is no need to feel awkward or embarrassed if you encounter abnormal vaginal discharge (AVSD). This is a very common condition, and can be treated in time by your gynaecologist.  

4) Endometriosis 

This is a painful condition that occurs when cells or scar tissues begin to accumulate on the ovaries or other areas of the pelvic region. It is more likely to affect underweight women, those with a family history of this issue, those who have severe bleeding during periods or the ones who have cycles which last more than 5 days. 

Symptoms of endometriosis include: 

  • Pelvic pain
  • Bloating or gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Leg and lower backache
  • Painful, heavy or irregular periods
  • Pain before, during or after intercourse
  • Discomfort while peeing
  • Fertility issues 

Treatment: Regular exercise, daily walks, medication and, if extremely necessary, surgery is resorted to.  

5) PCOS 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is something that over 10 million women face, worldwide, and is among the main reasons behind infertility issues. It is caused by increased male hormone levels in women, which leads to metabolic changes and physical changes as well.  Ultrasound tests reveal the growth of tiny cysts in the ovaries. 

It is commonly caused by: 

  • Genetics
  • Irregular lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Low physical activity or exercise 


  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Facial hair (chin, upper lips and face)
  • Hair loss
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Mood swings and anxiety
  • Dark, velvety patches on underarms and other parts of skin (especially where sweat accumulates) 

To confirm a case of PCOS, the gynaec would require results from an ultrasound, along with body weight, hair growth and menstrual cycle history. Tests to rule out diabetes and check for the endometrium lining may also be required.  

Treatment may include some prescribed medication as well as healthy lifestyle changes, like: 

  • Weight reduction
  • Yoga & exercise routine
  • Healthy & balanced diet
  • Quitting alcohol or smoking 
  • Stress management
  • Improving sleep schedule 

6) Fibroids 

Almost 80% of women have fibroids in the uterus, before the age of 50. In the early stages, uterine fibroids are mostly benign and asymptomatic, which is why many women don’t realise until symptoms show up.  


  • Menstrual cycle lasts more than 5 days
  • Pelvic, legs and back pain
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination 

Treatment: Since fibroids are usually asymptomatic, they might not need any treatment, unless there is something severe. They diminish in size over time, and may disappear completely after menopause.  

7) Dyspareunia or pain /bleeding during intercourse 

This condition causes pelvic pain and/or bleeding during or after sexual intercourse. This is different from when a woman has bleeding the first time, she has sex. If it persists, it may be due to: 

  • An STI, bacterial, fungal or yeast infection. 
  • Menopausal dryness or soreness in the vagina 
  • Tears in the vagina either during childbirth, or sex-related friction or dryness
  • Non-cancerous growths in the cervix or womb lining 

Signs or symptoms: 

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Bleeding or extreme pain during / after sex
  • Recurring and significant blood loss
  • Cold or clammy vaginal skin
  • Losing consciousness 

Treatment: The gynaec will usually prescribe medication, depending on the symptoms. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, immediately, go to the emergency room of the nearest women’s hospital. 

8) Genital herpes 

This sexually transmitted ailment is caused by the herpes virus. It transfers from skin-to-skin contact with a herpes blister or ulcer. 

It may be caused by: 

  • Unprotected oral, anal, or sexual intercourse with a person who has a herpes outbreak, which leads to general herpes
  • Sex with someone who has an active outbreak of open, oozing sores, which leads to genital herpes.
  • Genital herpes before or during pregnancy can transmit to the baby as well 

Symptoms include: 

  • Pain or itching around the infected area
  • Heavy abdomen
  • Body ache
  • Fever and chills / shivering
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Painful water-filled blisters(in case of outbreak)

 Treatment: There is no known treatment for genital herpes, but anti-viral drugs prescribed by the doctor, may help alleviate the discomfort and possibly speed up the healing process.

 9) Urinary incontinences of bladder control, especially during or post pregnancy, is a common occurrence. It settles naturally a few weeks after delivery, in most cases. It also occurs when a UTI (urinary tract infection) is left untreated for long.  


  • Peeing a few drops while sneezing or coughing
  • Inability to control the urge, even before reaching the restroom. 

If the situation persists, it best to show a doctor and seek help.  A change in diet, lifestyle, yoga and pelvic exercises as well as Kegel exercises are suggested, to strengthen the pelvic muscles, and improve bladder control.   

Though it may occur in senior citizens, it is not necessary that they may have such an issue.  

10)  Menopause 

Menopause indicates the end of the monthly menstrual cycle of a woman, and typically begins after the age of 51 or 52, when the female hormones produced in the body reduce. In rare cases, women may face menopause soon after they are 40. The age at which menopause hits is largely determined by genetics. It affects a woman’s physical as well as her emotional health, and hence a reason to pay attention to small things that can help create balance and calm.  

Signs and Symptoms: 

  • Irregular periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings and anxiety
  • Dry or sore vagina
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Erratic sleep  

Dealing with menopause is more about health and lifestyle management. This includes: 

  • Stress management through yoga, pranayam and meditation
  • Nutritious diet intake
  • Regular walks and exercise
  • Cutting down or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, to reduce hot flashes
  • Lifestyle changes like changing the time of sleep and waking up, and calming bedtime rituals. 

All the gynaecological health issues mentioned above are general descriptions, and even if you have some of these, it is best to see an experienced and trusted specialist for correctly diagnosing the same. Many women face similar challenges, and it is always good to confide in a close friend or family member, and immediately seek help. What is important is that these symptoms should not be ignored or neglected, to avoid complications in the future.  

To know more, or book an appointment with a gynaecologist at the Cradle nearest to you, call 1800 500 4424