Most women experience distinctive gynaecological conditions from menarche to menopause (start of menstrual cycle to its end).
FACTS ABOUT WOMEN’S HEALTH
- Women’s bodies undergo major transformation throughout their lifespan and depending on their age, they may face distinctive gynaecological problems.
- Women may experience menstrual problems, fertility issues, genital infections and specific health conditions in the post-menopause phase.
Through regular and proper health, screenings, it is possible to detect and manage most health problems affecting women.
- Gynaecological diseases affect reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, external genitalia and breasts.
- To avoid future complications, it is important to recognize the symptoms and to consult the doctor for appropriate treatment.
- The most common gynaecological conditions that affect women of different age groups are mentioned below:
Deficiency of various micronutrients and macronutrients can make women prone to developing numerous health-related issues like.
Vit B12 & Vit B6
Thyroid Diseases (Goitre)
Osteomalacia (soft bones)
Mainly Vitamin D
Osteoporosis (reduced density)
Calcium, Vit D, Phosphorus etc
Vit C, Vit D, Zinc, Vit A etc
Regular menstruation leads to loss of blood, which for its regeneration needs iron, vitamins and proteins. Anaemia is a global public health problem and it affects over 800 million women worldwide. Anaemia affects children, adolescents, women of reproductive age groups and lactating mothers worldwide. As per NFHS-IV data, the prevalence of anaemia in India is 53%2.
Your doctor would recommend iron supplements and other nutritional supplements based on the severity of anaemia.
01 PCOS OR POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME
In this condition, several follicles may appear on the ovaries, causing hindrance in releasing the egg, thus leading to fertility issues. Women with PCOS, often suffer from irregular or infrequent menstrual cycle. It is mainly because of the excessive secretion of male hormones or androgens. PCOS is very closely associated with metabolic syndrome (includes Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, Atherosclerosis or blockage of blood vessels etc.). Lifestyle management plays a very important role in its treatment prior to medications.
It is a condition in which women may suffer from excessive pain/cramps during menstruation. The pain can radiate to legs, hips and lower back. It can last for 12 to 72 hours and bring about various symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.
- Primary: If the frequent, excessive, painful cramps are not related to any disease.
- Secondary: These are related to the certain gynecological or endocrinal condition
03 UTI OR URINARY TRACT INFECTION
UTI is a quite common condition that can affect women of any age group.
This usually occurs when the bacteria present in the vagina or anus enters the urethra and infects urinary bladder.
It can be easily prevented with proper genital hygiene.
Signs and Symptoms of UTI
Treatment: Reducing weight, redular excersize and yoga may be helpful. For symtomatic relief, doctors often prescribe medications.
Treatment: Includes lifestyle changes and to relieve pain, your doctor may prescribe certain pain killers.
Treatment: You will be prescribed antibiotics medication depending on the severity of the infection.
OTHER COMMON GYNAECOLOGICAL DISORDERS INCLUDE:
- Vaginitis: Mostly affects women of reproductive age. This condition is characterized by inflammation or infection in the vagina. Excessive discharge, itching or pain can commonly be seen.
- Fibroids: They are muscular tumors that can form on the inside a woman’s uterine wallsus. These tumors are rarely cancerous. Usually, there are problems in urination, excessive pressure on uterus and urinary bladder, commonly associated with increased menstruation or painful menstruation.
- Endometriosis: This condition occurs when the uterine lining called endometrium, which lines or covers the uterus, grows outside the uterus or on the other surrounding parts like ovaries, bowel and tissue in pelvis and lower abdomen. Excessive pain, heavy bleeding during menstruation, pain during coitus or bowel movement is common symptoms.
- Dyspareunia or Painful Sexual Intercourse: This condition may affect women due to structural issues in the body or may occur because of psychological reasons.
- Ovarian Cysts: They are very common and may affect women of any age group. There are sacs filled with fluid, present in the ovaries, they can be rarely connected with PCOS, but commonly associated due to functional / hormonal imbalance or cells from endometriosis or non-carcinogenic cyst like dermoid (skin, hair or teeth filled) and cystadenomas (water filled).
Other conditions may include: Infertility, Postmenopausal symptoms, cervical and breast cancer.
PREVENTION OF GYNAECOLOGICAL DISEASES:
- Be physically active: Moderate physical activity should be done for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eat a diet balanced in vegetables, fruit, lean meats, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and avoid foods high in cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough fluids and emptying the bladder helps in preventing UTIs.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Limit your daily calorie intake.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Don’t smoke.
- Regular intimate personal hygiene should be an integral part of every woman’s health care.
- Ask your doctor about taking calcium, vitamin D, iron, folic acid and other supplements if you have any gynaecological conditions. (Before starting any nutritional supplements, you should always consult your doctor!!)
- Gynaecological Screening: A regular visit to your gynaecologists will help in ensuring better reproductive health.
- International Scholarly Research Network Volume 2012, Article ID 765476, 8 pages doi:10.5402/2012/765476
- Int J Community Med Public Health. 2017 Aug;4(8):2841-2846