Treatment of common gynaecological conditions
Gynaecological conditions affect the female reproductive organs such as ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, external genitalia and breasts of a woman. Therein lies the possibility that these conditions may affect the sexual functions and fertility. It is important to recognise the symptoms of these conditions and seek specialist consultation early to get treated and avoid further complications. Some of the most common conditions include:
Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease in which the same cells as in the endometrium is found outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder, cervix and vagina.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Back and pelvic pain
- Bloody stool or urine
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain upon passing urine
Endometriosis is diagnosed and managed by laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure. Although infertility is a symptom of endometriosis, those diagnosed with this condition are still able to conceive.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis. The treatment for endometriosis aims to ease symptoms so that this condition does not interfere with your daily life. It usually involves medication, hormone therapy or surgery.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Although common, PCOS is a treatable cause of infertility.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Acne on the face, chest and upper back
- Darkened skin or skin tags on the neck or in the armpits
- Excess hair growth
- Hair thinning or hair loss
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. It is a complex condition that can be related to genetics, high level of insulin or androgen (male hormones) and obesity. Although women with PCOS will have difficulty to get pregnant and might have problems during pregnancy, they are still able to conceive.
Fallopian tubes are a pair of thin tubes, located one on each side of the uterus, that carry the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility. Many women do not know that they have blocked fallopian tubes as it might not exhibit any symptoms. If one or both fallopian tubes are blocked, the sperm cannot reach the egg, and the egg cannot reach the uterus. It is also possible for the tubes to not be blocked fully, but only partially.
Fallopian tubes can be blocked for a number of reasons such as:
- Accidental damage following other surgeries
- Blocked, damaged or absent from birth (Congenital tubal disease)
- History of uterine infection caused by an abortion or miscarriage
- Inflammation due to sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Severe endometriosis
Blocked fallopian tubes are usually diagnosed with a specialized X-ray called hysterosalpingogram (HSG), ultrasound test or laparoscopy. HSG evaluates the shape of the uterus and whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. It’s also used to investigate miscarriages due to problems in the uterus. Treatment for blocked fallopian tubes is possible depending on the extent of scarring and location of blockage.