General Gynaecology

Types of Menstrual Disorders

If one or more of the symptoms you experience before or during your periods causes a problem, you may have a menstrual cycle "disorder." Some of the common disorders include:

 

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), which may include heavy menstrual bleeding, no menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea) or bleeding in-between periods (irregular menstrual bleeding). Women can also suffer from post-menopausal bleeding, which should be investigated thoroughly.

  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods)

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

 

Pelvic Pain

The most common causes of chronic pelvic pain are:

  • Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (endometrium) is found in other parts of the body. It can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel. Endometriosis mainly affects girls and women of childbearing age. It's less common in women who have been through the menopause. It's a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, but there are treatments that can help.

 

  • Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease – a bacterial infection of the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries, which often follows a chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection and needs immediate treatment with antibiotics

 

  • Irritable bowel syndrome – a common long-term condition of the digestive system that can cause stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation

 

Less common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:

 

  • Ovarian cysts – fluid or blood-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries  

 

  • Recurrent urinary tract infection

 

  • Lower back pain

 

  • Prolapse of the womb – where the womb slips down from its normal position and usually causes a "dragging" pain

 

  • Adenomyosis – endometriosis that affects the muscle of the womb, causing painful, heavy periods

 

  • Fibroids – non-cancerous tumours that grow in or around the womb; fibroids can be painful if they twist or deteriorate, but uncomplicated fibroids aren't usually painful

 

  • Interstitial cystitis – long-term inflammation of the bladder

 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease – a term used to describe two chronic conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which affect the gut

 

  • Trapped or damaged nerves in the pelvic area – these may cause sharp, stabbing or aching pain in a specific area, which often gets worse with certain movements

Sexual Dysfunction

According to the Sexual Advice Association, sexual problems affect around one-third of young and middle-aged women, and around half of older women. These can include loss of desire, problems with orgasm, pain during sex (dyspareunia) or vaginismus. Vaginismus is a condition when muscles in or around the vagina go into spasm, making sexual intercourse painful or impossible.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin. This procedure is also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery. A laparoscope (camera) is used to have a look inside the tummy. The advantages of laparoscopy include a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time, less pain and bleeding after the operation and reduced scarring.

Laparoscopy can be used to help diagnose a wide range of conditions that develop inside the abdomen or pelvis. It can also be used to carry out surgical procedures, such as removing a damaged or diseased organ or removing a tissue sample for further testing (biopsy).

 

Hysteroscopy

In this diagnostic procedure, your health care professional looks into your uterine cavity through a miniature telescope-like instrument called a hysteroscope. They can take biopsies and offer some treatments during this procedure.

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