What Women Need To Know About Reproductive Health Concerns

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Women of all ages and backgrounds can experience reproductive health issues. However, women often feel uncomfortable talking about these issues in a frank, open way. That’s why it can be tricky to know when something might be wrong or how to get help if you see potential red flags. As a result of being uncomfortable seeking help, a lot of young women are struggling in silence, which can have serious consequences if they don’t get the aid they need. 

If you feel like something isn’t quite right down there or notice changes over time, that’s completely normal. But it doesn’t mean you should ignore the signs. Learning about common concerns and what to look out for with your own body will help you recognize if something needs attention sooner rather than later. Here’s what every woman needs to know about reproductive health concerns.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. When the tissue grows outside of the uterus, it can attach itself to other organs, including the ovaries, bowel, and bladder. Additionally, this lining can also grow outside of the pelvic area, although this is a rare occurrence. 

Many women who suffer from endometriosis report symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful intercourse, and heavy bleeding during their periods, as well as irregular periods that can also last for extended periods of time and infertility. Because many of these symptoms mirror other common reproductive health concerns, it can be hard to diagnose endometriosis, which has led to many women not getting the help they need. Thankfully, awareness of endometriosis and its symptoms is growing, but there is still progress to be made. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment plan so you can get on the path to feeling better.

Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids are noncancerous growths that can appear in the uterus of women of all ages, though they are most common in women who are of childbearing age. While fibroids are not harmful in many cases, they can cause significant discomfort for some women. Common symptoms of fibroids include heavy periods, painful cramping, significant bleeding, pelvic pain during menstruation, and loss of fertility. If you think you might have uterine fibroids, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and discuss your treatment plan options.

Gynaecological Cancer

Gynecological cancers affect the reproductive organs in women. Some of the most common gynecological cancers are ovarian, cervical, endometrial, and vaginal cancers. Symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer that is detected, but common signs and symptoms include abnormal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, abdominal or back pain, and changes in bowel habits. If you see any of these symptoms, make sure to go see your doctor get tested and rule out any potential issues. 

If you are around the age when gynecological cancers are most likely to occur, make sure to be proactive by attending screenings offered to you by your GP. These cervical screening appointments are sent to women over the age of 25 and are performed by a nurse. If anything abnormal is found, you may be asked to attend a more in-depth screen to rule out anything serious. 

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a disorder that causes bladder pain and discomfort. While many women with interstitial cystitis are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, it can occur in women of all ages. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include bladder pain and discomfort, urinary frequency and urgency, pressure in the pelvis, and pain with bowel movements. Interstitial cystitis can be extremely painful and isolating. Thankfully, there are medications and therapies available to help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. If you think you may have interstitial cystitis, talk to your doctor about possible treatments and diagnosis.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women, especially those in their teens and 20s. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility, which is why it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms and get help if you suspect you may have it. Symptoms of PCOS include menstrual irregularity, unwanted hair growth on the face and body, acne, and weight gain in the thighs and around the abdomen. While PCOS can often be managed with diet and exercise, some women may need medications to regulate their hormones and help with symptoms. If you have PCOS or think you may have it, talk to your doctor about your symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options.

Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia is a condition in which abnormal cells develop on the cervix. While it’s possible for all women to develop abnormal cervical cells, women who get the human papillomavirus (HPV) are at a higher risk. If left untreated, abnormal cervical cells can develop into cervical cancer. Cervical dysplasia is diagnosed with a Pap smear, which is a test that examines cells from the cervix to check for abnormal cells. If you have been diagnosed with cervical dysplasia, your doctor will likely recommend a follow-up Pap smear in a few months to check whether the condition has resolved.

Menstrual Disorders

Menstrual disorders are quite common, with most menstruating women experiencing a disorder at some point in their lives. While the most common menstrual disorder is heavy bleeding, other disorders include irregular cycles and painful periods. Menstrual disorders are caused by the way hormones work in the body. Luckily, menstrual disorders can be treated with medication to help regulate hormone production and flow. If you experience any heavy bleeding, cramping, or other menstrual disorders, talk to your doctor about potential treatments.

Pelvic Floor Prolapse

A pelvic floor prolapse occurs when the muscles responsible for holding up the pelvic organs, including the bladder and uterus, become weak and start to descend. It’s a common issue that affects millions of women and usually occurs after the natural process of menopause. Pelvic floor prolapse is often treatable, but it can lead to significant discomfort and pain if left untreated. While most women experience mild discomfort, others may experience a sense of urgency when urinating and uncomfortable pressure in the pelvic region. If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Menopause

Menopause can be a confusing and troubling time for many women. While it is inevitable, it’s something that many people don’t like to talk about. The average age of onset is 51 years old. During menopause, hormonal changes interrupt the menstrual cycle; women may also experience symptoms like mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, hot flashes, and more. If you are reaching the age where you will begin to experience menopause or have begun symptoms already, there are ways to mitigate symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, low energy, and mood swings. Speak to your doctor about your options to make going through the menopause more comfortable

Conclusion

Women’s reproductive health issues are often complicated and can be challenging to discuss. If you notice any changes in your body, it’s important to talk to a doctor about them. While every person’s experience is different, talking to a professional can help you find the right treatment for your symptoms. Understanding what causes these issues and what treatments are available can help you feel better faster and get your life back on track.

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