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  Womens health

Women’s health encompasses issues related to any illness associated with the female reproductive system which is a threat to wellness and preventive measures to maintain good health and well-being.

Womens health
Womens health

The following are some of the list of women’s concerns in relation to their health: cervical smears, fibroids, heavy bleeding, HPV and genital warts, HRT, hysterectomy, menstrual cycle, natural menopause, ovarian problems, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), uterine prolapse, thrush or vaginal candidiasis, vulvar pain and discomfort, osteoporosis and breast cancer risk.

Cervical smear also known as a smear test or pap smear is a simple examination to check the health of a woman’s cervix. This smear test is a cytological report and considered as a screening test for cervical cancer. Although it is not 100% accurate, 80% to 90% of early abnormal changes of the cervical cells can be detected once the smear slides are analyzed under a microscope. Therefore, cervical cancer can easily be prevented if these cervical abnormalities are found and treated early. The department of health recommends that women between ages of 20 and 64 have routine cervical smears every three to five years as part of the screening program. Some recommendations suggest women should have an annual smear test to further reduce the risk of cervical cancer. For most women a smear test is not painful but some find it uncomfortable or embarrassing.

As part of wellness, a monthly self-breast examination and yearly breast check-up by a physician is necessary for early detection of breast lumps and reduce the risk of late stage of breast cancer. Mammogram is also suggested to women above 40s or earlier especially those with a strong family history of breast cancer . Another important problem which women should be concerned of is when your periods have changed. It is important to see your doctor for further investigation and determine possible causes and appropriate treatment.

Some causes of heavy menstrual bleeding are:
1. Unexplained - for half of all cases no cause can be found.
2. Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD)
3. Injectable contraception (Depo Provera)
4. Pelvic disorders such as fibroids also known as myoma (benign growths of the muscular walls of the uterus), polyps (benign growths of the uterine lining), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis (a painful condition, uterine lining grows outside the uterus), endometrial hyperplasia (thickening of the uterine lining), endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus more common in postmenopausal women).
5. Blood and hormonal conditions such as hormone imbalance (can stop ovulation and thickening of the endometrium), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), blood clotting disorders and use of anticoagulant drugs. The menstrual cycle is also affected by stress. If you are going through any kind of life crisis, it is possible that you have irregular periods that may settle down once that crisis has been resolved.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another condition that affects thousand of women every year. It is caused by bacterial infection in the upper internal reproductive organs (fallopian tubes - salpingitis, uterine lining – endometritis , ovaries - oophoritis and the pelvis tissue surrounding the pelvic organs - peritonitis) but can be treated with antibiotics successfully once dealt with quickly to avoid long-term complications such as infertility, chronic pain and recurring PID. However, some may be asymptomatic and misdiagnosed the pelvic pains as normal menstrual cramps with heavy bleeding,. This misperception can make the condition worse and late detection and treatment can lead to above mentioned complications. Women who are suffering from vulvar pain, discomfort, itching and irritation can be the result of an infection at the vulvar area (woman’s external genitalia – vestibule, labia minora , labia majora, urethral openings) namely thrush, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Vaginal thrush, also called yeast infection or candidiasis, is an overgrowth of yeast that leads to a range of unpleasant symptoms of whitish thick curd-like vaginal discharge aside from the itching, burning and soreness around the vagina. Recurrent thrush can affect a woman’s sex life and self-image, and may be a sign of a more serious health problem. Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginitis caused by gardnerella vaginalis causing a fishy odor type of vaginal discharge. Trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted caused by the protozoan trichomonas vaginalis. This produces severe itchiness and redness of the cervix described as “strawberry cervix”. Treatment of the sexual partner is necessary to avoid recurrent infection. Vulvar discomfort may also be the result of a non-infectious skin problem such as dermatitis, eczema or lichen sclerosis. There are also forms of vulval problems where the exact cause of the pain is unknown. In addition, women suffering from interstitial cystitis, a form of cystitis that appears to have no infection as its cause, also have vulvar pain and tenderness as part of their symptoms. Pelvic organ prolapse is a very common condition, particularly among older women. It is estimated that half of women who have children will experience some form of prolapse in later life. This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become weak or damaged and can no longer support the pelvic organs. It is not considered as a life threatening condition but can cause a great deal of discomfort and distress. Prolapse may also be called uterine prolapse, genital prolapse, uterovaginal prolapse, pelvic relaxation, pelvic floor dysfunction, urogenital prolapse or vaginal wall prolapse.

There are three types of prolapse:
1. prolapse of the anterior (front) vaginal wall – cystocele (bladder prolapse), urethrocele
2. prolapse of the posterior (back) vaginal wall – rectocele, enterocele
3. prolapse of the top of the vagina - uterine prolapse, vaginal vault prolapse.

Menopause is a period where the ovarian function fails namely oogenesis and hormone production ( estrogen and progesterone). Some of the symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, sweating, mood swings, headache, emotional lability, irritabilty etc. It is advisable to consult your doctor if you meet the clinical requirements for starting hormonal replacement therapy to eliminate these annoying symptoms. Another health-related problem during menopause is the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease caused by estrogen deficiency which contributes to the bone demineralization or calcium bone loss leading to pathologic fractures in menopausal women. The most common pathologic fractures are: femur (thigh bone), radius (wrist bone) and vertebra (compression fracture of bones in the spine). Prevention of fractures by careful mobilization of these patients is very important. Calcium supplements, drugs such as alendronates, biphosphanates and calcitonin ( a hormone in calcium metabolism) are some of the agents used in the treatment to maintain calcium levels in the blood.

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Lortab tablet


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Premarin tablets


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Vicodin tablet


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Climara patches


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Evista tablet


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Loestrin tablet


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Medroxyprogesterone tablets


Medroxyprogesterone contains Progestins or hormones. Progestins are prescribed for several reasons: to properly regulate the menstrual cycle and treat unusual stopping of the menstrual periods; to help a pregnancy occur during egg donor or infertility pr more...

Prempro tablets


Prempro, a combination of Conjugated Estrogens and Medroxyprogesterone, are estrogen and progestin hormones. Progestin lowers the effect of estrogen on the uterus and keeps problems from developing. Estrogens are given to: relieve the signs of menopause, more...

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