Menstrual cramps. Painful spasms in the abdomninal area during menstuation which are caused by the flow of prostaglandins - these hormones make the uterus contract during menstruation, which in turn results to pain. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory pills and/or the low-dose pill with iron.
Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding; or blood loss that requires four fully-soaked pad changes in a day; or a menstrual period that goes beyond seven days. Menorrhagia happens regularly or every time you have your period. It is usually a symptom of endometriosis or rarely, cancer of the uterus, and it often causes anemia. OB-Gyne usually recommend iron tablets of the low-dose pill with iron as treatment.
Growth of endometrial cells (the same cells that form inside the uterus and is shed as menstrual discharge during menstruation) outside the uterus, for example, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, vagina, cervix, pelvic cavity or bladder. It is typically seen in women age 25 to 35 and is commonly associated with dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia (painful sex), dyschezia (painful bowel movements), dysuria (urinary urgency) and infertility. While it may lead to ovarian cancer, these growth cells are usually benign. Endometriosis does not lead to endometrial cancer. Doctors recommend the use of oral contraceptive pills as treatment.
Cancer that grows in the lining of the uterus. Its symptoms include vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause. Treatment depends on the cancer stage, the most common of which is total hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). Prevention includes taking oral pills, as advised by the doctor.
Cancer that grows in or on the ovaries. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and vaginal bleeding, Women at risk with this type of cancer are those with a family history of cancer, over 55 years old, never pregnant and menopausal. Like other cancers, treatments include chemotherapy and radiation.
POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
Also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome, PCOS is a hormonal problem that causes a woman to have irregular or no menstrual periods. It is the most common cause of infertility. Other symptoms include excessive hair growth, acne and oily skin, obesity and a deep voice. Women with PCOS are at risk of having endometrial cancer among others. Treatment include lowering insulin levels and taking anti-androgen pill.
CANCER ALERT: Information is our primary weapon
Gynaecologic cancers are cancers that grow in your reproductive organs (cervix, ovaries fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina and vulva). Be vigilant against these health threats. Here are some facts every woman needs to know:
1. Every woman is at risk, and the risk increases with age.
2. When gynaecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective.
3. Some gynaecologic cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There is an HPV vaccine available. With proper use, condoms also protect against HPV and STI.
4. If you are experiencing anything abnormal - pain, excessive or no bleeding, cell growth, etc. - check with your OB-Gyne immediately.
5. Be pro-active. Know your reproductive system, how it works and how to best care for it. Do not undervalue or forgo your annual reproductive health check-up.
6. Be smart in choosing the best contraceptive method for you. These contraceptive props do more than prevent pregnancy, they also prevent gynaecologic cancers and treat its symptoms.