Gynecology is a field of medicine that deals with the health of the female reproductive system. The female reproductive system consists of organs such as the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and the breast. Any condition that affects the female reproductive system falls under this specialty, and you should see a gynecologist near me.
What is a Gynecologist?
A gynecologist is an individual that is trained in the field of medicine. A qualified gynecologist must have at least 8 years of training and has to be certified by an examining body. The name of the body depends on the country. As an illustration, it’s called the American Board of Gynecologists in America and so on. Gynecologists are trained to treat patients that possess the female reproductive organs, regardless of the gender they claim. On the other hand, an obstetrician is a type of gynecologists that focuses on pregnancy and childbirth. Gynecology and obstetrics go hand in hand. As mentioned earlier, to become a gynecologist, you must first train as a doctor, then go into specialization for another 4 years, in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, then write some professional examinations to be certified by the gynecology body of the country.
At What Age Can I See A Gynecologist?
A gynecologist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of women, with a focus on their reproductive system. It’s recommended that females start visiting their gynecologist right from the age of 13 to 15. This is the age most girls attain puberty and might need some education on how their reproductive system works. Visiting a gynecologist right from a young age, helps young girls develop a relationship with their gynecologist, and also makes them relaxed and comfortable opening up to their doctor. There are some questions that they might not be too comfortable talking to their parents, but would rather open up to their gynecologists. Some of these topics could include menstruation, sexuality, contraception and so on. This also affords doctors the ability to manage the welfare of women in the long term, especially on things that bother on health and lifestyle.
What to Expect When Visiting Your Gynecologist?
There a lot of things that could happen when visiting the best gynecologist near me.. This mostly depends on the purpose of your visit, and the condition of the patient. However, below are some things to take note of when visiting a gynecologist:
- You must always be honest with your doctor. This includes providing the gynecologist the full details about your medical history, lifestyle and so on. This helps the doctor have a better idea of the situation and how to manage them.
- You might have to undergo a pap smear. This might be a little uncomfortable, but it’s not painful. A pap smear will help to detect if the patient has the potential to develop some diseases such as cervical cancer, which is common in women. Early detection improves the prognosis significantly.
- You don’t have to shave your body before going to see your gynecologist.
- It’s normal to have a body odor. However, the gynecologist can tell if it’s abnormal, based on the kind of smell it gives off.
- It’s best not to go see your doctor when you’re on your period. However, you should still go, if you’ve already booked the appointment.
- It’s important to avoid sexual intercourse for a few days before going to see your gynecologist.
- It’s best to avoid the use of a tampon, and vaginal douche a few days before going to see your gynecologist.
- You have the right to ask for someone to be with you in the room, during the course of the consultation with your gynecologist, especially when the doctor is of the opposite sex.
What Screening Procedures Do Gynecologist Carry Out?
There are some screening women should go for at least once a year. Below are some of them:
- Immunization: It’s important for women to get vaccinated against some diseases. However, this largely depends on the age and risk factors the patient has. Examples of infections that immunization can prevent include HPV, smallpox, chickenpox, hepatitis and so on.
- Physical examination: This includes measuring the signs and vitals of patients. In addition, the lymph nodes, the abdomen of the patient has to be also assessed.
- A pelvic examination and breast examination are also carried out.
- Blood test: This is also examined for any possible abnormality.
What Are The Common Procedures Carried Out By Gynecologists?
Gynecologists are trained and skilled in carrying out some diagnostic and surgical procedures. Below are some of the procedures they carry out:
- Pap smear: This is done to detect any tumor growth. Conditions such as cervical cancer can be detected with the Pap smear.
- Ultrasound scanning: This is done to detect pregnancy or any other development in the female reproductive system.
- Biopsy: This is done by taking a sample from the lining from the uterus.
- Colposcopy: This is the microscopic examination of the cervix.
- Surgical procedures: Examples of surgical procedures carried out by gynecologist include minor surgeries such as sterilization, major surgeries such as removal of fibroids, and laparoscopy.
What Are The Top Reasons To See A Gynecologist?
There are a lot of diseases of the female reproductive system that can be treated by a gynecologist. Below are some of the 15 most common reasons why people go see a gynecologist:
- Cervical dysplasia: Cervical dysplasia is a condition in which there are abnormal cells in the surface of the cervix. This disease is not cancer. Cervical dysplasia does vary in severity, and this largely depends on the look of the abnormal cells on a pap smear. This disease is diagnosed using a pap smear. Cervical dysplasia is also referred to as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. It is the precancerous transformation of cells of the cervix. It mostly occurs at the vaginal walls, and at the epithelium of the vulva. There are some factors that are necessary for the developing of this condition. The most common factor that is necessary for the development of cervical dysplasia is the human papillomavirus. This doesn’t mean that everyone that has the HPV infection would develop the condition. The condition mostly develops in people that have had the HPV infection for more than one or two years. As earlier mentioned, cervical dysplasia is not cancer, and it’s curable. Cervical dysplasia mostly resolves on its own, without any treatment. Studies have shown that only a small fraction of those affected with cervical dysplasia eventually develop cervical cancer.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Cervical Dysplasia?
Some of the signs and symptoms of cervical dysplasia include the following:
- Persons affected with this disease present with abnormal discharge.
- They might also develop pelvic pain during the examination.
- Patients might present with abnormal or post-menopausal bleeding.
- Patients might also experience an alteration in their bladder or bowel function.
- The cervix might also give an abnormal appearance
What Are The Causes Of Cervical Dysplasia?
The most common cause of cervical dysplasia is a chronic infection of the cervix with the human papillomavirus. Some studies have suggested that the HPV infections tend to inactivate the tumor suppressor genes, thus making it easy for the infected cells to develop without any control. The unregulated proliferation of the cells would eventually lead to cancer. Below are some of the other causes of cervical dysplasia:
- Chronic infection with the human papillomavirus, especially HPV 16, 18 and 31.
- People affected with immunodeficiency. This might be those with HIV infection.
- Poor nutrition: Individuals with poor nutrition have a high risk of developing cervical dysplasia.
- People with multiple sex partners have a high risk of developing the disease.
- Studies have also shown that women who give birth before the age of 17 tend to have a high risk of developing cervical dysplasia.
- Smokers and those that consume an excess amount of alcohol have a high risk of developing the disease.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Gynecologist diagnoses this condition by carrying out a pap smear. Other tests that are commonly carried out in diagnosing this condition include the human papilloma test and colposcopy. In a colposcopy, the cervix, vagina, and vulva are examined using a magnifying instrument. The physician can detect where the abnormal cells are growing, and the degree of growth. Some of the tissues of the cervix can also be extracted for testing. This would show the type of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia the patient has.
The treatment of this condition depends on the severity of the dysplasia. Patients with mild dysplasia don’t require any form of therapy. This is because this form of dysplasia does resolve on its own and doesn’t develop into cancer. On the other hand, those affected with severe dysplasia do require treatment. This could be surgery or other procedures. People with a negative Pap smear, are encouraged to check to go for screening and test every 3 to 5 years.
- Fibroid: Fibroids also known as leiomyoma are noncancerous growth that develops in the uterus. They tend to occur during the childbearing years of women. They occur in various sizes. They can be so small that remain unseen by the human eye, and can also grow so big that they can obstruct and enlarge the uterus. Fibroids can also occur singly or in multiples. There have been cases where they got so big, that they extended to the rib cage. A lot of women do have this type of growth at one point in their lives. However, a lot of them do not understand that they have the condition, because they usually do not cause any symptom. Most cases of fibroids were detected by accident. This mostly occurs when the physician is carrying out a pelvic examination, or during prenatal ultrasound.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Fibroid?
A lot of women affected with fibroid growth usually don’t present with any symptom. Those that manifest signs and symptoms, do because of the location, size and the number of fibroids. Below are some of the symptoms of fibroid:
- Persons affected with this condition might present with heavy menstrual bleeding. This is usually different from menstrual bleeding, as it’s usually more.
- Patients might also present with pain and pressure in the pelvis.
- Patients might also present with constipation.
- They might experience backache and leg pains.
- They might find it difficult to emptying their bladder.
- Patients might have menstrual periods that persists after one week.
What Are The Causes Of Fibroid?
The exact cause of fibroid isn’t known yet. However, studies have identified some factors that play a role in the development of the disease:
- Genetics: It has been shown that some people are genetically more predisposed to developing fibroid. Many fibroids have genes that are not present in normal uterine muscle cells.
- Hormones: Studies have shown that fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors that are found in normal uterine muscle cells. These two hormones stimulate the development of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle, preparing the reproductive tract for pregnancy.
- Other factors: Studies have shown that there are some hormones that stimulate the growth of fibroids. An example of this hormone is the insulin-like growth factor.
Fibroids are mostly found by accident. Physicians do find them when carrying out a routine pelvic examination. Some of the tests that are used in diagnosing this condition include ultrasound and laboratory tests. The ultrasound makes use of sound waves in getting a picture of the uterus. This can be used to detect the size and location of the fibroids. Laboratory tests are done to know the possible underlying cause of the disease. Other test that could be done include hysteroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging and so on.
How Do Gynecologists Treat Fibroid?
There is no specific treatment for fibroid. However, physicians do administer medications such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, tranexamic acid and so on. Other methods that could be used include uterine artery embolization, myolysis, and robotic myomectomy. Some of the traditional surgical procedures used in treating this condition include abdominal myomectomy, hysterectomy and so on. Overall, it’s important to consult a gynecologist if you have a family history of the fibroid, or you observe some of the symptoms of the disease as listed above.
- Endometriosis: This is a condition in which there is the growth of endometrial tissues outside of the uterus. This disorder causes a lot of pain in the affected individual. The endometrial tissues tend to grow in places such as the ovaries, fallopian tube, posterior abdominal wall, and the tissues lining the pelvis. The endometrial tissues outside of the uterus, do act normally, during menstruation. They thicken, break down and also bleed with each menstrual cycle. However, the shed tissues do not have a way out of the body. Hence, they become trapped, and might cause the development of adhesions, and scars. This condition can also lead to the development of cysts, especially when it occurs in the ovaries. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include the following:
- Patients might manifest a lot of pain during sexual intercourse.
- They might experience an occasional heavy period.
- Persons affected with endometriosis do have fertility problems.
- Patients also present with painful periods.
Endometriosis could also lead to some complications. Some of them include ovarian cancer and infertility.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Gynecologists diagnose this condition by examining the signs and symptoms presented by the patient. In addition, they might carry out some other tests such as pelvic examination, ultrasound, laparoscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging. Endometriosis is treated with a combination of medications and surgery in severe cases. Examples of some of the medications used include pain relievers such as naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, and hormone therapy. The hormone therapy includes the use of contraceptives, progestin therapy and so on.
- Menopause: This is a physiological phenomenon that occurs in women that are above the age of 45. It marks the end of their menstrual cycle. This condition is diagnosed when the individual has gone one full year without having a menstrual period. Menopause could be a lot to handle for some women, mainly because of the various signs and symptoms. Some of the symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, sleep problems, low energy, and poor emotional health. Other common symptoms of menopause include night sweats, loss of breast fullness, alterations in mood, vaginal dryness, a rapid gain of weight, and reduced metabolism. Gynecologist diagnoses menopause by evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the patients. Tests that might be carried out in diagnosing this condition include the follicle-stimulating hormone and estrogen test. This is to detect the levels of these hormones in the body. This condition mostly doesn’t require any treatment. However, hormone therapy can be given in managing chronic conditions.
- Ovarian cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that develop in ovaries. A female does have two ovaries, which releases an egg every month. However, there are some conditions in which an individual would develop cysts in their ovaries. This usually doesn’t cause any discomfort to the patient, although there have been situations where patients experienced some mild discomfort. This condition becomes severe when the cyst ruptures. This is why it’s important to consult your gynecologist for a regular They diagnose this condition by evaluating the signs and symptoms of the patient. This is followed by carrying out tests, such as pregnancy test, pelvic ultrasound, laparoscopy and so on. Physicians usually wait to see if the cyst would go away on its own. In situations where this doesn’t happen, medications or surgery might be carried out.
- Urinary incontinence: This is the condition in which an individual loses control of her bladder. This disorder could be very embarrassing. It mostly occurs as one age. The exact cause of the disorder is not known yet. However, some factors that contribute to the development of the disorder have been identified. They include excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and so on. Other conditions that can lead to this disorder include urinary tract infection and constipation. Gynecologists diagnose this condition by initially assessing the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Other tests that could be carried out include urinalysis, bladder diary, post-void residual measurement and so on. The treatment of this disorder depends on the type of incontinence. However, physicians use a combination of behavioral techniques and pelvic floor muscle exercise.
- Gynecological cancers: Gynecologists can diagnose gynecological cancers early. The earlier these type of diseases are diagnosed, the better the prognosis.
- Menstrual disorders: Menstrual disorders are common in women. Examples include dysmenorrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding, amenorrhea, irregular menstruation and so on. These conditions can be frustrating, especially for those that are don’t have proper health education. In addition, they might lead to complications. This is the more reason why it’s important to consult your gynecologist if you have menstrual disorders.
- Pelvic floor disorders: This is the condition in which an individual lacks the ability to tighten and relax the pelvic floor muscles to have a bowel movement. Some of the signs and symptoms of this condition include constipation, urine, and leakage of urine or stool. Physicians diagnose this condition by assessing the signs and symptoms, after taking the full medical history of the patient. It’s mostly treated with surgery. However, some specific exercise of the pelvic muscles could also prove useful.
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: This is a condition in which the affected female has an elevated amount of androgens. Androgens are male hormones. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder include heavy periods, facial hair, menstrual periods, infertility, darker skin and so on. Some of the conditions that are associated with this disorder include diabetes mellitus, obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea, endometrial cancer and so on. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known yet. However, factors that contribute to the development of the disease have been identified. They include genetics and environmental factors. Gynecologist diagnoses this syndrome by evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the patient, in addition to carrying out a thorough physical examination. The polycystic ovarian syndrome has no cure, although the symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes and medications.
- Fecal incontinence
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Khanafiev, G., Berzin, S. and Demidov, S. (2016). Therapy of pathology secretory disease of the breast. Tumors of the female reproductive system, 12(1), pp.37-45.