Common gynecologic problems include:
- Heavy periods or abnormal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Uterine fibroids
- Vaginal discharge
Heavy periods or abnormal bleeding
If your period lasts for more than seven days, or if your flow is so heavy that it is difficult to maintain your normal lifestyle and activities during your menstrual period, you should see your healthcare provider. Many of the causes of abnormal or heavy bleeding are minor issues that are easily treated, enabling you to resume your normal activities quickly; however, some causes of abnormal bleeding may be more serious and require immediate medical attention.
Approximately one in five women experiences abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding as a part of her regular cycle. This is called menorrhagia. If you consistently experience extremely heavy menstrual bleeding, contact your doctor. Many treatments are available, and we can help you find the best one for you.
Pelvic pain is a common symptom that can occur in a variety of different ways. It can come and go or it can be constant, it can be present in different parts of the pelvic area, and the pain may feel different at different times or with certain activities. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, please schedule an appointment with us to discuss your symptoms. By asking you questions about your pain, we can better identify the cause and decide on a treatment plan.
Common causes of pelvic pain include:
A uterine fibroid is a benign, non-cancerous growth that occurs in around 20-25% of women. Fibroids can occur inside the uterus or within the uterine walls, or they can hang off the outside of the uterus on a structure that is similar to a stem or stalk.
Fibroids are usually small – often so small that they are not easily detected during a regular pelvic exam. But they can also be quite large and cause problems, such as:
- Menstrual changes like heavy bleeding, longer or more frequent periods, and increased cramping
- Pain or pressure in the pelvis or lower abdomen, often during sex
- Urinary changes like pressure, difficulty, or frequent urination
- Rectal pain and/or constipation
- Infertility and miscarriage
Fibroids most commonly occur in women between the ages of 30 and 49, but they can appear at any age. It’s not clear why, but African American women are more likely to experience uterine fibroids. If you think you may have a uterine fibroid, see your doctor.
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. This lining builds up over the course of the menstrual cycle in order to allow a fertilized egg to implant and develop into a fetus. When a fertilized egg does not implant, this lining is shed as your monthly menstrual flow.
For unknown reasons, this shed tissue sometimes ends up outside of the uterus, most commonly in the abdomen. Because the tissue still responds to your hormonal cycle the same way it would inside the uterus, the endometrial tissue in the abdomen can still break apart and bleed. This causes swelling and inflammation in the surrounding parts of the abdomen, and over time it can cause scarring and other problems. This process can cause a lot of pain during menstruation, sex, and even bowel movements. It can also cause problems with fertility.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but a variety of treatment options are available. Contact us today if you think you may have endometriosis.
It’s normal for women to experience a small amount of clear or cloudy white vaginal discharge. These natural secretions help to keep vaginal tissues moist and healthy.
The vaginal area normally has a balance of naturally present bacteria and yeast that help to keep the area healthy. When this balance gets upset, it can cause abnormal discharge. You may also experience itching, burning, or an unpleasant odor.
Different factors can upset this balance. Often, the issue is something minor like a regular yeast infection (candidiasis), but bacterial infections, sexually transmitted infections, or even HIV can cause frequent yeast infections or symptoms that mirror a yeast infection.
Over-the-counter treatments may be an option, and some can provide relief, but it’s also a good idea to see your doctor if you’re experiencing vaginal discharge. He or she can help to determine what is causing it and what the best treatment plan will be for you.