Gynaecology

Gynaecology

Gynaecology or gynecology is a kind of medical practice that deals with the health of the uterus, vagina, and ovaries, collectively known as the female reproductive system. The word Gynaecology is derived from the oblique stem of Greek “woman”. The counterpart of gynecology is andrology that deals with the male reproductive system.

What is a gynecologist?

Gynecologists specialize in the female reproductive system such as the fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus, ovaries, vulva, and vagina. These surgeons also diagnose and treat patients with contraception, menstrual problems, menopause, sexuality, and infertility issues. Some gynecologists provide primary care while some provide parental care.

Some of the menstrual problems are:

• Amenorrhea
This problem occurs due to the absence of menstrual periods.

• Dysmenorrhea
Due to painful menstrual periods, women suffer from dysmenorrhea.

• Menorrhagia
This is caused due to heavy menstrual periods. The common indication of menorrhagia is hysterectomy (surgically removing the uterus).Gynecologists also detect ovarian cysts, human papillomavirus, endometriosis, infection in any area of the female reproductive system, prolapse of the pelvic organs, and also bacterial, fungal, protozoal, and viral infections.

Pap smear is an examination performed by most gynecologists. This examination uses an instrument known as speculum which helps to detect abnormalities that include ovarian and cervical cancers. A complete diagnosis of the pelvic area is conducted by Pap smears as they are accompanied by a rectovaginal examination. Gynecologists also use an ultrasound to be sure about any abnormalities detected by a rectovaginal exam and a Pap smear.

Some of the gynecologists are also an obstetrician who is specialized in managing labor, pregnancy, and puerperium (time after the childbirth). Gynecologists or obstetricians also diagnose problems ranging from preventive care to STD (sexually transmitted diseases) to family planning. They also deal with endocrinology, adolescent gynecology, behavioral problems among young women.

The four subspecialties for GYN/OB are:

  • Reproductive endocrinology
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Maternal/fetal medicine
  • Urogynecology/reconstructive pelvic surgery

What does a gynecologist do?
Gynecologists focus on women’s health, especially on the female reproductive system. They deal with issues like:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
  • Obstetrics
  • Menstruation and fertility issues
  • Hormone disorders

Gynecologists perform several tests that focus on women’s health. They ensure the reproductive health of a woman by performing the standard yearly exam on adult women. During this exam, women are examined by:

  • STD tests
  • Pap smear
  • Breast exam
  • Monitor the woman’s use of birth control

Gynecologists who are also obstetricians also look after the health condition of the mother and the fetus during the time of pregnancy.

A gynecologist also performs the role of a general practitioner of women. For example, if diabetes is impacting the reproductive organs of a woman, she will be informed about it. There are also many such problems women are having related to their reproductive organs which are diagnosed by a gynecologist are:

  • PCOD
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaginal infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sexual pain

If needed gynecologists also perform minor surgeries like tube tying.

Gynecological Problems and Conditions
Some of the gynecological problems are:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Urgent and frequent need to urinate
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Vaginal bleeding during and after intercourse
  • Pressure or pain in the pelvis
  • Burning, itching, swelling, soreness, redness in the vaginal area

Some of the gynecological conditions that are responsible for gynecological problems are:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Sexual violence
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Sexual violence

When to see your gynecologist?

If you are facing the below-mentioned problems you must immediately seek help from your gynecologist. Some of the problems are:

  • Bleeding between periods/postmenopausal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain and abdominal discomfort
  • Unusual discharge or soreness in the genital area
  • Problems with urination or bowel movements
  • Painful sex
  • Females who are over 21 and are sexually active should see their gynecologists once in a year for routine screenings and checkups.

Common Gynecology Tests and ProceduresCommon gynecology tests and procedures are:

  • Breast MRI
  • Breast Biopsy
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast Scan
  • Colposcopy
  • Cervical Biopsy
  • Hysterectomy
  • Dilation and Curettage
  • Mastectomy
  • Endometrial Biopsy
  • Pap Test
  • Mammogram
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Loop electrosurgical procedure
  • Breast-conserving surgery

What to Expect During Your Checkup
As soon as you visit a gynecologist for a checkup the provider will collect all your basic health information such as height, weight, and vital signs which include heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.

Your gynecologist will tell you in detail about how to stay healthy. Certain exams may also be conducted. The gynecologist will ask you many questions to know about you and your family. Some of the questions may be about your sexual activities or the menstrual period. Your information is always kept confidential. Knowing about the details you provided, your gynecologist will conduct tests and procedures.

Side effects from the medication:

The medications that the experts prescribe to the infertile patients might cause some side effects, however, they are neither fatal nor acute. Some of those include:

You should read about Infertility Assessment?

Over 10 to 15% of the couples undergo the issue of infertility. It refers to the condition when you and your partner meet several difficulties while conceiving a child natural…

What services do gynecologists provide?

The following is the list of common services a gynecologist provides.

Pregnancy care
You must choose your gynecologists very wisely so that you can feel comfortable at the same time trust your doctor. Your gynecologist will offer you parental care, pre-pregnancy planning services, postpartum care, and pregnancy care.

Surgical procedures
Gynecologists perform several other surgeries that are not limited to hysterectomy, colposcopies, endometrial ablations. They also perform many other surgical procedures but most of them are minimally invasive.

Specialty care
Most of the OBGYNs are generalists. They have training in subspecialties such as infertility, reproductive endocrinology, gynecologic oncology, and they also diagnose and treat cancers that affect the female reproductive organs.

 

Medical conditions treated by gynecologists

Some of the medical conditions that are treated by a gynecologist are:

Adenomyosis
When the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) breaks through the myometrium (muscle wall of the uterus), the condition is known as adenomyosis. It causes lower abdominal pressure, menstrual cramps, bloating before menstrual periods.

Adnexal tumors
Growths that are formed on the connective tissues and organs around the uterus are known as adnexal tumors. They are mostly non-cancerous but sometimes they can be cancerous. Adnexal tumors are found in the ovaries.

Amniotic band syndrome
During pregnancy when the inner layer of the placenta gets damaged, Amniotic band syndrome occurs. Amniotic bands (thin strands of tissue) are formed inside the amino if amniotic band syndrome occurs.

Anterior prolapse (cystocele)
Inside the pelvis when the bladder drops from its normal position and further pushes the wall of the vagina it is known as anterior prolapse (cystocele).

Asherman syndrome (intrauterine adhesions)
When adhesions (scar tissues) are formed inside the uterus, that uterine condition is known as Asherman’s syndrome. In many cases, the walls of the uterus also stick to one another.

Asherman syndrome (intrauterine adhesions)
When the blood protein of a pregnant woman is incompatible with the baby’s, it is known as atypical isoimmunization. It causes the pregnant woman’s blood protein to react and further destroy the blood cells of the baby.

Bacterial vaginosis
It is a kind of vaginal infection that is very common among women age 14 to 55. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are watery discharge and itching.

Bladder outlet obstruction
This is usually a blockage at the neck or base of the bladder obstructing the flow of urine from the kidneys.

Bleeding during pregnancy
When fertilized eggs are implanted from the lining of the uterus (implantation bleeding) and when there is increased blood flow during pregnancy (bleeding from the cervix) it causes bleeding during the time of pregnancy

Cancer during pregnancy
A Pap test done during the time of pregnancy as a part of the standard pregnancy test can confirm the presence of cancerous tissues in the cervix. Bloating, breast changes, headaches, rectal bleeding are some of the symptoms of cancer as well as very common during the time of pregnancy. Gynecologists become sure whether these are symptoms of cancer or normal symptoms during pregnancy by performing a Pap test.

Cervical cancer
Cancer in the cells of the cervix is known as cervical cancer. Pain during sexual intercourse, bleeding after menopause, blood spots following or between; periods are some of the symptoms of cervical cancer.

Cervical dysplasia
Abnormal cell growth occurs as a precancerous condition on the surface lining of the endocervical canal or cervix is known as cervical dysplasia.

Chronic pelvic pain in women
Pain in the belly button and below the hips which lasts for more than six months is known as chronic pelvic pain in women.

Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM)
It appears as a cyst and mass in the chest before birth. These cysts are abnormal lung tissue that grows constantly but does not function properly. It is also referred to as congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM).

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
The chest fails to close during the parental development because of the diaphragm that separates the chest leads to Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Due to this opening contents of the abdomen migrates into the chest. The growth and development of the lung are impacted.

Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS)
It is the blockage of the fetus’s windpipe or voice box. This syndrome is caused by tracheal stenosis, tracheal atresia, obstructing tumors of the oropharynx, and obstructing laryngeal cysts.

Conjoined twins
When identical twins are joined in the uterus, it is known as conjoined twins. This is a very rare instance.

Diaphragmatic hernia
A hole in the diaphragm is a birth defect which is known as a diaphragmatic hernia. Because of the hole, the organs can move from the to the baby’s chest.

Double uterus
A hole in the diaphragm is a birth defect which is known as a diaphragmatic hernia. Because of the hole, the organs can move from the to the baby’s chest.

Ectopic pregnancy
When the fertilized egg grows outside the main cavity it leads to ectopic pregnancy. It usually occurs in the fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy is known as tubal pregnancy.

Endometrial cancer
This is a kind of cancer that is caused by the lining of the womb or uterus.

Endometriosis
It is a disorder when the tissue at the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It involves fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissue which is lining the pelvis.

Fallopian tube cancer
Cells that line the fallopian tube leads to fallopian tube cancer. It is treatable.

Female infertility
When women are not being able to get pregnant it leads to infertility. It is a result of physical problems, age, lifestyle, and hormonal issues.

Female infertility
When women are not being able to get pregnant it leads to infertility. It is a result of physical problems, age, lifestyle, and hormonal issues.

HPV infection
HPV infection is a kind of viral infection that leads to the growth of skin and mucous membrane growth. Some HPV is even responsible for different types of cancer.

Imperforate hymen
An obstruction in the vagina is caused due to a hymen without an opening and this congenital disorder is known as the imperforate hymen. When the hymen fails to perforate during the time of fetal development, it causes imperforate hymen.

Menopause
This process is the stopping of the menstrual cycle and it is a natural cessation. Menopause depends upon the age but a woman can experience sudden menopause due to ovarian or pelvic damage.

Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding)
When a woman experiences menstrual periods with abnormally prolonged and heavy bleeding, the medical term given for that condition is menorrhagia.

Menstrual cramps
The lining of the uterus is expelled due to the contraction of the uterus during the menstrual period. During the uterine muscle contraction, the hormone-like substances cause inflammation trigger and pain.

Miscarriage
This is a loss of pregnancy and occurs usually before 20 weeks of gestation.

Multiple gestations
It is a kind of pregnancy where there is more than one baby at a time.

Ovarian cancer
A kind of cancer that begins in the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. Until it spreads to the pelvis and stomach, it often gets undetected. This type of cancer has no symptoms in its early stages.

Ovarian cysts
These cysts are fluid-filled pockets or scars in the ovary or on its surface. If the ovary cysts do not disappear in a few months it may cause complications.

Overactive bladder
It is a name given to a group of urinary symptoms and not a disease. The most common symptom of an overactive bladder is the sudden and frequent urge to urinate. Leakage of urine is very likely to happen in this condition.

Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful intercourse. It is defined as the recurrent or persistent pain in the genitals during or before or after intercourse.

Pelvic organ prolapse
When one or more organ (uterus, bladder, or top of the vagina, bowel) falls from their usual position into the vagina it is known as pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse is not life-threatening but can be painful and cause discomfort.

Postmenopausal bleeding
The causes of postmenopausal bleeding are fibroids, vaginal atrophy, endometrial atrophy, or endometrial polyps. It can indicate the sign of cancer also.

Pregnancy after transplant
A woman who receives a transplant is advised to avoid pregnancy for the next 1 year after the transplant.

Premature birth
A birth that takes place more than three to four weeks before the due date of the baby is known as premature birth. Complications like slow weight gain, body temperature, immature lungs, poor feedings are associated with premature birth.

Preterm labor
Preterm labor is the regular contraction that leads to the opening of the cervix. It occurs after the 20th week and before the 37th week of pregnancy. A premature baby is the result of preterm labor.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by viruses, protozoa, and bacteria.

Urinary incontinence
It means a person urinates when he does not want to. The cause of urinary incontinence is weakened or lost control over the urinary sphincter.

Uterine fibroids
They are non-cancerous growths that develop in the female reproductive organ during the childbearing years.

Uterine polyps
Uterine polyps are the growths that are attached to the inner wall of the uterus. It further extends into the uterine cavity. Overgrowth of these cells leads to uterine polyps.

A better understanding of your health and management of diseases can help to prevent many diseases in gynecology.

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