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Common problems of the female reproductive system

Hello Sehat
Hello Sehat

Hidup Sehat Hidup Bahagia

Jakarta  /  Thu, October 6, 2016  /  05:05 pm
Common problems of the female reproductive system

Most health issues related to the reproductive system are easily addressed. (Shutterstock/File)

Many women, old and young, frequently complain about problems related to their reproductive system. Below are some common issues that are frequently reported:

Problems related to the vulva and vagina

- Vulvovaginitis is inflammation of the vulva and vagina that can be caused by irritation (such as from detergent or soap). Improper self-hygiene (such as rinsing from the back to the front, not the other way around, after defecating) can also cause inflammation. Vulvovaginitis is marked by redness and itching on the vulva and vaginal area, sometimes the excretion of fluid from the vagina may occur.

- Non-menstrual bleeding commonly occurs when foreign particles are accumulated in the vagina, toilet paper for instance. Bleeding can also be caused by uterus shedding, a condition where the mucous membrane of the urethra sticks out of the vagina and forms a soft tissue shaped like a ring that is prone to bleed. Non-menstrual bleeding can also be caused by injuries during cycling (if the vagina bumps into the bicycle frame) or trauma caused by sexual harassment.

Problems related to the ovaries and fallopian tube

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg (zygote) develops outside the womb and usually sticks to the fallopian tube. Women with this condition may undergo severe abdominal pain and need to consult a doctor immediately because it usually requires a surgical procedure.

Endometriosis is soft tissue forming in the uterus, which is sometimes found to be developing outside the uterus such as in the ovaries, fallopian tube and other pelvic spaces. Endometriosis can cause abnormal bleeding, painful menstruation and pelvic pain.

(Read also: What women need to know about vaginal tightness)

- Ovarian tumors. Although it is statistically rare, this type of tumor can still happen. Women who have ovarian tumors will experience pain in the upper stomach and pressure in the abdomen. A surgical procedure to remove the tumor is required to subdue the condition.

- Ovarian cysts are abnormal glands formed in the ovaries containing fluid or other semi-solid material. Cysts are a common condition and usually classified as harmless unless the gland continues to grow larger. Large cysts can put pressure on the surrounding organs and can cause stomach pain. In many cases, cysts will disappear and do not need any special treatment. If the cyst feels painful, doctors will prescribe family planning pills to stop the growth, or conduct a procedure to remove the cyst.

- Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder where there is an increase in androgen production (male hormones) by the ovaries. This condition causes the ovaries to enlarge and develop a cyst. Polycystic ovarian syndrome commonly occurs during one’s teenage years. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, this abnormality can be treated using menstrual and hormonal balancing drugs.

Problems related to menstruation

Some common reported conditions include:

- Dysmenorrhea: A painful menstrual period.

Menorrhagia: Where the menstrual cycle produces much more blood than usual.

- Oligomenorrhea: Where a woman has an irregular menstrual cycle, or misses her menstrual period, even though she used to have a regular menstrual cycle beforehand and is currently not pregnant.

Amenorrhea: Occurs when a woman has not started her menstrual period after reaching 16 years of age, has not yet shown signs of puberty at 14 years of age, or has a normal menstrual cycle that stops suddenly without any known reason (other than pregnancy).

Problems related to the reproductive system

- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs/STIs), including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes (HSV). These diseases are transmitted through sexual intercourse from one person to another.

- Toxic shock syndrome. This rare yet deadly disease is caused by a toxic release into the body from a bacterial infection that can develop if a tampon is left too long in the vagina. This disease can cause symptoms such as high fever, diarrhea, vomiting and shock.

If you think you have any of these signs or symptoms, or if you have any questions regarding your growth, talk to your doctor. Most health issues related to the reproductive system are easily addressed. (kes)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.