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GYN Medical Diagnosis
Your Diagnosis Journey
If you've been diagnosed with an illness or malady that requires treatment or surgery, your next important step is to do some homework. Understand your diagnosis from its basic definition. Understand your treatment options.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
There are many reasons you can deal with abnormal uterine bleeding at some point in your life. Some of these reasons are minor and may even resolve on their own, while others can be more serious and require medical attention and possibly a hysterectomy.
Read more about Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.
Adenomyosis is a condition where the endometrium (lining of the uterus) grows into the myometrium or muscular wall of the uterus. As a result, the uterus can become enlarged and even boggy, leading to discomfort, pain, and other symptoms. Most frequently, women will experience intense menstrual cramps, heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, and abdominal bloating. Other symptoms may include lower back pain, abdominal pressure, and painful intercourse. Additionally, women can pass blood clots during their period, have breakthrough bleeding, and feel fatigued. Due to excessive bleeding, some women also experience anemia.
Read more about Adenomyosis.
Adhesions are a type of scar tissue that has formed between two organs or tissues. These bands of scar tissue can form following a surgery, an infection, or any other trauma to an area. As the body tries to repair itself, cells may not recognize surrounding tissue and organs. Thus, as the healing organ comes in contact with another organ or tissue, the body attempts to repair both organs, causing the two areas to become connected. Over time, those adhesions can shorten and possibly cause pain, digestive issues, infertility, and painful intercourse as the affected organs are moved and distorted.
Read more about Adhesions.
Cancer - Cervical
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. It is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented through regular screening. Cervical cancer starts out as abnormal cellular changes in the cervix, the part of the uterus that opens to the vagina. Cervical cancer is slow-growing and can be caught early with regular Pap tests.
Read more about Cervical Cancer.
Cancer - Endometrial
Endometrial cancer, also called uterine cancer, is cancer of the uterine lining, or endometrium. It begins when cells in the endometrium multiply out of control. They may invade the muscle of the uterus and sometimes spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. Most cases occur after menopause.
Read more about Endometrial Cancer.
Cancer - Ovarian
Ovarian cancer usually starts in epithelial cells on the surface of an ovary. It is the seventh most common cancer among women, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide. It is difficult to detect early since its symptoms can mimic other pelvic diseases, and the ovaries are not easily accessible for inspection or testing.
Read more about Ovarian Cancer.
Cancer - Uterine Sarcoma
A sarcoma is a malignant tumor that develops from bone or soft tissue such as fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood and lymph vessels, or deep skin tissues. Uterine sarcomas are a type of soft tissue sarcoma that forms in the muscle or supporting tissues of the uterus.
Read more about Uterine Sarcoma.
Cancer - Vaginal
Vaginal cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the vagina. This form of cancer is very rare, but there are several types of vaginal cancer.
Read more about Vaginal Cancer.
Most ovarian cysts are harmless and resolve on their own. Depending on symptoms, initial treatment may only require a watch and wait approach. In other cases, symptoms and pain may require medical or pharmaceutical intervention. Cysts in menopausal women may be treated more quickly and aggressively because they may have a higher malignant risk.
Read more about Cysts.
Endometriosis is a very complex and often misunderstood medical condition that affects an estimated 10% of all women worldwide who are in their reproductive years. With endometriosis, tissue similar to the endometrial lining implants in various areas of the body though primarily in the pelvic region. More common locations for endometriosis lesions are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, peritoneum (pelvic side wall), outside of the uterus, cul-de-sac, bowel, bladder, rectum, appendix, ureters, and urterosacral ligaments. More rarely, other areas of the body can be affected from the vagina to the brain.
Read more about Endometriosis.
Abnormal or dysfunctional bleeding occurs for hormonal reasons, because of polyps in ther uterus and/or cervix, endometrial hyperplasia, and for other conditions including fibroids, adenomyosis, pelvic infection and uterine or cervical cancers. Bleeding can be an inconvenience or interrupt your daily activities and may be associated with pelvic pain and uterine cramping.
Read more about Excessive Uterine Bleeding.
The medical term for fibroid is leiomyoma, a type of myoma tumor. They are tumors of the smooth muscle of the uterus and contain muscle tissue. Fibroids are classified according to their location in the uterus.
Read more about Fibroids.
Your genetics could affect when you start menstruation and when you enter menopause. They may also play a role in your risk for certain gynecologic conditions and how you manage them. When gene mutations occur, they change the gene’s instructions, causing them to perform differently than they should. In some cases, gene mutation leads to health problems.
Read more about Gynecologic Genetics.
When fluid collects in a fallopian tube, it is called hydrosalpinx. Fallopian tubes are very delicate, and they can swell shut when injured, irritated, or infected. When both ends of a fallopian tube close, it fills with fluid and expands. The fluid eventually leaks out through the uterus and vagina, causing a clear discharge.
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Endometrial hyperplasia is an abnormal overgrowth of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) resulting from prolonged stimulation by estrogen without the proper changes in progesterone levels to trigger regular menstrual bleeding.
Read more about Hyperplasia.
Interstitial Cystitis - IC
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic, and often severe, inflammation of the bladder wall, the cause of which is unknown. Primary symptoms are urinary frequency, urgency, and, for some, severe lower abdominal or perineal pain.
Read more about IC.
Some doctors suggest a hysterectomy for ongoing migraines caused by hormone imbalance. This is a perfect time to consult another doctor to find possible treatment option without surgery.
Read more about Migraines.
Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, can occur for a number of reasons. Whether or not a hysterectomy will alleviate your issues will depend on the reason(s) for your symptoms..
Read more about Painful Intercourse.
Pelvic Infection/Inflammatory Disease - PID
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious infection of a woman’s pelvic organs that occurs when bacteria has passed from the vagina through the cervix, into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. Most cases of PID are caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia, two sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, PID can also occur without the presence of an STI. PID may occur following douching, an IUD, an abortion, pelvic procedures and surgery, and sometimes childbirth.
Read more about PID.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome - PCS
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a condition that seems to affect multiple veins in the pelvic region and can be the cause of chronic pelvic pain women. PCS is similar to varicose veins in the legs. In both situations, valves in the veins which help blood flow toward the heart are weak or damaged. Because the function of the valves is to prevent a backflow of blood, pooling can occur in the veins when the valves are not working properly. This pooling of blood allows the veins to become stretched and engorged. With PCS, the veins involved are located near the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vulva, and vagina.
Read more about PCS.
Pelvic Pain - Adhesions
See Adhesions (above).
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disorder - PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disorder (PCOS) is a disorder of the endocrine system. While one of the symptoms can be polycystic ovaries, it is only one of many symptoms. Some women have polycystic ovaries, but do not have PCOS. Other women have PCOS, yet do not have polycystic ovaries. Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure for PCOS.
Read more about PCOS.
Post Menopausal Bleeding
There can be several reasons for post menopausal bleeding, some more serious than others. Regardless, bleeding after menopause is not considered normal and requires immediate medical attention. Depending on the cause of your bleeding, there may be treatment options besides a hysterectomy. The sooner you seek treatment, the more options that may be available for you.
Read more about Post Menopausal Bleeding.
Post Tubal Ablation Sterilization Syndrome - PATSS
Post Ablation Tubal Sterilization Syndrome (PATSS) is a rare condition affecting some women who have undergone both endometrial ablation and tubal sterilization procedures. Those with PATSS can experience intense pain, vaginal bleeding, cramping, lower back ache, and painful intercourse. Pain and symptoms associated with the uterus could be resolved with a hysterectomy. However, some symptoms of PATSS involve the Fallopian tubes rather than the uterus.
Read more about PATSS.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder - PMDD
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) causes women to experience severe depression, irritability, tension and anxiety before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There are a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that can occur one to two weeks prior to the start of the monthly menstrual cycle, with most symptoms stopping shortly after the period begins.
Read more about PMDD.
Prolapse - Bladder
When the muscles and tissues supporting the bladder weaken or stretch, the bladder may fall from its normal position. This can cause it to press against the vaginal wall and even protrude into the vagina. A prolapsed bladder is known as a cystocele. There are several risks factors for a prolapsed bladder along with a variety of treatment options.
Read more about Bladder Prolapse.
Prolapse - Rectum
When the tissue between the rectum and the vagina thins, the front wall of the rectum can bulge into the back wall of the vagina creating a rectocele. This type of prolapse is also known as a posterior prolapse and is a very common condition.
Read more about Rectum Prolapse.
Prolapse - Small Intestine
Prolapse of the small intestine into the vagina is called an enterocele. This type of prolapse is considered a hernia of the pelvic floor that most often occurs in women who have had a hysterectomy; however, it may occur along with a rectocele even in women with a uterus. There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options.
Read more about Small Intestine Prolapse.
Prolapse - Uterine
When the pelvic floor weakens and stretches, the uterus can prolapse into the vagina. The severity of the prolapse and associated symptoms can dictate treatment options. In some cases, you may not need any treatment, but for more severe symptoms some type of surgery may be required.
Read more about Uterine Prolapse.
Prolapse - Vaginal Vault
When the top portion of the vagina falls downward towards the opening of the vagina, a vaginal vault prolapse occurs. This type of prolapse most often occurs in women who have had a hysterectomy. Diagnosis and treatment can depend on the severity of the condition.
Read more about Vaginal Vault Prolapse.
Undiagnosed Pelvic Pain
If you have suffered with unexplained pelvic pain and hysterectomy has been suggested as the "cure," keep exploring your options with a physician. There are many reasons for unexplained pelvic pain with endometriosis and interstitial cystitis (IC) at the top of the list. Neither of those conditions are cured with a hysterectomy.
Read more about Undiagnosed Pelvic Pain.
Get a Second Opinion
HysterSisters recommends that you get more than one opinion when your doctor suggests a hysterectomy. You may have a trustful long-standing history with your doctor and feel horrified that we suggest such a thing! This isn't a slap in the face for your personal physician but a smart thing for every patient to do.
Set up an appointment with a different surgeon in a different practice and even perhaps in a different town. Take your records with you but also ask for an exam. Ask if the first recommendation is appropriate. Ask for alternative suggestions.
Get a third opinion. You might find the third suggests an even less invasive solution or an alternative treatment to completely avoid surgery.
The key is for you, the patient, to get all the information you can before you agree to surgery. You cannot change your mind once the surgery is done. There are no money back guarantees if the surgery is not the cure for your problem. Be smart. Do your homework.