Four Common Gynaecological Problems Every Woman Should Know About

February 26. 2022

Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States of America once famously said “Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women”.

Sadly though, the only times most women in India visit the doctor for health-related issues are during pregnancy or when things have gotten out of hand. Indian women are hesitant to talk about gynaecological symptoms and suffer in silence due to considerable taboo attached to the word ‘menses’ or due to the embarrassment associated with an internal examination. Just as how most of us make it a point to visit a physician for an annual health check-up, a yearly gynaecological examination will help detect numerous diseases, which if left unattended to, could lead to serious health issues in the future.

Here's a brief insight into the common gynaecological problems many women face in their day to day lives.

1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

One in 10 women in India suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, of which 6 are teenagers. PCOS has in the recent past emerged as a prominent healthcare issue among our young adults. The cause although unknown, hormonal imbalances owing to either excessive weight loss or weight gain or lifestyle and dietary choices are known to be implicated.

Women with PCOS present with irregular periods or symptoms due to excessive male hormone(androgen) levels such as acne/pimples, darkening of skin around neck and armpits, hair loss, weight changes. Some may have difficulty in trying to get pregnant.

The ovaries fail to function normally and are enlarged and filled with fluid and therefore unable to release the eggs cyclically.

In the long run, these women are prone to develop metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and psychological disorders. Exercise and lifestyle modifications go a long way in controlling PCOS while many require evaluation and medications depending on their symptoms.

2. Fibroids

These are non-cancerous tumours of the uterus. As many as 1 out of 5 women have fibroids during their child bearing age and almost half of all these women by the age of 50. These may be single or multiple and can be of varying sizes. Symptomatology ranges from heavy menstrual bleeding, dysmenorrhea, enlarged abdomen, infertility, pain abdomen, urinary problems, recurrent pregnancy loss, pregnancy related problems while 50% remain asymptomatic.

Fibroids can easily be detected during a gynaecological examination and confirmed on ultrasound. Treatment plan varies depending on the age of the patient, severity of symptoms, size and location of the fibroids and the wishes of the patient.

3. Endometriosis/Adenomyosis

This is a condition where the lining of the uterus gets deposited and grows in sites other than the uterus. Commonly, on ovaries forming chocolate cysts and over pelvic organs resulting in inflammation/ scarring thus making the organs adherent to one another. This affects approximately 6-10% of women in the reproductive age group. Symptoms include severe pain during menses which is not relieved on painkillers or heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.

As much as 30 to 40% have difficulty in getting pregnant. Management depends on the age of the patient, severity of symptoms and whether the lady wants to plan pregnancy or not and includes oral medications, injections and even surgery.

4. Vaginal Infections

Extremely common but ignored most often. Leucorrhoea means normal vaginal discharge which increases mid cycle and prior to menses and is non foul smelling, with no itching. Discharge which is green/ yellow/brown or mixed with blood, foul smelling, copious or associated with itching needs medical attention. Examination, culture and appropriate treatment can prevent complications like pelvic inflammatory disease, recurrent pregnancy loss, chronic pelvic pain and infertility.

Keep private parts clean and dry wash with lukewarm water.
Avoid using douches and perfumes.
Clean the private parts every time you visit the washroom by wiping from front to back and not vice versa.
Wear fresh dry cotton undergarments.
Use condoms during intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Drink plenty of water, maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
Undergo annual gynaecological examination with pap testing once every 3 years.

Women are very good at putting others’ needs ahead of their own, however it is imperative that they take care of themselves which in turn will go a long way in them caring for others. So, on Women’s Day this year (2022), let us women be extra vigilant on our physical and mental health. Because, if you’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, you don’t have a lot of time to take care of yourselves.

Let’s vow to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.

Happy Women’s Day!




By Dr Shannon Fernandes
Dr Shannon Fernandes is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Parin building, Balmatta and Father Muller Medical College.
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Comment on this article

  • Flavia, Allipade

    Fri, Mar 04 2022

    Thank you Dr Shannon. Well explained article.

  • Priyanka Dsouza, Pangla/ Shankerpura

    Thu, Mar 03 2022

    Well explained article and very informative.

  • Geetha, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 03 2022

    Rare article on women health. Very informative and well explained

  • Karen, Bangalore

    Wed, Mar 02 2022

    Very well written Dr. Shannon.. Very informative. Thank you for sharing.

  • Karen, Bangalore

    Wed, Mar 02 2022

    Well-said, Dr Fernandes. A timely article that will hopefully reach young women across the globe for much-needed guidance in a space that's usually filled with stigma and misinformation.

  • Shovitha, Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 02 2022

    Excellent article Dr Shannon, Very informative and well written. Hoping to read more such articles in the future.

  • Reshma dcunha, Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 02 2022

    Very informative article. Every women must read and understand the importance of annual gynaecological checkup . Thank you Dr. Shannon for explaining complicated terminologies into simple and understandable way.

  • Agnes Albuquerque, Mangaluru / Cascia

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very important info to women who, as you say, keep family in forefront n postpone their own health issues. Thank you Dr Shannon n hope to have more useful articles in future.

  • Sandra, Valencia

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Great information shared and apt for the theme on women’s day… congratulations Dr Shannon.

  • Fernandes R Francis, Sppe, Dubai, Mangalore,Dubai

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Shannon a Ex KMC student was a topper always . Fittingly she has written a very important Subject in a most beautiful and simple Manner which we all could read and understand easily . Short but beautifully presented. Really Appreciated . Thanks a lot and please time to time give us informative articles like these in daiji.

  • Winona Cardoza, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative article Dr. Shannon. You have very well said that women are good at putting others' needs first and we always tend to ignore many things related to our health. So reading such article always reminds us to be more aware of our health related issues. Thank you for this article and keep posting more informative ones.

  • wellwisher, dubai

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    She Was a Topper. Naturally article is also top class. High Standard of writing

  • Ashley, Dombivli

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Well explained. Great Article!

  • Kavitha Bernhardt, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative and a must read article for all women. Thank you Shannon

  • Priya Patrao, Mangalore, Bendur

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very well written and informative article about women's health and hygiene. Dr. Shannon has provided vital knowledge which should be shared and spoken among more adults and women. You are doing an excellent job to your society keep it up! Looking forward to read more of your Articles.

  • Blanche, Auckland

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Thanks for the extremely wise & practical lifestyle advise. Easy to incorporate for a holistic wellbeing Dr Shannon! Nga mihi

  • Wendy Cardoza, Pune

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Thank you Dr Shannon for shedding light on these commonly unspoken issues. Very informative 👍

  • P. Rodrigues, Melbourne

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative article…thank you for sharing this with us Dr Shannon.

  • Asuntha Preeti D Souza, Suratkal

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Congratulations Shannon. Well presented and very informative article.

  • Veena Shetty, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative! Thank you

  • Melita, Navi Mumbai

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative. Great article Dr. Shannon

  • Joyce Dcuhna, Dombivili

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very nicely elaborated and informative...

  • Arthur Sequeira, Mudigere

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Thank you Dr. Shannon for sharing very knowledgeable article.

  • Chandini, Mangaluru

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Consice and informative article. Well written Dr shannon

  • Khairrunisa, Surathkal

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    An enlightening article by Dr. Shannon Fernandes. It is certain to stand the ladies in good stead as they are certain to benefit by reading it. This doctor is a very conscientious person who always has the interest of her patients close to her heart. Her reassuring words particularly during the difficult period work wonders and go a long way in alleviating the suffering associated with the labour pain. A kind hearted true professional.

  • Arthur Sequeira, Mudigere

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Thank you for sharing. Very knowledgeable article.

  • Vishalakshi Amin, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    A very nice article by Dr. Shannon Fernandes. All ladies should go through this as this is very informative. I have known this doctor for many years as I go to her for my regular check ups. She is the one who put an end to the excessive and unbearable pain I was regularly experiencing during my periods. Following an extensive analysis of my problem, the treatment suggested by Dr. Shannon Fernandes really worked and now I am able to lead a normal life.

  • Indu Elizabeth, UAE

    Sun, Feb 27 2022

    Very informative. Hats off to you Shannon

  • Diana sequeira, Kulshekar/ Kolkata

    Sat, Feb 26 2022

    Awesome and informative article dear Shannon

  • Divyani Pai, Bangalore

    Sat, Feb 26 2022

    Great article Shannon. This is an eye opener to all the women.

  • Jacintha Cardoza, Mangalore

    Sat, Feb 26 2022

    Good to know in detail the impact of women health surrounded by taboo. All adult to elderly women should go through the article and do so as advised by Dr. Shannon Fernanades.

  • Roshan Dsouza, UAE

    Sat, Feb 26 2022

    Nice article. You really deserve for the blessing and appreciation. Thanks.......

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