Is it normal?…..

Common Gynaecological Problems

I thought it would be good to touch on some more common women’s health problems. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but might help some women who may have been wondering about their symptoms.

Heavy Periods

I find this website really useful to help work out whether you are experiencing abnormally heavy bleeding. A lot of women put up with heavy periods for years, not realising their symptoms are not normal. Click on the link to see if you are putting up with bleeding that is actually not normal.

There are many causes for heavy periods, but two important ones are endometriosis and fibroids.

Endometriosis is when the tissue lining the womb grows OUTSIDE of the womb. It can grow anywhere in the body, causing bleeding and pain monthly, but tends to be most common in the pelvis, where it causes very bad pain before and during periods, and very heavy bleeding. It can often cause bleeding ovarian cysts too. Diagnosis is often late as women do not realise that their heavy, painful periods are not normal. If you are concerned, call your doctor.

Endometriosis UK is a support organization with a vision to improve the lives of people affected by endometriosis and work towards a future where it has the least possible impact on those living with the condition.

Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that grow in the walls of the womb. They can get very big! Side effects of them can be increased bleeding in periods, a sense of pressure on your bladder, and even a lump you can feel in your lower abdomen.

Fibroid Network is a UK based, patient led volunteer, support group, serving as a focal point for women’s fibroid and health issues with the aim to improve women with fibroids, healthcare and health education in the United Kingdom and internationally.

PMS

A lot of women have a tough time in the days or weeks leading up to their period. This is because they are sensitive to progesterone, which is the prominent hormone in your body at this time of your cycle. There is help AND treatment available. See the resources below for more information.

National Association for Pre-menstrual Syndrome supports individual PMS sufferers and promote a greater awareness of PMS and of its treatment.

Vicious Cycle is a patient-led project, passionate about raising awareness of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and improving the standards of care for those living with the condition.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition where women’s hormones are not in balance. It affects 10% of women in the UK! This usually shows in the form of some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual hair growth (face, arms, etc)
  • Greasy hair
  • Problems with skin (acne is common)
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods or no periods at all

It is important to recognise as it can be managed, and sometimes affects fertility and long-term risk of developing other hormonal imbalances like type 2 diabetes. Contact your doctor if you have these symptoms as you may need blood tests to investigate further.

Verity – PCOS is a self-help group with a goal to improve the lives of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Urinary incontinence

A lot of women think this is just part of getting older, or something to expect after having children. It isn’t, and treatment is available!

For those who have weak pelvic floor muscles (you might notice that a little urine comes out on coughing, sneezing, running, jumping etc) the NHS Squeezy App is an award-winning resource that you can download on to your smart-phone to teach you how to strengthen these muscles and get better control of your urine flow.

If you are struggling with controlling your urine- speak to your GP!