Common Gynaecological Issues: Understanding Symptoms and Treatment Options

The field of gynaecology encompasses the entire female reproductive system. The term gynaecological issues refers to symptoms and conditions relating to the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, breasts, and external genitals. Throughout women’s lives, our hormones fluctuate, we develop conditions, and our reproductive systems are affected, so it is critical to go for regular gynaecological screening. In between screening, women also need to monitor changes and potential symptoms. In this vein, it is critical to be aware of common gynaecological issues, understand their symptoms, and the treatment options.

Symptoms Relating to Gynaecological Issues

Women’s reproductive systems are complex, and there is a world of gynaecological issues we may experience throughout our lifetimes. By paying attention to changes and potential red flags, we can treat these symptoms and prevent problems down the line.

Common gynaecological symptoms:

Menstruation disorders such as extremely painful periods, heavy periods, spotting, and irregular periods are often the first red flag when something is wrong. They could be a symptom of endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), dysfunctional uterine bleeding, or other conditions.

Pelvic pain can be a symptom indicative of many gynaecological conditions. Symptoms such as cramping, dull or sharp pain, pelvic pressure, and mood changes may accompany pelvic pain and become more severe during menstruation. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of an infection in the reproductive tract, endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, and more.

An abnormal vaginal discharge with an unusual colour or odour may indicate an infection, a reaction to feminine hygiene products, vaginitis, cervical cancer, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea, among other conditions.

Painful intercourse may be accompanied by pelvic pain and may be heightened during or around menstruation. The pain can occur before, during, or after sex and be sharp, dull, throbbing or burning. Some women feel pain during insertion of a tampon, penetration, thrusting, while peeing, or a throbbing pain after intercourse. The reasons for such pain may be endometriosis, an STI, a narrow vagina, a tough hymen, vulval infection, urethral disease, vaginitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Treatment Options for Gynaecological Issues

Though there is bound to be some overlap, each gynaecological issue will have its own range of symptoms and treatments. These treatments vary according to the diagnosis, root cause, and severity of the illness.

Treatments for common gynaecological issues:

Endometriosis may be found throughout the pelvic region or confined to the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The doctor will recommend lifestyle changes to combat the symptoms, and they may prescribe hormone-based medication. If the symptoms persist or the endometriosis is severe, the doctor will likely resort to surgical options such as a laparoscopy.

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are urged to make lifestyle changes to improve their cholesterol levels, lower insulin, and reduce heart disease and diabetes risks. Hormone-based treatments are also often prescribed.

Fibroids are typically initially treated with hormone-based medications. If these medications don’t work, the doctor may recommend minimally invasive procedures such as uterine artery embolization, radiofrequency ablation, laparoscopy or hysteroscopic myomectomy. If there is no change, more traditional surgical options such as abdominal myomectomy or a hysterectomy may be required.

Another common gynaecological condition which may be tied to the symptoms mentioned above is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The treatment for PID is most commonly a broad-spectrum antibiotic; in rare instances, surgery may be necessary.

Many common gynaecological issues have similar symptoms and treatments. If you are experiencing symptoms related to gynaecological issues, don’t ignore them! Seeking professional medical advice and treatment can help improve your quality of life. At OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care, our team of expert gynaecologists offers a range of services to help diagnose and treat gynaecological issues, from regular screenings to minimally invasive procedures and surgery.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.