Common Gynecologic Symptoms
The most common gynecologic symptoms are pain and excessive or irregular menstrual bleeding. Specifically documenting your symptoms prior to your appointment will help your doctor diagnose your condition.
Describing your pain on a simple 0-10 point scale can help your doctor identify the condition. Additionally, descriptions of pain such as the following can indicate different conditions:
Pelvic discomfort or pressure
Abdominal tenderness or cramps
Backache or pain
Painful urination or bowel movements
Since monthly menstrual bleeding differs for each woman, it is important to let your doctor know what is normal for you including how long it lasts and how heavy it is. Bleeding patterns can vary with childbirth, age and medication and may be indicative of specific conditions. These patterns can include:
Painful, excessively heavy or abnormal bleeding
Bleeding lasting longer than 7 days
Periods that are more frequent than every 21 days or are more than 35 days apart
Spotting or bleeding between periods or after menopause
Passing blood clots
Bleeding after intercourse
Vaginal bleeding or discharge.
Other gynecologic symptoms can occur alone or accompany pain and bleeding. Your doctor also needs to know about these to accurately diagnose your condition which may include the symptoms listed above as well as the possibility of cancer:
Improper or difficulty with urination or bowel movements
Feeling of pressure on your bladder or rectum
Slipping or dropping of your vagina or uterus
Feeling heaviness or pressure in your pelvis or constant abdominal pressure
Swelling or bloating
Urinary urgency or recurrent urinary tract infections
Pain while standing or walking
Conditions of the Woman’s Reproductive System
A wide variety of conditions can affect a woman’s reproductive system. Most affect the pelvic region and the uterus and include:
Uterine fibroids – are non- cancerous growths in the wall of the uterus
Endometriosis – non-cancerous growths of the uterine lining
Prolapse – a falling of the uterus or vagina resulting from muscles weakened from age or child birth
Uterine, cervical or ovarian cancer
Excessive menstrual bleeding
Conditions involving the pelvic region can be debilitating and are sometimes under diagnosed or overlooked. Some of these include:
Adenomyosis – thickening of the normal uterine tissue lining that migrates into the uterine muscles
Pelvic congestion – is the presence of varicose veins in the lower abdomen
Congenital and acquired abnormalities
Any of these conditions can cause chronic pain, heavy bleeding and other disabling symptoms. Other organs can be affected as well and include the vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If something doesn’t seem right, talk to and see your doctor. It is the best way to get the treatment you need and to rule out the possibility for serious conditions such as cancer.
You can learn more about each of the conditions discussed here on this site. However, this information is not a substitute for your doctor’s advice.