Finding comfort for gynaecological problems

Keep track of all the little changes from mood swings to irregular menses to stay abreast with the signals your body sends out, writes Shilpi Madan
Last Updated : 11 September 2021, 19:15 IST
Last Updated : 11 September 2021, 19:15 IST

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Female biology brings with it a sizeable number of challenges, especially when our hormones go up in a twist at different stages in our lives. Staying attuned to the signals that our body sends out helps in warding off any major ailments.

Painful periods

Called Dysmenorrhoea, painful menstrual cycles are characterised by debilitating cramps in the lower abdomen and throbbing pain in the thighs. Often the continuous dull ache renders you immobile, affecting the quality of life. Usually common in menarche, the painful stabs can be a common feature for women in the older age group as well.

A hot water bottle, targeted painkiller for acute menstrual spasms, or even period pain relief disposable strips for the lower abdomen work well. “Keeping your weight under check brings many gynaecological issues — like irregular periods, painful cycles under control,” says gynaecologist Ashima Malik.

Vaginal discomfort

“A vaginal infection, or urinary infection, or a boil in the skin near the vulva (lips of the vagina) often brings in vaginal discharge or itching,” says Dr Vaishali Joshi, a senior obstetrician and gynaecologist based in Mumbai. “Over the counter medicines usually do not work as correct treatment by your gynaecologist is necessary to treat it,” she adds. It is important to maintain vaginal hygiene but not always douching after urinating, to protect healthy bacteria in the area. Wear breathable cotton underwear, skip skinny jeans and tummy control underwear that constricts the vagina, and change often to stay clean and dry in our sweaty tropical climes, she suggests.

Spot below

Says Dr Vaishalii, “Spotting post-sexual intercourse or even between two menstrual cycles can be a warning sign of sexually transmitted infections (STI), also called a pelvic inflammatory disease or cervical cancer or infection. Clear visualisation of the lower genital organs is required along with specific tests such as a PAP smear test, and chlamydia test to make an accurate diagnosis. Remember, STIs and early cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb) can be treated completely if detected early.” Keep track of the spotting, especially if you are experiencing perimenopause symptoms.

A little leak

Often when you laugh loudly, or suddenly, you experience a tiny trickle down under. Especially if you have been hugging a full bladder during travel. “Try Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles below as you tend to expel a bit of urine while coughing loudly or sneezing violently,” suggests Dr Ashima. A timely bladder training can help. Ensure that you are regular with the Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles post-delivery as well so as to prevent progression of the issue.

Bump ahead

Regular breast self-examination is a must for every woman. Often there are tiny nodules leftover from breast engorgement you may have experienced during lactation.

“Constantly check for a lump or swelling in the breasts, make a note of any discharge and schedule an appointment with your gynaecologist. Be regular with your PAP smear and mammography after the age of 40,” says Dr Ashima.

Published 11 September 2021, 18:46 IST

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