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Understanding Gynecology

Gynecology is a specialization of medicine dealing with women’s health specifically involving the anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system, that includes the vagina, uterus ovaries and the breasts, along with its diagnosis, treatment and management. Modern gynecologist are also obstetrician, because both specializations overlap, wherein obstetrics deals with maternal care involving childbirth. Gynecology involves medical and surgical intervention, wherein gynecological illnesses require hormonal and pharmacological management.

Some of the conditions that gynecologist deal with are infections and cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, urine incontinence, infertility, menorrhagia, pelvic organ prolapse, and uterus and other vaginal diseases. Gynecologists use various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as hysterectomy, removal of ovary and uterus, uterine cone biopsies, colposcopy, hysteroscopy, ultrasound of reproductive organs, Pap smears, laparoscopy, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, urinary incontinence, and menstrual problems.

Pap smear is a screening procedure regularly performed by gynecologists to identify cervical precancerous or cancerous cells in the uterine opening. Pap smear doesn’t hurt but it might be uncomfortable. Pap test is highly recommended for all women who are sexually active and those over age 18 regardless if they are sexually active or not. It is advisable to undergo Pap smear every year, though risk factors, age and past Pap smear results may vary the frequency.
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Hysterectomy is the removal of uterus and cervix, that is one of the main options for treating cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus or endometrium. The two types of hysterectomy are partial and complete hysterectomy. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is done with small incisions from the abdomen and has a recovery period of one to two weeks, whereas abdominal hysterectomy may take a longer time because the recovery is usually four to six weeks.
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Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for painful cramps occurring immediately before or during menstruation. It is one of the most common gynecological symptom being complained by women. There are two types of dysmenorrhea namely primary and secondary dysmenorrhea, wherein primary dysmenorrhea usually occurs on the onset of menstruation that lasts one to three days, whereas secondary dysmenorrhea is a pain caused by disorders of the reproductive system.

A woman’s reproductive system is vast and complex, and only an expert gynecologist can rule out diseases or disorders that cause a particular gynecological symptom. It is important to visit your gynecologist if you are experiencing problems with your reproductive system for you to receive the proper diagnosis, treatment and management. The primary aim of a gynecologist is to help women preserve reproductive system health, and find means to treat reproductive system diseases and disorders through medical and surgical intervention.

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