Women's Health Care
Many women going through menopause experience a wide range of symptoms including:
- Irregular bleeding
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
There are several treatment options available to help relieve these symptoms, and our doctors can help you decide which option is best for you.
Prescription medication with estrogen and progesterone, known as hormone replacement therapy, is a treatment available for women to treat the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Patients seeking treatment for their individual symptoms should try to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Chronic female pelvic pain is classified as pain below the belly button lasting longer than 6 months. The pain can range from mild to severe, dull to sharp and may come and go or be constant. Pelvic pain can be a result of several different conditions, many of which can be successfully treated.
Although the reason for pelvic pain can not always be determined, some common causes include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Scar tissue after surgery or infection
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Physical or sexual abuse
Patients who suffer from pelvic pain may undergo a Pap test, blood test, urine test, pregnancy test and STD test to determine the reason for the pain. Imaging devices and even exploratory surgery may be necessary if a cause cannot be found.
Treatment for pelvic pain depends on the cause, but can include:
- Birth control pills or hormone treatment
- Surgery to remove a cyst or tumor
- Pain relievers
- Cognitive therapy
Pelvic pain can be a debilitating condition that can affect your everyday life. It is important to work with your doctor to diagnose the cause of pain in order to receive effective treatment.
Endometriosis is a medical condition affecting about five million women. It occurs when the lining of the uterus, known as endometrium, moves out of the uterus and into other parts of the pelvic area such as the ovaries, bowels or behind the uterus.
Endometriosis is a common health problem. It is generally not a serious or harmful condition, but can be painful and may interfere with your daily life.
During your period, this endometrial tissue swells and bleeds and sheds from the lining to be released in the menstrual flow. When the tissue is in other areas, this swelling causes pain and may form scar tissue. There is no known cause of this condition, but it has a tendency to run in families.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Chronic lower back and pelvic pain
- Pain during or after sex
- Heavy and/or long menstrual periods
Endometriosis can be diagnosed through an ultrasound or MRI. There is no cure for the disease, but symptoms can be treated depending on their type and severity. Talk to your doctor today if you think you may be experiencing endometriosis.
Abnormal uterine bleeding is classified as any bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods. In some cases, abnormal uterine bleeding occurs after intercourse, or in women who are postmenopausal. Heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than seven days is considered abnormal uterine bleeding.
Abnormal uterine bleeding has many possible causes. In some cases, birth control methods, including birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs), can cause spotting or heavy periods. Additional causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include the following:
- Abnormal growths
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine fibroids
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
Abnormal uterine bleeding can also be caused by abnormal hormone levels. Often the result of high estrogen levels that are not balanced by an appropriate level of progesterone, they can prevent an egg from being released, or thicken the uterine lining and cause it to shed irregularly. Chronic medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders and diabetes, can also lead to abnormal uterine bleeding.
Treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding varies, depending on its cause. Treatment methods may include the following:
- Hormone supplements
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Removal of an IUD
- Birth control pills to regulate periods
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
Surgery may be necessary to remove growths such as polyps or fibroids that can cause bleeding. Several other types of surgery may be performed to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.
Abnormal uterine bleeding caused by a miscarriage requires prompt medical attention to prevent serious complications.
Uterine fibroids, also known as myomas, are tumors that grow in the uterine walls. They are usually benign and can range in size and quantity. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but they may be affected by hormones and genetics, as women are more likely to develop fibroids if they have a family member with the condition. Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms and do not require any treatment, however, in some cases they may lead to pregnancy complications. Uterine fibroids are most common in women over the age of 30 and during the reproductive years.
In cases where women do not experience any problems or symptoms with uterine fibroids, no treatment may be necessary as doctors may choose to just monitor the condition. Uterine fibroids usually grow slowly and tend to shrink after menopause, when reproductive hormones levels drop. When uterine fibroids cause uncomfortable symptoms, hormonal medications may be prescribed to shrink the fibroids. A common method used to treat uterine fibroids is a procedure called fibroid embolization. Fibroid embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to uterine fibroids, shrinking or destroying the tumors that grow on the uterine walls. There are several other minimally invasive procedures available to treat uterine fibroids without the use of surgery. These procedures may include:
- Laparoscopic myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation and resection of fibroids
In cases where the uterine fibroids have grown very large, more traditional surgical methods such as an abdominal myomectomy or hysterectomy may be performed. A hysterectomy is an option only for women who no longer want to have children, as the entire uterus is removed. Except for a hysterectomy, and while rare, there is a possibility that new fibroids may develop after all treatments have been performed.
To learn more about our Women Care Services, please contact us today to schedule an appointment!