Common Conditions

Fibroids | Uterine Bleeding | Endometriosis | Incontinence | Hemorrhoids | Osteoporosis | Vaginal  Infections

female10.jpgFibroids

Fibroids are benign growths that appear and grow in or around the uterus. Fibroids are common afflictions, appearing in an estimated 25% - 50% of women. In most cases, fibroids are small and have no symptoms. In these cases, treatment is usually not warranted. However, fibroids should be checked by a medical professional, as in some cases they can grow rapidly, twist or become infected, in which case symptoms may occur, including fever, uterine bleeding, heavy periods, pelvic pressure, constipation, pain, miscarriages and even, rarely, infertility. The treatment needed for fibroids varies upon the symptoms and circumstances, and may include removing the fibroids surgically (myomectomy), causing the fibroids to shrink by hindering its blood supply (uterine artery embolization – UAE), or removing the uterus (hysterectomy). If you are treated for fibroids, you should undergo regular check-ups in the future to minimize the risks of reoccurrence.

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Normally, the menstrual cycle will include up to seven days of uterine bleeding, but if your bleeding lasts longer than normal, is heavier than normal or occurs irregularly, this could indicate a problem. Many times, abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by hormonal changes and is not a serious condition, but this is not always the case. The cause, seriousness, and possible treatment options for abnormal uterine bleeding can depend on many factors, such as your age group, your current medications, your history with birth control, and your lifestyle (weight, eating habits, exercise, stress levels, etc.). Only a licensed medical professional can make an accurate diagnosis and suggest an effective treatment option, which may include hormone therapy, medication or surgery.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, a type of tissue that is commonly found on the inside lining of the uterus. When tissue that resembles the endometrium begins growing in other parts of the abdomen besides the inner lining of the uterus, this condition is referred to as endometriosis. The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain. Any occurrence or combination of pelvic pain, painful sex, painful urination or bowel movements, intense menstrual cramping or lower back pain could indicate endometriosis. Many widespread and advanced stages of endometriosis can produce little or no pain, while other cases of severe pain or cramping can be caused by relatively small occurrences of endometriosis in an early stage. Because of this, it is important to have regular screenings and check-ups, particularly if you experience any painful symptoms as described above.

Urinary Incontinence

The most common cases of incontinence are caused from the pressure inside the bladder being greater than the pressure of the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. In these cases, patients may experience leakage while coughing, sneezing, running, doing aerobics or other exercises or situations which cause the pressure of the abdomen to increase. Other types of incontinence are caused by the over-activity or weakness of bladder or urethral muscles, urinary tract infections, pelvic problems and neuromuscular disorders. Regardless of the cause, most cases of urinary incontinence can be effectively treated. Recommended treatment options may include changes in behavior or lifestyle, such as reducing caffeine and nicotine intake, losing weight, avoiding heavy lifting or running, etc. Also, there are medications that may help with urinary incontinence, as well as medical devices, surgical procedures, and exercises which can help strengthen urethral muscles. What treatment option(s) may work best for each individual patient will depend on a thorough diagnosis by a medical professional.

Hemorrhoids

When the veins in the rectum or anus are affected by severe pressure, the blood within those veins begins to pool inside the vessels, causing the blood vessels to swell and become painful, a condition known as hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a common condition in the United States, causing itching, burning and irritating sensations around the anal area. Hemorrhoids are also common in pregnant women due to hormonal changes and the position of the fetus. While there are some medications and remedies to help ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids, the best treatment is prevention. Avoid excessive straining during evacuations and be sure to include enough fiber in your diet.

Osteoporosis

Throughout your life, your bones are constantly in the process of building up and breaking down. After about age 30, however, more bone material is broken down in a year than built up. Over time, this can lead to the bones becoming frail or brittle, a condition known as osteoporosis. While osteoporosis can affect everyone, it affects females more often, especially after menopause. Ensuring that you get enough calcium and Vitamin D (through supplements, milk, or green, leafy vegetables) is important in staving off osteoporosis, but so is ensuring that you limit your intake of sugar, alcohol, protein, phosphorous and sodium, and also getting enough exercise.

Vaginal Infections

Many vaginal infections derive from an imbalance or irregular behavior of bacteria normally found in the vagina. For example, yeast infections are caused from candida, a fungus typically found in the vagina, which spontaneously begins to multiply and divide. Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance in vaginal bacteria resulting in a vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Common symptoms of vaginal infections include itching, burning and conspicuous vaginal discharge and odor. If you suspect you have a vaginal infection, please contact our office for an evaluation.