A woman's body undergoes multiple changes during her lifetime. It may also lead to gynecological issues from time to time. There are several gynecological disorders that might affect women depending on various health factors. A few are more common than others; keep reading to know more about them.

  • Period Cramps: Also known as dysmenorrhea, period cramps refer to throbbing or stinging pain and heaviness in the lower abdomen. It starts two to seven days before menstruation and may last until the third day of menstruation. The pain may also affect the lower back, thighs, and calves. The body releases prostaglandin on the days leading up to a period. This chemical makes the uterus contract, thus pressing against nearby blood vessels, disrupting the oxygen supply to muscle tissue, and causing pain.
  • Endometriosis: A painful gynecological disorder, endometriosis happens when the endometrium (uterus lining) grows outside the uterus. When inside the uterus, the endometrium exits the body during periods. However, it gets trapped when it grows in places other than the uterus (for example, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and pelvis). This causes inflammation in the surrounding tissues, resulting in intense pain during the monthly cycle, intercourse, and while urinating and defecating. Endometriosis is a challenging condition that requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach. However, pain management, hormonal therapy, and lifestyle changes help relieve its symptoms in most women.
  • Yeast Infections: Like the gut, the vagina also has its microbiome. However, imbalance in bacteria and yeast in the vagina causes yeast cells to multiply, leading to yeast infection or vulvar candidiasis. It is common in both sexually active and inactive women. Common yeast infection causes include pregnancy, a change in the vaginal flora before periods, antibiotics or oral contraceptives, unchecked diabetes, scented feminine hygiene products, and wearing tight undies or pants regularly. Itching, irritation, swelling, redness, and a burning sensation while urinating are typical yeast infection symptoms. In most cases, yeast infection goes away on its own. However, consult a gynecologist if it does not resolve within 5-7 days or is recurrent.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD): PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) leads to excessive production of immature or partially mature eggs in the ovaries. Over time, these eggs become cysts (i.e., fluid-filled sacs or pockets in the ovaries or on their surfaces) and enlarge the ovaries. Disruption of ovarian function also leads to the increased secretion of androgens (male hormones), which causes irregular periods, weight gain, hirsutism, hair loss, and infertility. PCOD is manageable with self-care for women, for example lifestyle modification, regular exercise, healthy diet, and medication.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Often confused with PCOD, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder caused by hormonal imbalance in women in their reproductive age years. The symptoms of PCOS and PCOD overlap; however, the two conditions are not the same. PCOS is a more serious and less common gynecological problem and has significant implications. Getting pregnant is harder with PCOS, because hormonal imbalance interferes with ovulation (growth and release of eggs). Women who suffer from PCOS are at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even endometrial cancer.