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Understanding Gynecology

Gynecology is a specialization of medical practice that primarily deals 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, rehabilitation and overall management. Gynecology and obstetrics overlap, wherein obstetricians deals with the care and management of maternal health 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. Gynecologist perform different 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.

One of the popular screening procedures done by gynecologists is Pap smear, wherein it determines the presence of cervical precancerous or cancerous cells in the uterine opening. Pap test is not a painful procedure, though it might be uncomfortable. Pap test is recommended for women who are sexually active and those over age 18 regardless if they are sexually active or not. Pap test is advisable at least once per year, though risk factors, age and past Pap smear results may vary the frequency.
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Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed in managing serious conditions such as cancer of the cervix, ovaries, uterus of endometrium, that involves the removal of uterus and cervix. There are two types of hysterectomy namely partial and complete hysterectomy. A laparoscopic hysterectomy usually require two to three days hospital stay, with a recovery period of one to two weeks, whereas an abdominal hysterectomy may take a longer time because the recovery is usually four to six weeks.
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Dysmenorrhea refers to painful cramps that occur right before or during menstruation. It is one of the most common gynecological symptom being complained by women. Dysmenorrhea has two types which are 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.

Indeed, the female reproductive system is complex in nature, needing the specialization of a gynecologist to rule out diseases and disorders that cause a specific gynecological symptom. It is crucial to consult a gynecologist immediately upon onset of symptoms to be able to undergo the correct diagnosis and treatment. 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.