Gynecology means the science of women. In medical terms, gynecology refers to the specialty that deals with the health of the female reproductive system. Gynecologists address a variety of conditions, including infertility, cancer, and menstrual irregularities. Common procedures performed by gynecologists include tubal ligation, laparoscopy, hysterectomy, and removal of ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids.
Women may have many questions to ask their gynecologists before deciding on surgery or other treatments. With uterine fibroids, for example, women have treatment options. Asymptomatic fibroids may not require treatment Symptomatic fibroids may be treated medically or surgically. Several drugs are available to relieve symptoms and/or reduce fibroid growth. Treatment choices depend, in part, on the age and fertility status of the women.
Deciding to have a tubal ligation is a major decision for a woman. A tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that renders a woman sterile, thereby preventing pregnancy. The procedure involves cutting, clamping, tying, or blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from traveling to the uterus. Tubal ligation also blocks sperm from moving along the fallopian tube to meet and fertilize the egg. Tubal ligation is considered a permanent type of birth control, but it can be reversed, with varying degrees of success. Most women considering tubal ligation have many questions to ask their gynecologists before surgery.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in or on the ovaries. Many ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms and may not require treatment. Other ovarian cysts can cause pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvic pain, pain during sex, abnormal bleeding, or difficulty passing urine completely. Women should get immediate medical assistance if they have pain with fever and vomiting; sudden, severe abdominal pain; faintness, dizziness, or weakness; or rapid breathing. Doctors often recommend that women who have no symptoms wait and have the cysts re-checked in several months.
Doctors may recommend surgery for postmenopausal women who have painful cysts that don't go disappear. Surgical options for ovarian cysts include laparoscopy and laparotomy. Laparoscopy is done if an ultrasound (test that uses sound waves to show the cyst's size, shape, and location) indicates that the cyst is small and benign. If the ultrasound shows that the cyst is large and possibly cancerous, doctors before a laparotomy. Both procedures require general anesthesia. Most ovarian cysts, however, are not cancerous and go away without treatment.
Gynecologists also treat infertility. Treatments for infertility vary according to the cause of the infertility, the age of the woman, and other considerations. Advances in fertility treatments provide increasing options; there are many questions to ask before deciding on infertility treatment.
There are many sources of information about gynecological problems and treatments. Medical providers can give extensive information and answer many questions. The first step is knowing the questions to ask. Some Internet sites offer-free-questions to ask a gynecologist before surgery. It is critical that women ask questions and get answers before submitting to any gynecological treatments. Anyone with medical issues should understand their situation and options before deciding what to do.
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