Category Archives: Women Disease Treatment

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

SYNOPSIS 

In India, infertility affects one in six couples in urban areas; and about 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive. Women contribute to about 50% of all infertility cases. In women, common causes of infertility  are ovulation-problems, damage to Fallopian tubes or uterus, or cervix-problems. Diagnosis is mainly by urine and blood tests, ultrasound, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Treatment is hormones, medication and minor surgery. Safe sex, hygiene and healthy life style and diet may reduce the probability of infertility. With assisted reproductive technology (ART), most of the women can achieve pregnancy. Infertility and its treatment have psycho-social impact which may need counselling and psychotherapy.

 

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

Infertility is a loss. It’s the loss of a dream. It’s the loss of an assumed future. And, like every loss, it will be grieved.

INTRODUCTION

In India, infertility affects one in six couples in urban areas; and 10-14% of the population overall; about 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive suffer from infertility.

If a couple is unable to conceive despite trying for one year, they are diagnosed as infertile. Cause of infertility can be either in male or in female partner. When it is in female partner, it is called female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to about 50% of all infertility cases; and female infertility alone cause about one-third of all infertility cases.

In a few cases the infertility remains unexplained, or idiopathic, that is, its cause remains unknown.

CAUSES

In males, more than 90% of infertility is due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The remaining cases can be for several reasons: anatomical problems, hormonal imbalance, and genetic defects.

In women, common causes of infertility  are ovulation-problems, damage to Fallopian tubes or uterus, or cervix-problems. Also, as a woman ages, her fertility tends to decrease, and this can cause infertility.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:

Damage to the Fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:

DIAGNOSIS

One or more of the following tests/exams are used to evaluate fertility:

  • Urine and blood test to check for infections or a hormone problem, including thyroid function
  • Pelvic exam and breast exam
  • Test of cervical mucus and tissue to determine if ovulation is occurring
  • Laparoscopic examination to view the condition of organs and to look for blockage, adhesion or scar tissue.
  • HSG, which is an x-ray used in conjunction with a dye inserted into the fallopian tubes to check for blockage of the Fallopian tubes.
  • Hysteroscopy that uses a tiny telescope with a fibre light to look for uterine abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound to look at the uterus and ovaries. May be done vaginally or abdominally.
  • Sonohystogram combines an ultrasound and saline injected into the uterus to look for abnormalities or problems.
  • Tracking your ovulation through fertility awareness will also help your infertility specialist to assess your fertility status.

A scene of longing that gets at what infertility is like

TREATMENT

Female infertility is most often treated by one or more of the following methods:

  • Taking hormones to address a hormone imbalance, endometriosis, or a short menstrual cycle
  • Taking medications to stimulate ovulation
  • Using supplements to enhance fertility
  • Taking antibiotics to remove an infection
  • Having minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area.

PREVENTION

Usually nothing can be done to prevent female infertility caused by genetic problems or illness.

But several things can be done to reduce the possibility of infertility:

  • Take steps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • Avoid illicit drugs
  • Avoid heavy or frequent alcohol use
  • Adopt good personal hygiene and health practices
  • Have annual check-ups with your GYN once you are sexually active

You must contact your doctor in case of any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse
  • Soreness or itching in the vaginal area

Some couples want to explore more traditional or over the counter efforts before exploring infertility procedures. However, do consult your fertility specialist about these.

ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART)

In recent years, several medical procedures have become available to treat infertility. Collectively, these procedures are called assisted reproductive technology (ART). A few of these procedures are, in vitro fertilization (IVF),  intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or may involve the use of fertility medication. ART includes “all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.”

With ART and other fertility treatments, it is now highly probable for almost all couples to have a baby.

 

PSYCHO-SOCIAL IMPACT OF INFERTILITY 

Psycho-social impact of infertility is often overlooked because the focus is on physical causes of infertility. But this impact is important. And although it affects both the male and the female partner, the impact on women is greater.

Emotional Impact

Women are astonished, sad and angry when they first find out about their infertility.  As the treatments progresses, they are:

  • stressed
  • depressed
  • confused
  • worried
  • angry
  • upset
  • sad
  • pressured
  • grieved
  • suffer loss of:
    • self-esteem
    • self-confidence
    • sense of control over one’s destiny

Side effects of medication, money worries, and uncertain outcomes heighten the infertility-related stress.

Treatment failure, differences between partners on when to stop seeking treatment, decisions on adoption or living childless, cause further stress.

Coping with Stress

Counselling, Psychotherapy, Medications and Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, and yoga help cope with the psycho-social impact.

Other ways to cope with stress is to accept your feelings and to know that it happens to most women undergoing infertility treatment; to allow yourself to be angry, to cry to grieve; to stay connected to, and to communicate with, family and friends and your partner; to share with them your questions and fears.

Long invigorating walk, new hobby, listening to soothing music may also help. Also, cut down on intake of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and white flour; reduce or eliminate from diet chemical additives, alcohol, and caffeine, including colas, coffee, black tea, and hot cocoa.

If you feel stressed, angry and frustrated during infertility treatment, remember you are not alone. Everyone undergoing such treatment feels that way. The difference is only in the degree to which one is affected.

CONCLUSION

With ART and other fertility treatments, it is now highly probable for almost all couples to have a baby.

Still, fertility is God’s gift to women. And to men. But the gift is not equitable. A few have more of it, a few have less of it, and a few have none of it.

Fertility treatment is often a long and arduous journey. It generates psycho-social pressures. But don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Even miracles take a little time.

Art work made from think glass medication vials, Q-caps (used to administer fertility meds), and gauze, along with ceramic pieces and glue. Titled ‘Letting Go,’ made by Denise after infertility treatment failed and she decided to live childless.

ABNORMAL VAGINAL DISCHARGE (LEUCORRHOEA)

SYMPTOMS

Women often feel embarrassed to speak about vaginal discharge, leucorrhoea, though it usually is a harmless, natural, occurrence. Except when the discharge, which normally is clear and white and odorless, becomes yellow, green or grey, or white and curdy like cottage cheese, or frothy, or foul-smelling usually a fish-odor.

The other symptoms of Leucorrhoea are:

  • Rashes or sore spots on the genitals
  • Intense itching of the vagina
  • Pain during sex
  • Burning urination and frequent urge to urinate even with very little urine
  • Constipation and other Digestive disturbances
  • Backache, pain in the leg, pain in lower abdomen
  • Irritability and lack of concentration in work
  • Fatigue because of loss of fluids as discharge
  • Headaches

CAUSES

Leucorrhoea may be caused by:

  • Antibiotic or steroid use
  • Bacterial vaginosis (a bacterial infection)
  • STD
  • Pelvic infection
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Injuries to the cervix or any of the tissues in the reproductive system during pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Birth control pills
  • Douches, scented soaps or lotions, bubble bath
  • In young girls, hormonal imbalance caused by severe mental stress and trauma
  • Overindulgence in sexual activity
  • Improper diet and lifestyle during menstrual cycle
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Improper vaginal hygiene
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Cervical or endometrial cancer

DIAGNOSIS

The doctor will take your health history, note the symptoms, and may test the discharge and may also do a Pap test to find the cause of the problem.

 

TREATMENT

Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem.

 

PREVENTION

To prevent Leucorrhoea:

  • Keep the vagina clean by washing regularly with a gentle, mild soap and warm water
  • Never use scented soaps and feminine products or douche. Also avoid feminine sprays and bubble baths
  • After going to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina and causing an infection
  • Wear 100% cotton underpants
  • Avoid too tight clothing

Whenever you feel that the vaginal discharge is abnormal, consult your gynecologist.

 

 

MEDICAL YOGA

June 21 is International Yoga Day

Yoga: for the young

Yoga is a 5000-year old practice that originated in India. it is mostly thought of as a practice to enhance flexibility, balance, muscle tone, body-strength, endurance and mindfulness. But multiple studies in recent years have shown that it is also useful in the prevention and treatment of certain medical conditions. And also has important psychological benefits.

Medical Yoga (MY), योग चिकित्सा, is a combination of poses (योगासन), breathing techniques (प्राणायाम), meditation (ध्यान) and mindfulness (सचेतन). It is holistic. It takes into account the patient’s mind, body and spirit; and their family, support network, work situation, and culture. It is tailored to an individual just as medical treatment is. It is prescribed by persons trained in MY. It is therefore different from the yoga taught by persons who are trained yoga teachers but are not trained yoga therapist.

Yoga: for the old

MY is natural, low-tech, inexpensive, safe and avoids the potential adverse effects of medication. It is therefore preferred by patients as an alternative approach to wellness. Because of its medical and wellness benefits, many healthcare providers have begun to incorporate yoga in their practice as a supplement or complement to medical treatment. And MY has emerged as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practice.

The American Heart Association says yoga helps to lower blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve respiratory function and heart rate, improve circulation, boost muscle tone, and enhance cardiovagal function. A study has suggested that even a short-term yoga-based program may reduce the risk for cardio vascular disease (CVD). Another study has suggested that yoga therapy could be of great benefit as an adjunct to medical treatment in patients with heart failure. Especially because patients with severe and/or decompensated heart failure may not tolerate well physical exercise; but they may tolerate well yoga, particularly gentle asanas, breathing exercises and meditation.

Yoga: for the old

The American College of Rheumatology says that exercise and physical activity is an effective treatment program for patients with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; and has a vital role in promoting joint health without worsening disease. Yoga is helpful here. Also, for chronic low back pain (CLBP), Yoga is more effective than physical exercise to improve pain, back function, spinal mobility, depression and anxiety; and, in short term, to improve the functional disability.

Research has shown that meditation helps reduce chronic stress and anxiety. In the brain, it increases cortical thickness and gray matter in areas controlling emotional regulation and executive functioning that includes planning, problem solving and emotional regulation. It also increases levels of oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” thus helping with feelings of connectedness and “being seen and heard;” it helps sleep quality and regulation; it helps increase alertness and positive feelings, and decrease negative feelings of aggressiveness, depression and anxiety; it helps build resilience, and ability to  cope with stress and anxiety. MY is strong adjunct and complement to medications and psychotherapy to prevent, cure, and/or ameliorate chronic stress and anxiety.

Yoga: for the middle-age

Studies have shown that meditation and Yoga helps prevent premature aging and a broad range of aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, obesity, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and osteoarthritis.

A controlled trial in 2008, with a follow up in 2013, showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes – yoga, meditation, breathing, stress management and a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet – reduced withering with age, aging, disease and premature morbidity.

Yoga: for all ages

Research till date has shown multiple health-benefits of Yoga. Ongoing research is adding to the current list of benefits. But the research till date has small sample sizes, non-standardized methodologies and short follow-up periods.  Larger, standardized, studies are needed.

MY should therefore be used as a supplement or complement, not a replacement, to medical treatment.

Yoga is not easy or quick. It demands time, patience and perseverance. But it is worth devoting these. Because the benefits are immense. And in truth, yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.

Desert Yoga

 

 

POST MENOPAUSAL BLEEDING

See your doctor if you have vaginal bleeding after menopause. See the doctor even if the bleeding is small, even if it is only once, even if you don’t have any other symptoms. Because such bleeding can be caused by cancer.

CAUSES

The main causes of Postmenopausal Bleeding are:

• Polyps: These are tissue growths inside the uterus or the cervical canal, or on the cervix. They can cause spotting, heavy bleeding, or bleeding after sex. They’re usually not cancer.
• Endometrial atrophy: Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. Low hormone levels after menopause can cause it to get too thin. This may trigger bleeding.
• Endometrial hyperplasia : Too much estrogen and too little progesterone, likely after menopause, can result in thicker endometrium that can bleed. It can also lead to cancer.
• Vaginal atrophy: Low estrogen levels after menopause can cause the vaginal walls to become thin, dry, and inflamed. That often leads to bleeding after sex.
• Cancer: Bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial or uterine cancer after menopause. It can also signal vaginal or cervical cancer.
• Sexually transmitted diseases: STD like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may cause spotting and bleeding after sex. Herpes sores can also bleed.
• Medications: Bleeding is often a side effect of certain drugs, like hormone therapy, tamoxifen, and blood thinners.
• Other causes: Other possible, though less likely, causes of bleeding can be: clotting problems, infection of the uterine lining (endometritis), bleeding from the urinary tract and thyroid disorders.

DIAGNOSIS

Doctor will take your health-history, do a physical examination, and may do one or more of these diagnostic tests:

• Transvaginal ultrasound: To check for growths and see the thickness of the endometrium.
• Endometrial biopsy: To take a small sample of the tissue lining the uterus. The sample will be examined in a lab for infections or cancerous cells or any other abnormality.
• Hysteroscopy: To look inside the uterus.
• D&C (dilation and curettage): To take a sample of the uterus lining. The sample is checked in a lab for polyps, cancer, or thickening of the uterine lining.

TREATMENT

Treatment depends on the cause of bleeding.

• Estrogen therapy is used to treat vaginal and endometrial atrophy. It may be taken as:
o Pills taken by mouth.
o Vaginal cream put inside the body using an applicator.
o Vaginal ring put it in place by you or the doctor. It releases a steady dose of estrogen for about three months.
o Vaginal tablet inserted daily, or a few times a week, using an applicator.

• Progestin therapy: Progesterone is lab-made. It is used to treat endometrial hyperplasia. It can be a pill, or a shot, or a vaginal cream, or an intrauterine device.
• Hysteroscopy is used to remove polyps, and thickened parts of the uterine lining.
• D&C (dilation and curettage) is used to remove polyps or thickened areas of the uterine lining.
• Hysterectomy is a surgery to remove part or all of uterus. It is a treatment for endometrial or cervical cancer. It may also be needed in cases of precancerous form of endometrial hyperplasia. In some cases, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or nearby lymph nodes may also need to be taken out.
• Radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy if needed for cancer treatment after surgery.
• Medications to treat cervical or uterine infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Do not ignore postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. It may be cancer. And early detection is the cure for cancer. See your doctor.

CANCER SELF SCREENIG VIDEO

302 K Views, 11 K Likes, 278 comments, 1,231 shares

Posted on 12 October

Pl do view and comment. Pl do share and spread the breast cancer AWARENESS because:

• breast cancer is the biggest killer-cancer of women in the world. And in India

• it cannot be prevented. Early detection is the only cure. Late detection is fatal.

 

BREAST CANCER SELF SCREENING

2,68,566 views, 678 shares – in three days – and counting.

Pl do view and comment. Pl do share and spread the breast cancer AWARENESS because:

• breast cancer is the biggest killer-cancer of women in the world. And in India

• it cannot be prevented. Early detection is the only cure. Late detection is fatal.

https://www.facebook.com/Scoopwhoop/videos/254610738572947/

BREAST CANCER

Every woman is at risk of Breast cancer
“The only person who can save you is you” – Sheryl Crow

SYNOPSIS

Breast cancer (BC) is the biggest killer-cancer of women in the world, and in India. In the next fifteen years, BC will kill over twelve lakh women in India. But it doesn’t have to. A few life style changes can reduce the incidence of BC; and early detection can increase the survival rate.

BC was a disease of old age. No longer. Twenty-five years ago, 69% of BC patients in India were age 50 and above. But now only 52% are 50 and above; 48% are less than 50; and a few are in the teens.

Every woman is at risk of BC. It cannot be prevented. The risk increases with age, heredity and genetic predisposition; and the risk reduces with healthy weight, regular exercise and healthy diet.

Early detection is the key to survival. Early detection can be by self-examination of breasts, or by screening by imaging devices such as X-ray, Ultra sound, and MRI. However, confirmation is only possible by biopsy.

Depending on the stage at which the cancer is detected, the treatment can be surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other adjuvant therapies.

If detected early, BC is treatable. If detected late, it is fatal. Five-year survival rate for Stage 1 BC is 100%; for stage 4 is 22%.

So exercise and eat healthy and you would have done your bit to reduce your cancer risk. And do regular cancer screening and you would increase the probability of early detection and of successful treatment.

INTRODUCTION

Breast cancer (BC) will kill about 80,000 women in India in 2020. For every two women with BC, one will die. Many of these deaths are preventable simply by early detection. But detection is often late and thus fatal. Lack of awareness is the major reason for late detection.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India, 27% of all cancers, closely followed by cervical cancer at 22%. Incidence of and death due to BC is more than that due to cervical cancer. BC is rising at a rapid rate. By 2030, the number of BC cases will rise to about 200,000 a year and deaths to about 100,000 a year. India has the worst survival rate from BC, and the highest number of women dying from BC, in the world. Even if we start a cancer awareness program today, 20-30 years will pass before its effect becomes discernible.

BC was a disease of old age. Twenty-five years ago, 69% of BC patients were above the age of 50. Now 48% are below the age 50; and 20% of them below the age of 40.

Breast cancer cannot be prevented. But BC incidence can be reduced by a few simple lifestyle changes; and the survival rate can be improved by early detection.

WHAT IS CANCER ?

Our body is composed of many different types of cells. These cells grow and divide in a controlled manner to produce more cells as required by the body. Also, the older cells and the damaged cells die.

However, sometimes, the genetic material of one cell gets damaged or changed [mutation] and the cell becomes immortal: that is, it will not die. When this ancestor cell divides, its descendant cells are also immortal. This gives rise to a limitless number of immortal descendant cells. The number of cells is far in excess of what the body needs. The extra cells then form a mass that is called a tumour.

These immortal cells are called cancer cells. The cancer cells are: immortal; capable of limitless division, and thus of limitless growth in the number of cells; and capable of spreading [Metises] to other parts of the body through blood and lymph system.

There are more than 100 types of cancers. Not all cancers form tumours: cancers of the blood and the bone-marrow [leukaemia], for example, do not form tumours.

Most cancers are named for the body part in which they begin: colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and so on.

WHAT IS BREAST CANCER ?

Breast consists of lobules (milk producing glands), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from lobules to the nipple) and blood and lymphatic vessels.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast. It begins in the ducts; sometimes in the lobules; and rarely, in other cells of the breast.

It then spreads through the breast lymph vessels to lymph nodes under the arms and thence to other parts of the body.

WHO IS AT RISK OF BREAST CANCER ?

Every woman is at risk of breast cancer. In India, one in 28 women will get breast cancer. Certain factors increase the risk of BC.

  •  AGE. Cancer is a disease of old age: most cancers begin to strike at age 60 and above. But now cancer is also striking, though only rarely as yet, the teenagers. Risk of breast cancer, for example, is about 0.25% for a 30-year old woman but increases to about 11% in a seventy-year old. In different countries, breast cancer risk in a 70-year old is 54% to 154% higher than in a 30-year old. Thus, as longevity has increased, so has the cancer incidence.
  • HEREDITARY. If first degree relatives [mother/father/brother/sister] had cancer, the risk of cancer is increased.
  • GENETICS. A person can be genetically predisposed to get cancer. A woman who has a family history of breast cancer is statistically more likely to get breast cancer. However, only a small percentage, less than 0.3% of population, is genetically disposed to get cancer. And less than 3-10% of all cancers are because of genetic predisposition. In women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the probability of getting breast and ovarian cancer is more than 75%. Mutations in a few other genes [PTEN, CDH 1, TP 53 etc.] also increase the risk though not as much.
  • OBESITY. In obese postmenopausal women breast cancer risk is twice as much as in the non-obese women.
  •  DIET. Diet contributes to up-to 80% of cancers of colon, prostate and breast; and also contributes to cancers of pancreas, lung, stomach and esophagus. Alcohol, red meat, sugar increase the risk of cancer.
  • SMOKING, night work, no children or child born after age 30, recent use of oral contraceptives (reverts to normal on stopping), HRT, and Chemicals in environment – increase the cancer risk.
  •  MENOPAUSE. Late menopause increases the risk.

REDUCING THE RISK

Healthy weight, physical activity – brisk walking, cycling, swimming – 45-60 minutes five or more days a week, Breast feeding, no red meat, less sugar and less alcohol lowers the risk.

Controversy about whether diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and low in total fat (butter, oil), more vitamins, Marine Omega 3 fatty acids (found in seafood (e.g. fish oils) and in walnut, seeds, flaxseed oil etc.), and antiperspirants and bras reduce the risk. Abortion and Breast Implants have no effect.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators such as tamofoxien reduce BC risk but increase the risk of thromboembolism and endometrial cancer.
So eat well and exercise and you would have done your bit to reduce your cancer risk.

EARLY DETECTION

Since cancer-prevention is not possible, the saying, “prevention is the cure” is amended to “early detection is the cure.”

Only about 10% of cancer deaths are because of primary tumour. Most of the deaths are because of metastasis – spreading of the cancer to other parts of the body. Once metastasis happens, it is very difficult to treat. Early detection of cancer is therefore of utmost importance.

Several ways of early detection:

1. SELF-EXAMINATION OF BREASTS
More than 80% cancers are detected by women doing self-examination of breasts. The examination should be done every month, 5-7 days after menorrhoea. Do the examination as shown in the three pictures. Look for the following:

  • Lumps in breast (less than 20% are cancer) or in lymph nodes in armpits.
  • Thickening of breasts
  • One breast becoming larger than other
  • A nipple changing position or shape or becoming inverted
  • Discharge from nipple
  • Constant pain in part of breast or armpit
  • Swelling beneath the armpit or around the collarbone

In case of palpated anomaly, consult your gynecologist.

The limitations of self-examination are:

• Only 20% women do self-examination of breasts.
• The tumour/changes are large by the time they are felt and this delay in detection can adversely affect the treatment outcome.

2. IMAGING TECHNIQUES
Early detection of cancer is required and is possible by using Imaging Techniques. Six Imaging Techniques are available:

• X-ray (Mammography)
• Ultra sound (Sonography)
• MRI
• Computer Assisted Detection (CAD)
• CT-scan
• PET

A visual inspection by endoscopy can also be done.

• MAMMOGRAPHY.
X-rays examination. Small neoplasmatic tissue formations can be seen.
• SONOGRAPHY
Sonography is done in addition to Mammography to rule out possible cysts and to estimate the size of the tumour. However, tumours smaller than 5 mm cannot be detected.
• MRI
MRI is used to find out if the breast has been affected by more than one tumour.
• COMPUTER ASSISTED DETECTION (CAD)
CAD is used to point out possibly diseased regions. It is used mainly as a second opinion to the report of the doctor.

LIMITATIONS OF IMAGING

• Imaging techniques magnify the tumour much as the magnifying glass magnifies the letters in a book. Normal letter size, called font, is 12. If the font size is halved, that is made 6, you may still be able to identify the letter. But if the font is reduced still further, say to 3 or 4, you will not be able to identify the letter even with the magnifying glass. In a similar way, the imaging techniques cannot identify tumours that are small.
• The QUALITY of cancer is more important than the QUANTITY. A small tumour can be more dangerous than a large tumour. Imaging can tell the quantity of the tumour, that is, its size, but cannot tell the quality of the tumour.

• Most of the time, Imaging cannot even tell whether a tumour is cancerous or not.

CONFIRMING CANCER

The only absolute way to confirm cancer is by biopsy: a small tissue from the tumour is taken and microscopically examined to check for cancer.

TYPES OF BIOPSY

• Punching Biopsy. Done in a locally-sedated state.
• Needle Biopsy. Done with a syringe and a special needle. As painful as venepuncture.
• Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrumentation (ABBI). Done with X-ray to ensure localisation of target. Only a few doctors are experienced in this technique.

Microscopic examination of biopsy is sufficient; but in a few rare cases specialized lab tests are required.

CANCER TREATMENT

Even small localised tumours have the potential of metastasis and therefore need to be treated. The treatment is surgery, medications (hormonal therapy and chemotherapy), radiation and immunotherapy.

Surgery offers the single largest benefit. Used along with chemotherapy and radiation, the local relapse rate is reduced and the overall survival rate may increase.

SURGERY

  • Mastectomy: remove whole breast.
  • Quadrantectomy: remove quarter breast.
  • Lumpectomy: remove small part of breast.
  • Breast Reconstruction Surgery or breast prostheses: to simulate breast.

Neo-adjuvant, that is prior to surgery, and Adjuvant that is after and in addition to surgery, medication is used as part of treatment. For example, Neo-adjuvant use of aspirin may reduce the mortality from Breast Cancer.

Adjuvant Therapies are:

Radiation (negative effect on normal cells) to kill cancer cells in tumour bed and regional lymph nodes that may have escaped surgery. It reduces the risk by 50 – 66 % (i.e., 1/2 to 2/3 reduction of risk). It is confined to region being treated. But only solid tumour can be treated.

Therapies using drugs/agents etc.

  • Chemotherapy (negative effect on normal cells). Uses drugs, usually two or more drugs in combination, to destroy cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy that became available in 1990s that uses drugs that inhibit enzymes.
  • Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in which the agent is an antibody
  • Immunotherapy that uses patient’s immune systems to fight cancer using drugs.
  • Hormone Blocking Therapy. Uses Estrogen Receptors (ER +) Tamoxifen and Progesterone Receptors (PR +) Anastrozole that block the receptors.

Experimental Cancer Treatment
1. Gene Therapy
2. Ultrasound Energy.

Alternative Medicine.

Patients with good prognosis are offered less invasive treatment – e.g. lumpectomy + radiation + hormone.
Patients with poor prognosis are offered more aggressive treatment – extensive mastectomy + radiation + chemotherapy + adjuvant medication.

TREATMENT SUCCESS RATE

If the cancer is detected early, that is at Stage 1, prognosis is excellent and usually chemotherapy is not required.

If detected in Stage 2 & 3 prognosis is progressively poorer with a greater risk of recurrence. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are required.

If detected in Stage 4, that is metastatic cancer (spread to distant sites), prognosis is poor. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies are used. But the 10-year survival rate is 5% without treatment and 10 % with optimal treatment.

In India, more than 60% of the BC’s are diagnosed at stage III or IV. Hence the low survival rate.

For Consultation with Best Gynecologist in Delhi  contact us : +91-9999886583, +91-9999889464

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL ASPECTS

Cancer patients need psychological and emotional support. Besides the family, such support can be provided by support groups who are trained and experienced in providing such support. ‘Cancer Sahyog’ is one such support group in India.

CONCLUSION

Cancer is a 3200 year old disease. It is endogenous, a part of life-process. So it can neither be eradicated, nor prevented, nor cured.

As yet.

Over the past 2000 years, the survival rate for many cancers has improved dramatically: life expectancy increased by 20-30 years. But for a few other cancers – metastatic pancreas cancer, metastatic breast cancer, in-operable gallbladder cancer – improvement has been marginal: life extended by just a few months.

Late detection of cancer is fatal. The causes for late detection are many but lack of awareness is the principal cause. Other main causes are: patient being shy, social stigma and doctors’ ignorance because of which the treatment is delayed. An awareness program with Best Gynecologist in south Delhi will address all these issues.

Present state of our knowledge makes us believe that cancer prevention or cure is not possible because cancer is a product of the processes essential to the life process.

Will some radical discovery in the future make cancer prevention and cure possible? We don’t know. But we can always hope.

Because as Richard Clauser, Director, National Cancer Institute, USA, says about the future of cancer cure, “There are far more good historians than there are prophets.”

REFERENCES

1. India still has a low breast cancer survival rate of 66%: study: For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India https://www.livemint.com/Science/UaNco9nvoxQtxjneDS4LoO/India-still-has-a-low-breast-cancer-survival-rate-of-66-st.html
2. Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women: Breast cancer epidemiology: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313545712_Epidemiology_of_breast_cancer_in_Indian_women_Breast_cancer_epidemiology
3. Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28181405
4. BREAST CANCER INDIA
Correct information is .. half the war won already
http://www.breastcancerindia.net/statistics/trends.html
5. Breast Cancer Survival Rates
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/breast-cancer-survival-rates.html
6. The Top 5 Cancers Affecting Women Top 5 Cancers Affecting Women
https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx
7. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – a book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a physician and oncologist. Available at Amazon and at Flipcart

DEPRESSION IN PREGNANCY

Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human. – Janet Fitch

Depression is the inability to construct a future. – Rollo May

SYNOPSIS

Depression is a mood disorder, a biological illness, which affects 14-23% of women during pregnancy. Depression makes a woman feel sad, bleak, helpless, anxious, irritable, fatigued and lacking in energy.

Depression can be treated. Left untreated, it can lead the woman to poor nutrition, drinking and smoking causing the babies to be born premature, less active, and have developmental problems. Antenatal depression is a strong precursor to Postpartum Depression.

Depression treatment is psychotherapy, medication, and self-care. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the often used psychotherapy. A woman can do it herself after suitable instructions. Medication is antidepressants. These pose a very small risk to fetus. A few supplements are also claimed to help. But these should not be taken without doctor’s advice. Self-care involves proper diet, adequate sleep, exercise, and pregnancy-yoga.

Several women have depression during pregnancy. So you are not alone. Do not therefore hesitate to speak to your doctor at the first appearance of the symptoms of depression.

INTRODUCTION

Pregnancy is a joyous period for women. But for a few the joy is clouded by mood swings. We all have transitory mood swings. But if these last a few weeks or a few months, then these signal depression.

DEPRESSION

Depressions are biological illnesses caused by changes in brain chemistry. Such changes may be triggered by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. This is called antenatal depression. But except in name, it is similar to clinical depression.

SYMPTONS

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. But if you have one or more (usually five) of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for two weeks or more, it signals depression:

  • feelings of sadness, bleakness, hopelessness, and anxiety;
  • lack of interest or pleasure in doing anything;
  • feeling tired or having little energy;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • difficulty remembering.
  • feeling emotionally numb.
  • extreme irritability.
  • sense of dread about everything, including the pregnancy.
  • feelings of failure, or guilt.
  • trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the night or sleeping too much;
  • overeating or decreased appetite.
  • weight loss/gain unrelated to pregnancy
  • low self-esteem, or feelings of guilt or failure
  • fidgeting a lot, or moving and speaking very slowly
  • loss of interest in sex.
  • thoughts of suicide or self-harm may occur.
  • inability to get excited about the pregnancy, and/or baby
  • feeling of disconnection with the baby, and an inability to form/feel a bond with the developing baby.

RISK

Anyone can have depression. But the following factors, or a combination of these, increases the risk of getting depression:

• Family history of depression. Risk of suicide also goes up.
• Personal history of depression or anxiety in the past – like during an earlier pregnancy or after the birth of a previous child. Also the risk of postpartum psychosis, a rare but very serious condition that involves hallucinations, increases.
• Life stress events, such as financial problems, the end of a relationship, the death of a close friend or family member, or a job loss.
• Lack of support like having relationship problems or an unsupportive partner or having your baby on your own, or if you feel isolated from friends or family
• Unplanned pregnancy finding out you’re pregnant when you didn’t plan to be.
• Domestic violence and emotional abuse that tend to get worse when you’re pregnant.
• Infertility treatments
• Complications in pregnancy

TREATMENT

Antenatal depression is treatable with psychotherapy, medication, and self-care.

Psychotherapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the often used psychotherapy. It helps the mother recognize her emotions and counter her negative thoughts. She is encouraged to do CBT herself after step by step instructions in CBT through books and talks, or she may be advised do it in sessions with a therapist.

Medication

She may also need antidepressants. Not enough evidence is available that these are completely safe to take in pregnancy. A few of these pose a very small risk of birth defects that include fetal heart and skull abnormalities. Doctor weighs the risks and benefits to the mother and to the baby to decide on antidepressants. If the mother was on mental health medication before pregnancy, she should not stop these without asking the doctor. Also, she should not start any medication, including herbal medication, without asking the doctor.

Supplements

Several supplements such as St. John’s wort, SAMe, Saffron extract, 5-HTP and DHEA are being marketed as being helpful in depression. These seem to help some people but sufficient evidence is not available for their efficacy. A few of these can interfere with prescription medications or cause dangerous interactions and may be unsafe. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or herbal medication.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is claimed to help relieve depression. But the evidence for its effectiveness is ambiguous or outright contradictory. The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as effective in treating mild to moderate depression. – Dr. Andrew Weil in ‘Depression, Health, World, Organization.’

Self-care

Diet, sleep, and physical activity are just as important as medication and therapy — sometimes more so.

Diet and nutrition.

Diet is so important to mental health that a new field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry has grown around it. Many foods have been linked to mood changes, the ability to handle stress and mental clarity.

• Foods to avoid are:

o Alcohol: it depletes serotonin, which makes people prone to anxiety, depression and panic attack.
o Caffeine: It lowers serotonin and increases the risk for anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. Reduce intake of coffee, tea, and hot cocoa.

• Foods to take are those rich in:

o B12 and folate. These prevent mood disorders and dementias. Sources: beetroot, lentils, almonds, spinach, liver (folate); liver, chicken, fish (B12)
o Vitamin D. Its deficiency is associated with different mood disorders. Sources: sun exposure; breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk; high-quality supplements.
o Selenium. It decreases depression. Sources: cod, Brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry.
o Omega-3 fatty acids. These improve cognitive and behavioral function. Low levels of omega-3 fats leads to mood swings and depression. Sources: cod, haddock, salmon, halibut, nut oils, seeds, walnuts, and algae; high-quality supplements
o Endorphins. These enhance mood and promote a sense of well-being. Source: dark chocolate

Sleep

Lack of sleep (insomnia), or disturbed/obstructive sleep (apnea) are linked to depression. People with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have clinical depression and 17 times more likely to have clinical anxiety, and people with apnea are five times more likely to have clinical depression, than people who sleep normally. To help get sleep, lower room temperature, follow a schedule, avoid naps during the day, listen to relaxing music, try a low carb/high fat diet and eat 3-4 hours before sleep time, exercise, and practice yoga and meditation.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals, and other natural brain chemicals, that enhance your sense of well-being. Depression causes tiredness and lack of energy. It may therefore be difficult to begin exercising. So begin with a walk for five or ten minutes and gradually increase to 30-45 minutes a day for three to five days a week. Results will appear after a few weeks because exercise is a long term treatment. Therefore pick up an exercise – walking, cycling, swimming – that you enjoy.so you will continue to do it

YOGA

Yoga focuses on the balance between your mind, body and breath. This balance is created through:

• physical exercises and postures (asanas)
• breathing exercises (pranayama)
• relaxation
• meditation

Yoga improves your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It helps you to:

• Improve your circulation, muscle tone and flexibility; to keep the body supple and relieve tension around the cervix by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares to-be-mothers for labor and delivery.
• Alleviate the effect of common symptoms such as morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles, lower-back pain and constipation.
• Stay mentally agile through relaxation, breathing and meditation.
• Train you to breathe deeply and relax consciously, helping you to face the demands of labor and childbirth.
• Feel calm, and ease muscle tension.
• Recover faster post-delivery.

If you are already doing Yoga, you may continue to do pregnancy yoga during pregnancy. Since most miscarriages happen during the first trimester, you may, as a precaution, decide not to do Yoga during that period. Although there is no evidence that doing yoga, or any other exercise, during the first trimester will harm your pregnancy.

If you have never before done Yoga, then do not begin it in the first trimester. Begin in the second trimester, after 14 weeks of pregnancy. Join a pregnancy Yoga class. Your instructor will start you gently and slowly and modify the posture to suit the stage of your pregnancy.

Avoid these:

• Lying on your back after 16 weeks.
• Breathing exercises that involve holding your breath or taking short, forceful breaths.
• Strong stretches or difficult positions that put you under strain.
• Lying on your tummy (prone).
• Upside-down postures (inversions).
• Back bends.
• Strong twists.

A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in December 2015 found no evidence of fetal distress in any of the 26 postures attempted. These included downward facing dog and savasana. But avoid any poses that feel uncomfortable.

The Art of Living recommends only nine asanas (postures) for pregnancy Yoga. These include Shavasana (Corpse Pose) and Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep).

You may restart postpartum yoga six weeks after a vaginal delivery; and a longer period after a Caesarean section as advised by your doctor. The postpartum asanas help combat back and neck aches and also help breastfeeding mothers.

ADDITIONAL

To help yourself handle depression:

• Talk about your concerns with your partner, family and friends. They may offer you a proper perspective or practical help. And simply talking about your problems makes these seem more manageable.
• Take time to relax. Give yourself some “me time.” Read, take a calming bath, lunch out with friends, watch an entertaining movie or play. In short do anything that takes your mind away from your concerns and gives you physical and mental relaxation.

DOWNSIDE

Untreated depression can lead to poor nutrition, drinking and smoking. These can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems. Babies of ‘depressed’ mothers may be less active, have lower attention span, be more agitated, have behavioral problems and delayed cognitive and language development as compared to babies born to normal mothers.

Antenatal depression is a strong precursor to Postpartum Depression: a major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth. It affects mother’s health and quality of life and also the well-being of the baby. It can cause bonding issues with the baby and can contribute to sleeping and feeding problems for the baby.

CONCLUSION

If you have symptoms of depression, remember, you are not alone. Between 14-23% of women struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Antenatal depression can be treated and managed. Most women recover with a few weeks, or a few months, of treatment.

So do not feel shy. Speak to your pregnancy doctor in south Delhi at the first appearance of the symptoms of depression.

REFERENCES

1. Depression During pregnancy
https://www.babycenter.com/0_depression-during-pregnancy_9179.bc#articlesection1
2. Depression In pregnancy

3. Facing Depression During Pregnancy
https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/facing-depression-during-pregnancy#1
4. Depression during pregnancy: You’re not alone
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by- Antenatal depression
5. Antenatal depression
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenatal_depression
6. Prenatal Yoga for women to do during pregnancy | The Art of Living …https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-for-women/yoga-and-pregnancy
7. Introduction to Pregnancy Yoga – Verywell Fit
https://www.verywellfit.com › Fitness › Yoga › Yoga and Your Health
8. Pregnancy yoga for beginners – BabyCentre UK
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1033238/pregnancy-yoga-for-beginners
9. The Complex Relationship Between Sleep, Depression & Anxiety …
https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/…/the-complex-relationship-between-sl…
10. Depression & Sleep – National Sleep Foundation
https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/depression-and-sleep
11. Can Acupuncture Treat Depression? – Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-acupuncture-treat-depression/
12. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective? – Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/…/depression/…/natural-remedies-for-depression/faq-200.
13. Depression and anxiety: Exercise ease symptoms – Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases…/depression/in…/depression…exercise/art-20046.
14. Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression – Harvard Health
https://www.health.harvard.edu/…/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depress..
15. 20 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep as Fast as Possible – Healthline
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-fall-asleep

Best Pregnancy Doctor in South DelhiBest Pregnancy Doctor in Greater Kailash DelhiBest Pregnancy Doctor in Lajpat Nagar Delhi | Best Pregnancy Doctor in East of Kailash Delhi

sadhana-kala.

PAIN DURING SEX: VAGINISMUS

VAGINISMUS

SYNOPSIS

A woman may have pain during intercourse, or on insertion of a tampon or a clamp in the vagina. Such pain is often caused by a condition called Vaginismus. Pain can range from just discomfort to so severe that breathing may cease temporarily. A woman may not be able to have intercourse because of vaginismus and this can adversely affect her relationship with her partner.

The cause of vaginismus is not known. It can be physical or emotional or a combination of the two.

There is no definitive medical test to diagnose vaginismus. Diagnosis is based on medical history, gynecological examination and tests to rule out other causes of pain. The condition is rare. Physician may not therefore have adequate experience and misdiagnosis is possible.

Treatment is physical, doing Kegel exercises; or emotional by psychotherapist and sex counsellors; and, usually, both running concurrently.

Treatment success-rate is nearly one hundred percent. Results may take a few weeks to a few months to appear. Kegel exercises should be continued even after the treatment has succeeded.

Woman have satisfying sex life after a successful treatment.
So do not hesitate; do not delay; do not hold back. Speak to your partner; speak to your therapist. Speak now.

INTRODUCTION

A small number of women have pain during intercourse. Such pain is often because of vaginismus, also called vaginism. In this condition, insertion of a tampon, penis or speculum into the vagina causes the pelvic floor muscles to go into a spasm causing mild to severe pain that makes insertion difficult or impossible. The woman is thus unable to have intercourse, or undergo gynecological examination (Pap tests), and this can cause frustration and distress.
A recent study estimated vaginismus incidence at 5% to 47% in people complaining of sexual problems. The wide variation is because of cultural differences and society’s expectations of sexuality.

Different forms of vaginismus are:

• Primary vaginismus is a lifetime condition. But women discover it from the pain they have during their first vaginal penetration – using tampon, having sex, or Pap smear test.
• Secondary vaginismus happens at a later stage in life; before that, woman has no difficulty in having intercourse. It is caused by a specific life-event such as a yeast infection, childbirth, and other such events.
• Global vaginismus is always present, and any object will trigger it.
• Situational vaginismus occurs only in certain situations. It may happen during sex but not during gynecological exams or tampon insertion.

CAUSE 

Vaginismus is idiopathic – that is, its cause is unknown. It can be because of medical factors, or emotional factors, or a combination of the two. It is linked to anxiety and fear of having sex. It can be anticipatory: that is, happens because the person expects it to happen.

The medical/physical factors are:

• vulvar vestibulitis syndrome, a sub-clinical inflammation in which pain occurs only when penetration is attempted.
• urinary tract infections
• vaginal yeast infections
• health conditions, such as cancer or lichen sclerosis
• childbirth
• pelvic surgery
• medication side effects
• any physically invasive trauma (not necessarily involving or even near the genitals)
• vaginismus chronic pain conditions
• Peri-menopause and menopause which cause drying of the vulvar and vaginal tissues because of reduced estrogen. Intercourse may cause “micro-tears” that cause pain and may lead to vaginismus.
• inadequate foreplay
• insufficient vaginal lubrication
• sexual abuse, rape, other sexual assault, or attempted sexual abuse or assault
• development of a medical condition

Emotional factors are:

• generalized anxiety
• anxiety about performance or because of guilt
• Stress
• fear of pain associated with penetration and with the “breaking” of the hymen at the first intercourse, or fear of pregnancy
• harm-avoidance behaviour
• traumatic life events, including rape or a history of abuse, or of witnessing these without being personally abused.
• domestic violence or similar conflict in the early home environment
• negative emotional reaction towards sexual stimulation, e.g. disgust both at a deliberate level and also at a more implicit level
• strict conservative moral education, which can elicit negative emotions
• fear of vagina not being wide or deep enough, and/or fear of partner’s penis being too large
• undiscovered or denied sexuality
• relationship problems, for example, having an abusive partner or feelings of vulnerability
• psychological causes
• a combination of causes

SYMPTOMS

Pain or discomfort during intercourse, or on insertion of tampon or speculum into vagina, is the first sign of vaginismus.

The symptoms vary between individuals. The main symptoms are:
• discomfort that may diminish during intercourse
• minor pain
• burning or stinging pain and tightness that persist
• penetration being difficult or impossible, and extreme pain if entry is forced
• generalized muscle spasm or breathing cessation during attempted intercourse
• long-term sexual pain with or without a known cause
• pain during tampon insertion
• pain during a gynecological examination

Pain subsides on withdrawal, but not always.

Women with vaginismus can and do get sexually aroused. But they may become anxious about sexual intercourse, and therefore avoid sex or vaginal penetration.

DIAGNOSIS

There is no definitive medical test to diagnose vaginismus. The diagnosis is based on medical history, gynaecological check, and teste to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing the problem. It may therefore be necessary to consult several specialists before a reliable diagnosis is made. Misdiagnosis is possible. And often it may be left undiagnosed. This is especially true when the symptoms occur only during intercourse and not during other vaginal insertions.

Many women are hesitant or shy or embarrassed to discuss their sex disorder with physicians, especially male doctors. This is especially true in India. So it may be advisable to consult a female doctor.

TREATMENT

Vaginismus is a treatable condition. The success rate is nearly one hundred percent. Treatment does not require drugs, hypnosis, surgery or any other complex invasive technique.

The aim of treatment is to reduce the automatic tightening of the muscles; and to remove or reduce the fear of pain, or any other fear, related to that may be related to vaginismus.

Treatment is physical: to reduce the automatic tightening of the muscles; and emotional: to reduce the fears that may underlie the problem. Both treatments run concurrently.

Physical

Physical treatment is a combination of pelvic-floor control exercises, insertion or dilation training, pain elimination techniques, and transition steps. Treatment steps can often be completed – in cooperation with the therapist – in the privacy of home and at a pace that suits the patient.

Kegel exercises improve control of the pelvic floor muscles.
• To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscles.
• If you have difficulty identifying the muscles, insert a vaginal cone in the vagina and use the floor-muscles to hold it in place. That will help you identify the muscles.
• Always empty the bladder before doing Kegel exercises.
• Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
• For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Do not flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Do not hold your breath during the exercise; breathe freely.
• Do at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
• You can do the exercises in any position, but it is easier to do them lying down at first.
• You can do Kegel exercises discreetly just about anytime,
• If you have trouble doing Kegel exercises, ask your therapist for help.
• Make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.
• Results may take a few weeks to a few months to appear.

Insertion or dilation training begins by the woman touching an area as close as possible to the vagina without causing pain, and moving closer each day. Once she can do that, she should open the vaginal lips or labia. Next insert one finger, then two fingers, then three, and go progressively deeper without causing pain. Next she should learn to use the vaginal dilators (Hegar dilators), also called vaginal trainers, with the help of her therapist. She should insert a plastic dilator, or a cone shaped insert, and leave it in for about fifteen minutes. Next use a larger insert. Next her partner can put his penis next to vagina without entering. Once the woman is comfortable with it, the couple can try intercourse, building up progressively as in the case of insert. Use a lubricating jelly when practicing insertion.

Emotional

Emotional factors often underlie vaginitis. Education, counselling and psychotherapy therefore helps.

Psychological factors underlying vaginismus are fear of painful sex; the belief that sex is wrong or shameful (often the case with patients who had a strict religious upbringing); and traumatic early childhood experiences (not necessarily sexual in nature). Childhood sexual interference, and less positive attitudes about their sexuality, are other contributing factors. Lack of sexual knowledge or (non-sexual) physical abuse do not seem to be factors.

Education to make a woman understand her sexual anatomy and sexual response cycle – happenings during sexual arousal and intercourse and how parts of body work – helps her understand the pain and the processes her body goes through.

Emotional counselling by a counsellor specialized in sexual disorders helps the woman identify, express, and resolve any emotional factors that may be contributing to her vaginismus. Counsellor will teach relaxation techniques, and may use hypnosis, to help woman relax and feel more comfortable with intercourse. Joint counselling of the woman and her partner gives better results.

Pharmacologic

Experimental studies have shown that Botulinum toxin A (Botox) and lidocaine temporarily reduce the hypertonicity of the pelvic floor muscles. Anxiolytics and antidepressants have also been used along with psychotherapy modalities. But results from these types of pharmacologic therapies have not been consistent.

Treatment for primary and for secondary vaginismus is the same. But previous experience with successful penetration may result in a quicker resolution of secondary vaginismus.

Even after any underlying medical condition is corrected, pain may continue if the body has become conditioned to respond in this way.

Vaginismus may sometimes be mistaken for Dyspareunia in which painful intercourse is caused by a physical problem such as cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, or vaginal atrophy. Vaginismus rarely requires surgery.

RELATIONSHIP

Sexual dysfunction like vaginismus adversely affects relationship and marriage. Therefore be proactive: discuss with your partner your feelings and fears about intercourse; and seek treatment at the earliest. Remember, treatment success rate is nearly one hundred percent; and most women recover and have a satisfying sexual life.
So do not hesitate; do not delay; do not hold back. Speak to your partner; speak to your therapist. Speak now.

REFERENCES:

1. Vaginismus: Cleveland Clinic
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15723-vaginismus

2. Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas
https://www.bcm.edu › … › Care Centers › Obstetrics and Gynecology › Conditions

3. Vaginismus: NHS UK
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaginismus/
4. Women’s Health: Sex & Intimacy – WebMD
https://www.webmd.com › Women’s Health › Guide

5. Medical News Today
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/175261.php

6. Vaginimus: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginismus

7. What Is Vaginismus?
https://www.healthline.com/health/vaginismus

8. Vaginismus: Practo.com
https://www.practo.com/health-wiki/vaginismus-meaning-symptoms-and…/article

9. Health Direct
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vaginismus

10. Sexual Dysfunction in Women; MSD Manual
https://www.msdmanuals.com › … › Sexual Dysfunction in Women

11. Women’s Therapy Centre
https://www.womentc.com/conditions-and-treatments/penetration-pain…/vaginismus/

12. Vaginismus-diagnosis

13. Kegel-exercises: Healthline
https://www.healthline.com/health/kegel-exercises

Best Gynecologist in DelhiBest Gynecologist in South DelhiBest Gynecologist in Lajpat Nagar Delhi

PELVIC INFLAMATORY DISEASE (PID)

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.
– Gautama Buddha

SYNOPSIS

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It is caused by many types of bacteria. If not treated, it can cause complications such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility. And How Best Laparoscopic Surgery in South Delhi can help you.

PID affects women in reproductive age. Peak incidence is in women of 15 to 24 years age. India is estimated to have at least one million episodes of PID each year.
Risk of PID increases with risky sexual practices: multiple sexual partners, sex with a person having PID, starting sex at a very young age and having sex without a condom.
PID often has no signs or symptoms. But a few of the symptoms that may appear are: pain in lower abdomen or pelvic pain, heavy or foul periods, bowl discomfort and pain in urination.

There is no single test to diagnose PID. It is diagnosed from symptoms and from gynaecological examination. Urine and blood tests, ultrasound, and laparoscopy may also be used. Because of absence of symptoms, and because the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, PID diagnosis is often delayed. Woman’s recent sexual partners also need to be tested and treated.

A mixture of antibiotics is used for treatment and is successful in most cases. But a few cases may need laparoscopic or surgical intervention. Removal of intrauterine devices (IUDs) is not necessary.

Because of difficulty of diagnosis, and serious consequences of delayed treatment, empirical treatment may be initiated in at-risk women if symptoms of PID appear. Having regular medical care throughout lifetime maximizes the chances of early diagnosis and treatment of PID.

Improved education, routine screening, diagnosis, and empirical treatment of PID will reduce the incidence and prevalence of PID and its long-term sequelae.

INTRODUCTION

PID, if not treated, can cause ectopic pregnancy, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, cancer, peritonitis and tubo-ovarian abscess – the latter two can become life threatening.

In the US, more than one million women have PID, and more than 100,000 become infertile each year because of PID. In industrialized countries PID-incidence is 10 to 13 per 1,000 in women in 15 to 39 years age-group, with a peak incidence of about 20 per 1,000 women in 20 to 24 years age group. India is estimated to have more than one million PID episodes each year.

CAUSE

PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs – vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and of womb lining (endometrium) and lining of the inside of the abdomen (peritoneum).

It is a bacterial infection. Many types of bacteria can cause it but in about one in four cases it is caused by sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. Sometimes normal, harmless, bacteria in the vagina get past the cervix and into the reproductive organs and cause PID. This can happen when the cervix is damaged after childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and inspection of the womb; or by an earlier PID.

In many cases, the cause of PID is unknown.

RISK FACTORS

Any woman can get PID. But the risk of getting it is increased by:
• Being sexually active and younger than 25 years age
• Having multiple sexual partners
• Having a new sexual partner
• Being in a sexual relationship with a person who has more than one sex partner
• Having a history of PID or STI
• Having sex without a condom
• Douching regularly, which upsets the balance of good versus harmful bacteria in the vagina and might mask symptoms

Having an intrauterine device (IUD) does not increase the risk of PID. Potential risk, if any, is within the first three weeks after insertion.

SYMPTOMS

PID often has no signs or symptoms. But one or more of these symptoms may occur:

• Pain in lower abdomen
• Pelvic pain — especially during a pelvic exam
• Heavy or foul or painful periods with an unpleasant odor
• Unusual vaginal discharge, especially if it’s yellow or green
• Abnormal uterine bleeding, especially during or after intercourse, or between menstrual cycles
• Pain or bleeding during intercourse
• Fever, sometimes with chills
• Painful or difficult urination
• Bowel discomfort
• Nausea and vomiting

See your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.

Vaginal discharge with an odor, painful urination or bleeding between menstrual cycles can be associated with STI. If these signs and symptoms occur, stop having sex and see your doctor soon. Prompt treatment of an STI can help prevent PID.

DIAGNOSIS

There is no single test to diagnose PID. It is diagnosed from symptoms and from gynecological examination.

Gynecologist in Delhi will talk about your medical and sexual history and do a pelvic examination to check for any tenderness and abnormal vaginal discharge. This examination may be discomforting, especially if you have PID.

Swabs may be taken from the inside of your vagina and cervix to look for bacterial infection and identify the bacteria responsible. A positive test for chlamydia or gonorrhoea supports the diagnosis of PID. Most women test negative but this does not rule out PID.
Other tests may, therefore, be required to look for signs of infection or inflammation, or to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. These tests may include:

  •  A urine or blood test
  • A pregnancy test
  • An ultrasound scan, which is usually carried out using a probe passed through the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound)
  • In a few cases, especially the more severe cases, and where there may be other possible causes of the symptoms, such as appendicitis, laparoscopy may be used to look at the internal organs and, if necessary, take tissue samples to diagnose PID. Laparoscopy can also be useful in disproving cases wrongly labelled as chronic pelvic disease.
  • Recent sexual partners also need to be tested and treated to stop the infection recurring or being spread to others.

Diagnosis of PID can be missed or delayed because of absence of symptoms in the earliest, most curable stage. When symptoms do occur, they can be similar to symptoms of certain other diseases, such as appendicitis, food poisoning or food borne illness, ruptured ovarian cyst, diverticulitis, and ovarian torsion. Therefore have regular medical care throughout lifetime to maximize the chances of early diagnosis and treatment of PID.

TREATMENT

If diagnosed early, PID is treated with antibiotics for 10-14 days. A mixture of antibiotics to cover the most likely infections is given as tablets and injections. Complete the antibiotic course and avoid sexual intercourse during the treatment period to ensure the infection clears completely.

Antibiotics alone are successful in 34-75% of cases. Patients who do not improve in 72 hours are re-evaluated for laparoscopic or surgical intervention and for other possible diagnoses. Laparoscopy should be used if the diagnosis is in doubt. Laparoscopic pelvic lavage, abscess drainage, and adhesiolysis may be necessary. Laparoscopy gives direct visualization of internal organs and of the pelvis and obtaining of cultures for more accurate bacteriologic diagnosis. However, laparoscopy is not always available in acute PID; moreover, it is costly and requires general anesthesia.

If surgical treatment is required, attempt is to conserve reproductive potential with simple drainage, adhesiolysis, and copious irrigation or unilateral adnexectomy, if possible. Further surgical therapy is needed in 15-20% of cases so managed.

Most tubo-ovarian abscess (60-80%) resolve with antibiotic administration. Laparoscopy may be used to identify the loculations of pus requiring drainage. Unresolved abscesses may be drained by colpotomy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy. In patients with recurrent PID, dense pelvic adhesions may render surgery difficult.

Removal of intrauterine devices (IUDs) in acute PID cases is not necessary. But close clinical follow-up is mandatory if the IUD is left in place.

More research is needed to optimize PID diagnosis and treatment; and to improve patient and doctor’s compliance to guidelines.

COMPLICATIONS

Untreated PID may cause scar tissue, and collections of infected fluid (abscesses) in the fallopian tubes, which can damage the reproductive organs.

Other possible complications are:

• Ectopic pregnancy. The scar tissue prevents the fertilized egg from moving through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus thus causing a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy that can cause massive, life-threatening bleeding and that may require emergency medical attention. PID is a major cause of ectopic pregnancy
Infertility. PID may damage the reproductive organs and cause infertility. Delaying the treatment, or frequent PID, dramatically increases the risk of infertility. In the US, 1 in 8 women with a history of PID has difficulty getting pregnant; and 15% of infertility cases are because of PID.
• Chronic pelvic pain. Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause pelvic pain that may last for months or years. Scarring in fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs can cause pain during intercourse and ovulation.
• Tubo-ovarian abscess. PID might cause an abscess — a collection of pus — to form in uterine tube and ovaries. If left untreated, this could develop into a life-threatening infection.

PREVENTION

To reduce the risk of PID:

• Practice safe sex. Use condoms every time you have sex, limit your number of partners, and ask about a potential partner’s sexual history.
• Talk to your doctor about contraception. Many forms of contraception do not protect against the development of PID. Using barrier methods, such as a condom, might help to reduce your risk. Even if you take birth control pills, it’s still important to use a condom every time you have sex to protect against STIs.
• Get tested. If you’re at risk of an STI, such as chlamydia, make an appointment with your doctor for testing. Set up a regular screening schedule with your doctor if needed. Early treatment of an STI gives you the best chance of avoiding PID.
• Request that your partner be tested. If you have PID or an STI, advise your partner to be tested and, if necessary, treated. This can prevent the spread of STIs and possible recurrence of PID.
• Don’t douche. Douching upsets the balance of bacteria in your vagina.

INCIDENCE

In a 1995 U.S. study, 8 percent of all women in their reproductive years were being treated for PID. The numbers have steadily reduced. In 2015, the annual visits for PID were down to about 90,000 a year.

Enough data on incidence of PID in India is not available. In one study about 11.55% of the study subjects were diagnosed with PID. In the industrialised world, the incidence is 1 to 2 per cent per year among sexually active women. On that basis, India will have about one million PID cases per year.

REDUCING THE INCIDENCE

Because of difficulty of diagnosis, and serious consequences of delayed treatment, it is recommended that empirical treatment should be initiated in at-risk women who have lower abdominal pain, adnexal tenderness, and cervical motion tenderness. That overtreatment be preferred to no or delayed treatment.

Women with PID should be counselled to abstain from sexual activity or use barrier protection strictly and appropriately until their symptoms and those of their partner have fully abated and they have completed their entire treatment regimen.

Improved education, routine screening, diagnosis, and empirical treatment of PID will reduce the incidence and prevalence of PID and its long-term sequelae. Education should concentrate on strategies to prevent PID and STIs, including reducing the number of sexual partners, avoiding unsafe sexual practices, and routinely using appropriate barrier protection. Adolescents, being at an increased risk for PID, should be advised to delay the onset of sexual intercourse until age 16 years or older.