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Gynecological Conditions & Treatments

Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea. In women it usually affects the urethra and cervix, often both of them. However, the infection can be seen also in other parts like rectum, anus, throat and even pelvic organs. Rarely, the infection affects the eyes.

Gonorrhea is a disease that does not cause any problems if diagnosed and treated on time. However, if the infection is left untreated it can cause serious health problems. This kind of STD is more likely to cause serious problems in women than in men, due to mild signs and symptoms in the beginning and diagnosis of the disease in later stages, usually when the infection has spread to other parts of the body. The infection can spread from the urethra and cervix to other pelvic organs like the uterus, the fallopian tubes and even ovaries, leading to an inflammation and scar tissue of the pelvis, also known as the pelvic inflammatory disease.

The incubation period usually lasts couple of days (2-5 days). But, sometimes it may take up to 30 days for the signs and symptoms to start. A person infected with gonorrhea is contagious even if there are no signs and symptoms of the disease. The person infected with gonorrhea is contagious until it has been totally treated.

Having a gonorrhea infection once does not protect you from other possible reinfections in the future.

Risk factors for getting gonorrhea include:

–          Multiple sex partners in the last period

–          High – risk sexual partners

–          Having unprotected sexual intercourse.

 

Gonorrhea Symptoms and Signs

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea vary. In the beginning they are usually mild to moderate and often mistaken as a vaginal or bladder infection. The symptoms include:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after sex or between periods.
  • Anal itching, discomfort, bleeding, or discharge.
  • Genital itching.
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Lower abdominal pain.
  • Fever and general tiredness.
  • Swollen and painful glands at the opening of the vagina (Bartholin glands).
  • Painful sexual intercourse.
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis, etc.

When the infection spreads to other pelvic organs, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Lower abdominal pain,
  • Pain during sexual intercourse,
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fever, etc.

 

How Is Gonorrhea Diagnosed

Usually your doctor will ask you a lot of questions regarding your sexual life, the possibility of being exposed or having unprotected sexual intercourse, the number of sexual partners you have had lately, etc.

A total check – up is necessary in order to diagnose the infection correctly. Laboratory examination of blood and urine are routinely checked. Pelvic examination is necessary. Most tests give results within a few days.

If diagnosed with STD tell your partner as he/she should get tested as well.

 

How Is Gonorrhea Treated

When diagnosed with STD treatment is necessary not only for you but also for your sexual partner. Both of you will receive the same therapy no matter if your partner has no signs and symptoms. If your sexual partner does not get treated, you will be re-infected even though you might have treated the infection successfully. Treatment for gonorrhea includes antibiotics like Ceftriaxone, Gentamicin, Azithromycin, etc.

STD if diagnosed and treated on time does not cause any complications. However, if left untreated possible complications include:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Tubo-ovarian abscess
  • Bartholinitis – inflammation of the Bartholin glands
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Preterm labor
  • Higher risk of miscarriage
  • Premature membrane ruptures
  • Endometritis, etc.

Mammography: What Age Should You Get?

Mammography: What Age should You Get?

Mammography: What Age should You Get?

It is well known that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide. Mammography is one of the detecting tests of breast cancer.

Early detection of breast cancer leads to successful treatments. In developed countries 89% of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive five years after they were diagnosed. Early detection of breast cancer increases the survival rates. That’s the reason why regular mammograms are recommended for every women over the age of 40.

 

What Is a Mammography?

A mammography is an X-ray of the breasts that help take a closer look of the breast tissue. Mammography helps diagnose the cancer in early stages, even when there are no signs and symptoms of the disease.

There are two basic types of mammograms: screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms are used to look for signs of early breast cancer in women over the age of 40. Screening mammograms are recommended every one to two years. A diagnostic mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in women who already have signs and symptoms of breast cancer, such as breast pain, a lump, discharge from the nipple, changes in breast size or shape, and even thickening of the breast’s skin.

Regular mammograms are beneficial for women after 40, but especially for women over the age of 50.

 

Disadvantages of Mammograms

Mammograms are X-rays and they use radiation. Repeated mammograms in a short period of time are not recommended as the radiation it self is potentially dangerous. However, studies have shown that the benefits of mammograms are greater than the disadvantages or possible risks of getting cancer after exposure to radiation during mammography. Pregnant women should avoid mammography as they can harm the growing baby. Always keep in mind that there is a chance for false negative or false positive results of mammography. A false positive result will lead to much more medical tests, mental stress and anxiety. A false negative result, on the other hand will make you ignore the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. It will lead to its diagnosis in later stages, when the disease is advanced.

 

What Can Mammograms Show?

Mammograms show any changes in the structure of the breasts. Radiologists usually look for any lump or mass or possible calcifications in the breast tissue.

Lumps or masses according to their shape, size or edges can give an idea whether they are benign or malign. Benign masses always look smooth and round with clear and well defined edges, while breast cancer often has irregular shape and jagged outline.

Calcifications are deposits of calcium in the breast tissue. They appear a small white spot on a mammography. There are two types of calcifications: microcalcifications and macrocalcifications. Microcalcifications are usually found in an read with rapidly diving cells, while macrocalcfications are usually calcium deposits caused by aging and they are not a sign of cancer.

 

What If My Screening Mammogram Shows a Problem?

If your mammogram is normal, you can relax until your next one. If you have a screening test result that suggests cancer, your doctor will order some further tests, which will probably include:

  • Diagnostic mammography,
  • Ultrasound,
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and
  • Biopbsy

 

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries first. Every woman has two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. Normally ovaries are about the size of an almond and they produce the eggs, estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages, when the cancer has already spread within the pelvis or abdomen. At this stage it is very difficult to treat it. The real cause of ovarian cancer is not known. However certain risk factors increase the probability of ovarian cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Age – usually occurs in the ages between 50-60 years. However, ovarian cancer can occur at any age.
  • Inherited gene mutation – breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes have been identified in families with breast cancer and it has been proven to increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen replacement therapy – especially when used for a long time and in large doses
  • Menstruations – menstruations before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 52, increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Never giving birth
  • IUD
  • Fertility treatments
  • Smoking
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.

 

Types of Ovarian Cancer

Types of ovarian cancer include:

  • Epithelial tumors – are the most common type of ovarian tumors. These tumors begin in the thin outside layer that covers the ovaries.
  • Stromal tumors – are also rare, only in 7% of cases. They are usually diagnosed at an earlier stage and begin in the hormone – producing cells of the ovarian tissue.
  • Germ cell tumors – are a rare type of ovarian cancer that usually affects younger women. Germ cell tumors begin in the egg-producing cells.

 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fullness when eating even small amounts of food
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation altered with diarrhea
  • Frequent urination, etc.

How is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?

First of all the most important thing is to diagnose this type of cancer on time. Usually ovarian cancer is asymptomatic at the beginning, or the symptoms are nonspecific, making it more difficult to diagnose. When diagnosed, the cancer has usually spread into other pelvic or abdominal organs. Diagnosing methods of ovarian cancer include:

  • Pelvic examination
  • CT – Scan of the pelvis and abdomen
  • Blood test, which can detect the CA 125 protein

 

How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?

A correct staging of ovarian cancer is necessary before considering any possible treatment. Stages of ovarian cancer include:

Stage I – cancer is found in one or both ovaries.

Stage II – cancer has spread to other parts of the pelvis.

Stage III – cancer has spread to the abdomen.

Stage IV – cancer is found outside the abdomen.

Treatment methods generally used for ovarian cancer include surgery and chemotherapy.

Surgery generally involves removing of the uterus, fallopian tubes and both ovaries together with the lymph nodes and omentum. Less extensive surgery is possible in cases when the ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.

Chemotherapy – includes the use of medications that will kill the remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be administrated intravenously or directly into the abdominal cavity. In advanced cases, chemotherapy might be the only treating method for ovarian cancer.

Some factors can help low the possibility of developing ovarian cancer. These factors are:

  • Being pregnant and giving birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Use of contraceptives for at least 10 years
  • Daily intake of Aspirin, etc.

 

 

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Disclaimer:

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.