Here are Consultant Gynaecologist, Mr Sachchidananda Maiti's, top 5 most commonly asked questions concerning gynaecological problems and advice.
1. My periods are getting me down, what can I do?
Every woman is different and the amount of blood loss during periods varies considerably between women. If you are having heavy periods that are affecting your daily social activities, either emotionally or physically, you are not alone. Heavy menstrual bleeding affects about a quarter of women in the UK. About 30,000 women undergo surgical treatment for heavy periods each year in England and Wales. If you are having periods that are affecting you physically, socially or emotionally, you should see a doctor who will assess you through detailed history, examination and possibly an ultrasound scan to rule out any possible cause. In most cases, there are a number of medications that a doctor can prescribe before considering any surgical procedures.
It is important not ignore this Gynaecological problem and to see a doctor, as they can advise on simple medications to regularise periods. It is also quite important to see your doctor if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding during or after having sex. This could be a sign of an easily treatable infection. It is also very important to keep up to date with your smear tests.
2. What is the best contraception for me to delay having a baby?
There are many forms of contraception available at Pall Mall Medical. Often it is a case of finding the correct form of contraception to suit you.
If it’s a case of needing emergency contraception then there are two solutions available: either the emergency contraception pill Levonelle 1500 that can be taken 72 hours after intercourse, or an IUDC coil that is able to be fitted and effectively used up to 5 days after having sex.
Alongside the emergency solutions, we also offer oral contraception that can be taken on a regular basis to delay you having a baby until you are ready. Oral contraception can be less effective if taken with some medications, or if you are not able to absorb them fully if being sick or having a loose bowel motion. Oral solutions aren’t the only regular form of contraception, we can also provide contraception through implant or injection.
If you’re looking for a long term solution, an IUDC coil will allow for up to 10 years of contraception, whereas the implant protects you for up to 3 years. You are able to get these removed if you decide that you no longer need them and you will then become fertile straight away.
3. An ultrasound scan on my tummy pain found an ovarian cyst, am I going to develop cancer soon?
The main thing to remember is that ovarian cysts are very common and that most are benign (non-cancerous). Most will resolve themselves especially if they are smaller than 5cm in size. Nevertheless, it’s important to be checked by a specialist even if they don’t commonly pose a direct threat of cancer. If you are concerned about an ovarian cyst then we would suggest carrying out a CA 125 and HE4 blood test. Through this test, we attempt to identify proteins that may be a sign of ovarian cancer. It’s always advisable to take such a test as early detection can allow for a survival rate of around 90%. Interpretation of results should be made with a specialist as CA125 & HE4 might be raised in several normal physiological conditions like during your periods, without having ovarian cancer. Read more about our ovarian cancer screening.
4. I have previously miscarried, how soon can I find out if my baby is ok after a positive pregnancy test?
Our early dating scans are available from 7 weeks, as oppose to the usual 12. But a viability scan to pick up the baby’s heartbeat can be done as early as 6 weeks through your tummy when you have a full urinary bladder. This means that even earlier than usual you’ll be able to find out if all is well. Going further into the pregnancy and development of the foetus, we also offer a ‘Reassurance and baby sexing scan’. This is available from 17 weeks and will assess how your baby is developing in the womb by means of checking measurements and the amniotic fluid. Depending on the position of the baby, we may also be able to determine the sex and risk of miscarriage, minimising risk of a repeat pregnancy loss thanks to the specialism of a private gynaecologist.
5. My periods stopped a few years ago and I have noticed some brownish discharge. Have I developed cancer?
Not necessarily. The causes for postmenopausal bleeding can be rather varied and is also treatable. It may be that the lining of your womb is inflamed or just thin. This occurs as your oestrogen levels drop normally after the menopause. Another cause might be what is known as cervical polyps. This is when growths occur, that are usually benign, in the cervix and the womb itself thus causing a similar sort of discharge. The third potential cause could be that the womb lining is actually thickening, also referred to as endometrial hyperplasia. This could potentially be caused by HRT (hormone replacement therapy), and if left undetected and untreated could lead to womb cancer. One solution if you’re lacking oestrogen might be to use oestrogen cream or pessaries at the advice of a doctor. It is important not to ignore your symptom of brownish discharge and seek specialist advice. But at the same time, the chance of having cancer is very small.
If you are concerned about any of the above topics or any other genealogical problems, then book an appointment to see Mr Sachin Maiti or one of our other experienced private gynaecologists at Pall Mall Medical with no GP referral needed.
By Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Sachchidananda Maiti, FRCOG, MD, DNB, DFSRH, PGC ,PGCertMEd, LoCIUT, LocSDI, MNAMS