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Gynecological Care

Uterine Fibroids

What are uterine fibroids? Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors comprised of muscle cells derived from the uterus. Fibroids can grow on the surface, middle or cavity of the uterus; they are very common, being found in up to one in four women during the reproductive years. Most uterine fibroids cause no symptoms but will cause the uterus to feel enlarged at the time of routine yearly pelvic exams. Ultrasound is the most common diagnostic tool utilized to diagnose uterine fibroids. In some special circumstances, CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or laparoscopy may be needed to determine the extent of uterine fibroid extension. What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids? Many women don’t feel any symptoms with uterine fibroids. But for other women, uterine fibroids can cause...

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s)

Aside from colds and flu, sexually transmitted diseases are the most common contagious diseases in the United States. Sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted via bacteria, parasites or viruses that come into contact with skin or body fluids. If left untreated, some sexually transmitted diseases may lead to major health problems, some of which may be life-threatening. If you believe you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, you (and your sexual partner or partners) should seek immediate medical attention. Sexually transmitted diseases include: gonorrhea chlamydia syphilis genital herpes human papillomavirus (HPV) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) trichomonas hepatitis B and C How do I know if I have a sexually transmitted disease? Not all sexually transmitted diseases result in obvious symptoms. However, sexually transmitted disease symptoms may include: ...

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Pelvic Pain

Many women experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. Pelvic pain may be constant or it may come and go. It may occur only at specific times, such as before or after eating, during urination, during sex, or during your menstrual period. You should contact Dr. Sargent if you are experiencing pelvic pain that is frequent, intense or disruptive to daily activities or enjoyment of life. What causes pelvic pain? Pelvic pain can be caused by or related to a wide range of conditions. These include: scar tissue infection of reproductive organs, urinary tract, bowels or appendix ovarian cysts (abnormal, fluid-filled cavities that form in or on the ovaries) ectopic pregnancy (when an embryo becomes implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall) dysmenorrhea (severe...

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Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which one or more pelvic organs descend in the pelvis and sometime protrude from the vaginal opening. It’s a common condition, affecting about one of every three women age 45 or older. In its milder stages, there are no symptoms and no treatment is needed. Pelvic organ prolapse can be caused or aggravated by smoking, menopause, obesity, family history, coughing, chronic constipation, pelvic trauma or previous surgery, repeated heavy lifting, multiple vaginal deliveries, loss of muscle tone, estrogen loss, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes or connective tissue disorders. What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse? Pelvic organ prolapse symptoms include: disturbances in normal bladder or rectal function feelings of pelvic pressure, heaviness, bulging or...

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

What are pelvic inflammatory diseases? Pelvic inflammatory diseases are infections of the upper reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, the uterus and the Fallopian tubes. In the United States alone, more than one million women are affected by pelvic inflammatory diseases every year. More than 100,000 of these women become infertile every year. Pelvic inflammatory diseases are caused when germs move upward from the vagina and cervix. Most cases stem from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia infection. How are pelvic inflammatory diseases diagnosed? Pelvic inflammatory diseases can be difficult to diagnose. The affected organs are not easy to examine, and symptoms may be similar to those of other conditions. To determine if you have a pelvic inflammatory disease, Dr. Sargent may conduct one or more of...

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What’s all this fuss about HPV?

HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different strains or types. Of these, approximately 30 different types of HPV infect the genital area and are spread primarily through any type of genital contact. Most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most infected persons are unaware that they have HPV or if they transmitted the disease to their partner. Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. All types of HPV can infect both men and women equally, however women...

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Endometriosis

What is endometriosis? The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Sometimes this tissue grows elsewhere in the body. This condition, called endometriosis, can cause pain that ranges from mild to severe. Left untreated, endometriosis can cause infertility. Endometriosis is a long-term condition, with symptoms that may occur off and on until menopause. What are the symptoms of endometriosis? Women who have endometriosis often show no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they can include: pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle pelvic pain during sex, bowel movements or urination menstrual bleeding more than once a month How is endometriosis diagnosed? To determine whether you have endometriosis, Dr. Sargent may conduct one or more of the following: pelvic pain questionnaire review (Pelvic Pain Assessment Form) physical and pelvic examinations ...

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Dysmenorrhea

What is dysmenorrhea? More than half of menstruating women experience mild pain one or two days a month. This pain usually comes from the uterus, which is a muscle that can expand and contract. During some menstrual periods, the uterus contracts more strongly than usual, and this can cause a cramping pain. When the pain is severe enough to interfere with normal activity, it is called dysmenorrhea. In most cases, dysmenorrhea can be successfully treated with medications. Symptoms of dysmenorrhea can include: cramps or pain in the lower back or abdomen a pulling sensation in the inner thighs diarrhea vomiting dizziness nausea headache Dysmenorrhea may simply be related to strong uterine contractions during menstruation, or it may a sign of an underlying disorder such as fibroids (benign tumors...

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Adenomyosis

What is adenomyosis, and what are the symptoms? Adenomyosis is a common benign (non-cancerous) condition of the uterus caused by growth and extension of the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) deep into the muscular middle layer of the uterus (the myometrium). It is sometimes referred to as “endometriosis of the uterus”. Characterized by menstrual pain, heavy menstrual flow and uterine enlargement, adenomyosis and fibroids present with similar symptoms and signs. This overlapping of symptoms often leads to difficulty in differentiating one condition from the other without the use of special testing such as ultrasound and MRI. Like endometriosis, the cause of adenomyosis is unknown. Symptoms of adenomyosis sometimes begin following cesarean section, tubal ligation, pregnancy termination and pregnancy. Adenomyosis affects about one in every 10...

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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding is a very common condition among women of any age. It can be caused by many factors. A wide range of treatments are used, depending on the reason for the uterine bleeding and your personal needs and conditions. The following types of uterine bleeding may be considered abnormal: bleeding after sex bleeding between periods bleeding after menopause spotting or heavy periods or menstrual bleeding for more days than usual What causes abnormal uterine bleeding? A woman’s periods may be irregular during different times of her life, including puberty, around the mid-30s, and just prior to menopause. Abnormal uterine bleeding can also be caused by or related to one or more the following: use of birth control pills or medications problems related to non-chemical birth...

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