Gynaecology is a specialist area for a Doctor to work in and they are known as Gynaecologists. Gynaecologists work in close co-operation with other medical professionals, including urologists, oncologists, cardiologists, renal specialists, endocrinologists and colorectal surgeons. A trip to a Gynaecologist can help with possible detection, diagnosis and treatment of:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Genital warts
- Gynaecological cancers
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Gynaecology – Pelvic inflammatory disease
An infection that can spread from the cervix to the uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes, Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a preventable cause of infertility. PID can be a side effect from sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, but other sources of infection can lead to PID as well. Early detection is important and with women who carry PID usually showing no symptoms it is a good reason for regular visits to a Gynaecologist.
Gynaecology – Genital warts
It is important for a patient to be able to speak honestly and openly about their sexual activity. Genital warts result from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which a doctor can detect from a PAP smear. There is now a vaccine that protects women and girls against some genital warts, this is something best discussed with your Doctor.
Gynaecology – Gynaecological cancers
Some Gynaecological cancers include cervical cancer. This pertains to the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus (womb). The fetus grows in the body of the uterus (the upper part). The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The 2 main types of cells covering the cervix are squamous cells (on the exocervix) and glandular cells (on the endocervix). Squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of cervical cancer. Regular checkups with a Gynaecologist and undergoing a PAP smear test can aid in early detection of pre-cancerous changes of normal cells such as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), and dysplasia.
A less common type of cervical cancer is Adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells called glandular cells that are located in a small opening in the cervix which leads into the uterus.
Other Gynaecological cancers are:
- Ovarian cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulva cancer
For information on Australian Gynaecological cancer statistics you can visit the Australian Government website here.
Gynaecology – Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age, and it displays as enlarged ovaries covered with many cysts. Signs may include:
- Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating.
- Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
- Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
- Cysts on the ovaries
- Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
- Weight gain or obesity
- Skin tags
- Pelvic pain
Women who have Polycystic ovary syndrome and are planning pregnancy should make an appointment with a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician.
Dr Gary Swift is a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and can provide professional checkups and advice for women planning pregnancy. The Dr Gary Swift Fertility Clinic can be contacted via this link.