Page 3 - Lancashire Gynaecology

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Endometriosis is a common condition which affects millions of women in the UK and happens when tissue similar to the womb lining, which is otherwise known as the endometrium, are found outside of the womb. Endometriosis can involve the lining of the pelvis and abdomen (peritoneum), in the ovaries, rectum and bladder plus many other areas such as the fallopian tubes. Rarely can it affect other organs such as the lungs. Endometriosis can be painful and can happen over a long time. Causing painful periods, Endometriosis can also result in a woman’s back and her pelvis being painful. It is unclear what causes endometriosis.
Hysterectomy is a procedure where the womb is removed. As well as not being able to get pregnant, periods will stop. Hysterectomies can also be carried out for reasons, such as heavy periods where other treatments did not work or not suitable. It is also carried out for other conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and gynaecological cancer.
Female sterilisation
An effective form of contraception, female sterilisation is being chosen by more women every year. When a woman doesn’t want to use other forms of contraception and no longer wishes to have more children, female sterilisation is an effective way of doing so. Although it isn’t 100% effective, failure rates are usually low.
Female sterilisation is can be done using key hole surgery (laparoscopy) under general anaesthetic or carried out with using ‘Hysteroscopy’ where sterilisation is carried out through an instrument inserted into the vagina and into the womb. This can be done in the outpatient setting without the need for a general anaesthetic. Sterilisation does not affect your hormones or change the pattern of your menstrual period.

When the cavity of uterus (womb) has to be examined, a Hysteroscopy is carried out. It is used to investigate changes to the menstrual pattern and look for possible causes such as fibroids or polyps. It can also be used as part of the fertility investigations. Sometimes it is used to check for cancer of the lining of the womb.
A woman can have a Hysteroscopy under either local or general anaesthetic. Fluids or gas are then used in order to make create a space and enable the specialist to visualise the inside of the womb. Although a woman may experience discomfort, this should be minimal and transient.

Otherwise known as keyhole surgery, Laparoscopy can be carried out in a wide range of situations, for both investigations and treatment purposes.
General anaesthetic is used for Laparoscopy. There are anaesthetic and surgical risks and therefore the procedure should be performed when there is no low risk alternative. If required, your health care professional will discuss the procedures and its risk in more details.

Vulval Lichen Sclerosus
This is a benign condition that affects the skin. It can affect many parts of the body. When it involves the skin of the labia (vulva) it is called Vulval Lichen Sclerosus. It causes the skin to appear white and thickened. It can cause symptoms of skin irritation and discomfort. Although it is essentially a nuisance but benign condition, there is a small risk of skin cancer developing within it. If diagnosed it is advised that a health professional should inspect the area every six to twelve months.
Treating Vulval Lichen Sclerosus can be done through non-perfumed moisturiser. When symptoms are troublesome treatment with steroid creams might be required.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Happening ten to fourteen days before a menstrual period, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects many women. There are many different symptoms of PMS such as extreme mood swings and breasts becoming tender. Women can also be irritable and have minimal or no interest at all in sex. Such symptoms differ from one woman to another but many experience some or all of them which is very distressing.
There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding why a woman experiences such symptoms but gynaecologists do believe that it is because of a change in hormonal levels. Although there is no cure for PMS, a woman can improve her chances of not developing these symptoms by leading a healthy diet, such as eating fruits and vegetables. A woman should also exercise so that her body is in excellent condition and can overcome any changes in her hormonal levels. Your GP or practice nurse can offer help and advice if you experience such a problem and feel that you need treatment. On occasions referral to a specialist is required.

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