Some Questions & Answers on Gynaecology

Answers from Dr Amit De, consultant gynaecologist and obstretician, Bhagirathi Neotia Women & Child Care Centre:

Cysts in Ovaries:-

I am a 28-year-old woman married for three years. I have been trying to conceive but without success. My doctor has told me that I have polycystic ovaries. Are they cancerous? Will it be impossible for me to conceive?

These tiny cysts are not cancerous. One out of four women has this problem. However, not all women with such cysts have a problem in conceiving. Your doctor should have ascertained whether the problem lay with your husband or not by asking him to go for a check-up (including a semen analysis) before arriving at any conclusion as to why you haven?t been able to conceive. Cysts can create problems in egg production in the ovaries in rare cases. But even in such cases there are medical and other supportive treatments available. In case you have put on weight, try reducing the extra flab because it can lead to to a state of hormonal imbalance, making things more complicated.

SoS Contraceptive:-

We usually use condoms for contraception, but failed to use them a couple of times. Luckily I am not pregnant. Can you suggest some emergency contraceptives?

Although condoms prevent transmission of diseases, they aren?t the safest contraceptive. You can try out the female condoms. Some chemicals in the form of a cream can be added to kill the sperms and increase the efficacy of female condoms. In cases of unprotected sex, contact your gynaecologist as soon as possible. He will prescribe some medicines or else, insert a copper-T inside your womb within 72 hours. These will prevent the unnecessary termination of a pregnancy. The first anti-pregnancy tablet should be taken as soon as possible, and the second one 12 hours later.

Abnormal BP:-

I am around seven months pregnant. At a regular checkup with my doctor, I discovered my blood pressure (BP) was 140/95 mm of mercury. Need I be worried?

I need to know what your BP was when you conceived. Some wom-en can start a pregnancy with a high BP. In that case, there isn?t much cause for worry if the BP has shot up after five months of pregnancy and there is more than an acceptable amount of a protein (albumen) in the urine. However, if the BP has gone up after five months of pregnancy, and, on a routine checkup of your urine sample, the protein is found in moderate amounts, the condition needs to be monitored carefully. This condition is called pre-ecclampsia and is the result of a sick placenta (which is the source of a baby?s nutrition). Some blood tests need to be done to gauge the seriousness of the condition and both you and the baby need to be monitored more frequently. You should be happy with the baby?s movements. If you have a head-ache, problems of vision or pain in the upper part of your stomach, you should consult your obstetrician. In these circumstan-ces, blood pressure tablets mask the increasing BP. Since you are seven months pregnant, you can use tablets (which are safe in pregnancy) for the continuation of pregnancy for at least another month if the condition deteriorates.

Cervical cancer:-

My 38-year-old friend has been suspected of having cervical cancer. Is there any way to prevent the disease?

If treated in the precancerous state through regular screening, it is fully curable. Because it is related to some viral infections, the risk can be reduced by using condoms and not having sex with multiple partners. Women who smoke have a higher chance of developing cervical cancer. Sexually active women, or those who smoke, should ideally undergo a regular pap smear screening (every three years at least). It is a simple procedure which entails taking a few cells from the cervix (the neck of the uterus) and looking for precancerous cells. If unhealthy cells are found, further observation is required under a high-powered microscope (colposcope). Biopsy is done from the unhealthy sections. If it confirms the presence of such cells, the diseased portion is removed under anaesthesia.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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