Common issues in women's reproductive health: Ways to protect your reproductive system | Health - Hindustan Times

Common issues in women's reproductive health: Ways to protect your reproductive system

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 20, 2024 12:44 PM IST

Health and fertility experts reveal a list of common issues in women's reproductive health along with proactive strategies to protect your reproductive system

The reproductive system is a crucial aspect of women’s health, playing a fundamental role in fertility, menstruation and overall well-being. Caring for women's reproductive health encompasses a holistic approach that includes lifestyle modifications, consistent consultations with healthcare professionals, and proactive strategies.

Common issues in women's reproductive health: Ways to protect your reproductive system (Photo by Freepik)
Common issues in women's reproductive health: Ways to protect your reproductive system (Photo by Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Deepika Mishra, Consultant at Birla Fertility and IVF at Varanasi, revealed, “Some of the common reproductive health issues women grapple with include menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), and irregular periods. Additionally, many women suffer from PCOS, which is a common type of hormonal imbalance that manifests as irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and fertility challenges.”

She added, “There are certain other issues too that affect the reproductive health of women: uterine fibroids, or leiomyoma (a type of noncancerous growth arising from the muscle layer of the uterus), and endometriosis (a condition in which tissue resembling the uterine lining grows beyond the uterus, leading to pelvic discomfort and infertility). Furthermore, pregnancy and fertility-related issues also significantly affect a woman’s reproductive health.”

Encouraging an integrated method that ensures comprehensive well-being and supports reproductive vitality, Dr Neha Tripathi, Fertility Expert at Nova IVF Fertility in Delhi's Indirapuram, suggested the following few ways to protect women’s reproductive system -

  1. Regular screenings/check-ups: Consistent gynecological check-ups, like Pap smears, mammograms, and HPV screenings, can help identify abnormalities at the early stage, enhancing treatment outcomes.
  2. Healthy lifestyle: A nutritious diet, consistent exercise, and healthy sleep routine promote general well-being and mitigate reproductive health issues.
  3. Pain or discomfort management: Consult a healthcare professional for any discomfort, pain, or unusual discharge.
  4. Limit smoking and alcohol: Smoking and heavy alcohol use can adversely affect reproductive health and increase cancer risks.
  5. Practice Safe Sex: Practicing safe sex is imperative in order to avoid STD infections and other reproductive issues.
  6. Stay up to date on vaccinations: Ensuring vaccinations against diseases like HPV can prevent reproductive health complications.
  7. Consider alternative menstrual products: Opting for eco-friendly options like menstrual cups or cloth pads can offer comfort and environmental benefits compared to traditional disposable products.
  8. Seek support: Seeking assistance from friends, family, or healthcare providers can assist in addressing reproductive health issues or concerns effectively.

Dr Manju Gupta, Consultant - Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospitals in Noida, shared, “Common issues in women's reproductive health stem from various factors that gynecologists frequently encounter. These issues encompass hormonal imbalances, infections, structural abnormalities, lifestyle factors and genetic predispositions.” She elaborated -

  1. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal disruptions can lead to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), characterized by irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and hormonal disturbances affecting fertility. Additionally, irregular menstrual cycles and abnormal hormone levels can indicate other underlying issues.
  2. Infections: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may result in chronic pelvic pain, scarring, and infertility if left untreated. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also impact reproductive health.
  3. Structural Abnormalities: Conditions like endometriosis, where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, and uterine fibroids, benign growths in the uterus, can cause pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and fertility issues.
  4. Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins can affect reproductive health. These factors may disrupt menstrual cycles, hormone levels, and overall fertility.
  5. Genetic Predispositions: Some women may have genetic predispositions to reproductive health issues, such as a family history of conditions like endometriosis or PCOS. Genetic factors can influence susceptibility to certain reproductive disorders.

Dr Manju Gupta highlighted, “Addressing these common issues in women's reproductive health requires a thorough understanding of each patient's medical history, symptoms, and risk factors. Gynecologists employ various diagnostic tests, including pelvic exams, ultrasound imaging, hormone level assessments, and laboratory tests, to accurately diagnose and treat these conditions.”

She concluded, “Treatment strategies often involve a combination of medication, lifestyle modifications, surgical interventions, and fertility treatments tailored to each patient's unique needs and goals. Regular gynecological screenings and preventive care play a vital role in maintaining women's reproductive health and overall well-being.”

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