Regular cervical screening which includes tests for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) once a year for sexually active women. The NHS starts screening at the age of 25, but many gynaecologists advise commencing a year after becoming sexually active. A cervical smear, HPV test and sexual health screen can be carried out on a single test.
Mammograms – in the NHS are available from the age of 50 every three years, but around the world, it is believed wise to screen between 40 and 50, and every year for women on HRT.
Ovarian cancer screening – A blood test for CA125 can be combined with blood tests for other tumour markers. A pelvic ultrasound is also used to check the ovaries and to screen the lining of the uterus for endometrial cancer.
Bone density scan – an Xray of hip and lower spine is advised for women with a strong family history of osteoporosis, for women with factures, and for women who are undecided about whether to start HRT.
There are more options than you might have found when you first looked – A good web site for advice is www.contraceptionchoices.org
There are two glands at the entrance to the vagina which provide lubrication during intercourse. If the entrance to the gland becomes blocked, a cyst develops. The cyst may become infected and can be treated with antibiotics, but occasionally develops an abscess. Some of the cysts resolve without intervention, but if not and they cause symptoms of discomfort during intercourse the majority respond to an outpatient procedure siting a “Word catheter” for 4-6 weeks.
Soreness/irritation can happen at any age, and may be associated with a specific infective agent, which can be treated. Inflammation can be a result of allergy, and a variety of skin conditions such as eczema. Simple investigations can normally identify the problem, and treatments give quick relief of symptoms. Sexual health screen may be needed.
There are 4 main types of ovarian cyst, and most are benign – many resolve without intervention, but some don’t and will need laparoscopic removal, which I can do for you.
1 Cysts associated with ovulation – every time you ovulate a 2 cm follicle cyst is produced, which resolves by the following period (unless you become pregnant that month)
2 Benign cysts – the most common is Dermoid cyst
3 Borderline cysts
3 Ovarian cancers
Modern assessment with blood tests and imaging can separate these different types in almost all cases, which allows the correct treatment path for you.
No – when you come off the pill, your fertility will return to whatever it would have been if you had never taken the pill. This is one of the most researched medical facts.
No – the balance of vaginal bacteria can change for many reasons. In most cases no specific reason is identified. An increase in the bacteria which cause a fishy smelling discharge, e.g. Gardnerella, cause the symptoms. Increasing the acidity of the vagina encourages the correct balance, and often resolves the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
Yes, in young women, HPV will resolve in around 70% of cases, unless you smoke, in which case far fewer resolve.