Reproductive system of a woman is made of internal and external organs. Female internal reproductive organs include the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and ovaries while the external organs are labia majora, labia minora, clitoris and Bartholin’s glands. Problems of female reproductive system include problems related to the reproductive organs, pregnancy issues, menstrual problems and infections.
Problems Related to the Vagina and Vulva
Vulvovaginitis represents an inflammation or infection of the vagina and vulva. It can be caused by pathogens such as Candida albicans, sexually transmitted diseases, poor genital hygiene or exposure to chemicals found in bubble baths, soaps and perfumes. Vulvovaginitis is accompanied with itching, redness and vaginal discharge.
Non-Menstrual Vaginal Bleeding
This type of bleeding may occur due to presence of foreign body in the vagina such as waded-up toilet paper, vaginal trauma caused by sexual abuse, protrusion of the urethra or a straddle injury.
Labial adhesion is the condition in which the labia minora fuse together. This is most commonly seen in infants and young girls. Labial adhesion is not a serious condition and does not cause symptoms but may sometimes lead to urinary tract infections. It can be treated with an estrogen cream.
Problems Related to the Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes
It is an abnormal pregnancy that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the womb, usually in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy can cause severe abdominal pain and abnormal vaginal bleeding. It often requires prompt surgical treatment to prevent further complications.
Endometriosis is characterized by growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. Symptoms of endometriosis include abnormal bleeding, painful periods and pelvic pain.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is most commonly benign. Ovarian cysts usually resolve without treatment and do not cause problems unless they grow large enough to press on other organs thus producing pain.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
It is a hormone disorder caused by excess production of androgens by the ovaries. Due to the syndrome, the ovaries expand and develop cysts. This condition usually affects adolescent girls.
Women can be affected by a number of menstrual problems. These include:
- Painful menstrual periods or dysmenorrhea
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia
- Irregular menstrual periods or oligomenorrhea
- Absence of menstrual bleeding or amenorrhea
Female Reproductive Infections
Sexually Transmitted Infections
These are infections that are spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. Sexually transmitted infections include pelvic inflammatory disease, HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus, syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital herpes.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
It is a rare and serious condition that develops as the complication of bacterial infection caused by tampon left in for too long. Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include high-grade fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, shock, seizures and organ failure.