Q1 I have heard some women are going on continuous oral contraceptives. Is it really ok to go without a period?
Ans: Yes, it is okay to not have a period. More and more often oral contraceptives are being prescribed on a continuous basis (without a pill-free interval). For some women, this method is used simply for convenience to temporarily suppress menstrual bleeding. For others, it is prescribed to help treat conditions such as endometriosis, menstrual migraines, menstrual irregularities, and PMS. Absent menstruation in women using hormonal contraceptives reflects endometrial suppression, not a gynaecologic problem.
Q2 what do I do if I miss a birth control pill?
Ans: If you miss or are late taking one pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss two pills take two pills per day until you are back on schedule. Also if you miss two pills or more pills, use an additional form of birth control for the rest of the pill pack. If you have breakthrough bleeding do not stop your pills.
Q3 What are side-effects of The Pill?
Ans: Oral contraceptive pills alter the balance of estrogens and progesterone in your body. Several side effects may be attributable to oral contraceptive pills including the ones you describe. Vaginal dryness and inability to become aroused may be noted in women who use birth control pills that are highly dominant in progesterone. Your physician may be able to lower the total dose of progesterone in your pills or switch you to a pill that has more testosterone-like properties that may increase a decreased sexual drive.
Q 4 What is the best time in a woman's cycle to get pregnant?
Ans: Most women ovulate approximately 14 days prior to the onset of their menstrual cycle. Therefore, if you have regular 28-day periods, you should be ovulating on approximately Day 14. The best chance of pregnancy is 3 to 4 days before ovulation and approximately 2 days after ovulation. Therefore, intercourse during this time frame would have the highest likelihood of being successful. There are ways to test for ovulation such as measuring your basal body temperature or testing your urine for a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. This may help a woman determine the time of ovulation if her cycle is irregular.
Q5 How can I prevent cervical cancer?
Ans: - Cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine now available in India – help guard against disease caused by HPV16, 18 – which are mainly responsible for causing – Ca cervix. It is recommended to initiate vaccination prior to commencement of sexual activity. So best for females age 9 – 26. It may be given after initiation of sexual activity as it would be unlikely that you are infected with all 4 types of HPV and it may be able to prevent more serious (Cancer - producing) type of HPV. Pap smears are very important and should be done every 2 years. They detect presence of pre cancerous cells. The cells may be successfully removed and therefore prevent cervical cancer.
Q6 I have abnormal vaginal Discharge? What is it and how do I treat it?
Ans: - Vaginal Discharge occurs in women at some time in life and is usually due to bacterial vaginosis / fungal infection or both. Most common is bacterial Vaginosis. This is not serious and usually requires t/t of symptoms persists. Fungal infections often cause severe itching, redness and burning. Before self medication consult your gynaecologist for appropriate treatment & diagnosis.
Q7 At What age am I likely to become menopausal?
Ans: - In Northern India, average age for menopause is 47 - 49 Yrs. If it happens earlier than 40 yrs it is premature menopause. If you keep menstruating after 55 years. -> Delayed menopause and warrants investigation. Menopause is a natural process that results from normal ageing of the ovaries.
Q8 what regular Health Checkups do a woman need?
Ans: Regular pap smear (every 2 yearly)
- Mammography (Every 2 yearly)
- After 40 Years get your lipid gram, Blood sugar, blood pressure and thyroid tested too.
- After menopause, it is also recommended to get your bone density test done.
Q 9 Is it possible for a woman diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome to become pregnant?
Ans: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition associated with an ovulation and was first described in 1935 by Drs. Stein and Leventhal. Thus, the condition is also known as Stein Leventhal Syndrome. As originally described, the condition was associated with decreased menstrual flow, hirsutism, and obesity. However, we now know that the condition is much more complex than originally described. The cause or the event that precipitates the problem is unknown. Because you are not ovulating on a regular basis, you are less likely to conceive. As a result, many women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome require medication in order to precipitate ovulation. In general, if you have no other problems that would contribute to infertility, the majority of women are pregnant within three to five cycles. As they say, 'individual results may vary' since everyone is a bit different. With this said, you should feel encouraged. Most women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can have a very successful and healthy pregnancy.
Q10 What are your chances of conceiving after a miscarriage? Are you fertile after a miscarriage?
Ans: Miscarriages is also known as spontaneous abortions in the medical literature. These losses is fairly common. It has been estimated that around 50% of pregnancies result in miscarriage. Many women do not realize that they are pregnant and assume that they are having a delayed period. Of women who know they are pregnant, approximately 20% will have a miscarriage.
Women who have more than one miscarriage consecutively are known as having recurrent abortions. If you have one prior live born infant, the risk of recurrent abortion is 20% to 25 % after one miscarriage, 25% after two miscarriages, and 30% after 3 miscarriages. If you have not had a live born infant, your risk of miscarriage after 3 prior pregnancy losses is approximately 40%.Infertility, or the inability to become pregnant, is usually not an issue after miscarriage.