Gynecology is a branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment of women - specifically, the treatment of diseases and problems of the reproductive organs.

A gynecological disorder is a condition which affects the female reproduction organs, namely the breasts and organs in the abdominal and pelvic area including the womb (uterus), ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva. Virtually every woman will suffer a gynecological condition at some point in her life. For most, it will be minor and easily treatable, but for others their condition may have devasting consequences - impacting their ability to have children and even, with some illnesses, threaten their life.

What Are The Most Common Gynecological Problems?

1. Painful Intercourse

Also called dyspareunia, the causes of painful intercourse vary and range from physical problems to psychological ones. Most women experience symptoms of painful intercourse at some stage of their life. The treatment focuses on curing the underlying cause, to help eliminate the problem.

2. Pelvic Pain

In general pelvic pain signals that there could be a problem with one of the organs located in the area, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus, vagina, rectum or lower intestines. Common causes include ovarian cysts, endometriosis, uterine fibroids.

3. Pelvic Disorders

This refers to any disorder of the pelvic region, including all of those mentioned above. Other common pelvic disorders include:

  • Bowel disorders like constipation, diarrhea and bloating.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Uterine fibroids.
  • Uterine prolapse. 

4. STDs

STDs cause all sorts of gyno issues. Read about the symptoms of STDs, relates to chancroid, chlamydia, crabs, gonorrhea, genital herpes, genital warts and HPV virus.

5. Vulvodynia

All chronic vulva pain that does not appear to have an obvious cause is grouped under the general diagnosis of vulvodynia. The possible causes of vulva pain include yeast infections, HPV infections and injury to the area. The symptoms of vulva pain are characterized by burning, stinging or sharp pain in the vulva. Treatment of vulvodynia is difficult unless an obvious cause is identified.

6. Vaginitis

The most common types of vaginitis are yeast infections, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Vaginitis literally means 'inflammation' and is characterized by burning and itching around the vulva and the presence of a strong smelling discharge. It is usually caused by an infection or poor diet.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms?

The symptoms of a gynecological disorder will vary according to the condition. See our symptom checker: reproductive system disorders.
The most common symptoms which indicate a problem are: 

  • Bleeding between periods or during or after intercourse. 
  • Sores or lumps on the genitals.
  • Increased vaginal discharge, particularly if it smells unusual.
  • Itching, burning or swelling in the vaginal area.
  • Pain in the pelvis area that is not related to menstrual cramps.
  • Burning sensation when you urinate.

While vaginal bleeding and discharge is a normal part of a menstrual cycle, if you notice anything unusual or different consult a doctor. While most conditions result from mild infections and are easy to treat, if not treated they can develop into more serious problems like infertility or kidney disorders.