Health is an important aspect of an individual’s life. It is the state of well-being of social, physical and mental aspects of an individual. Vulnerability to pollutants in the environment can cause disorders and diseases that can adversely affect the female and male reproductive systems. These problems can occur at any stage such as deformities from birth, complications during conceiving, during adolescence, developmental disorders, or during the menstrual stage. Effect of environmental pollutants on the reproductive system has been closely observed, for instance, reduced fertility in men and women these days is associated with the exposure to lead, vulnerability to endocrine disruptors have known to be causative for difficulty in conceiving, fertility, childbirth and so on.
Listed below are a few disorders of our reproductive system, and the signs our body exhibits after their inception.
It is a disorder affecting the uterus of women. The problem arises when the tissue lining the uterus grows elsewhere, such as – behind the rectum, intestinal loops, uterus, ovaries, on the bladder or bowels. This tissue which we call the ‘misplaced’ tissue can cause discomfort and pain leading to heavy menstrual flow and infertility. The pain is usually felt in the pelvic areas, lower back, abdomen etc. While some women show no such signs at all, difficulty in getting pregnant may be one of the first signs of endometriosis.
Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID)
Unlike males, females have an abdominal cavity that is exposed to the outside through the reproductive tract. This tract can be very susceptible to bacteria which make their way via the vagina and hence the uterus and the uterine tubes and finally the abdominal cavity. Inflammation of the peritoneum – the abdominal cavity causes abdominal pain. Gonorrheal infection is another cause of PID. Further, inflammation of the uterine tubes can potentially give rise to infertility.
These are one of the most commonly occurring noncancerous tumours in women usually observed in the childbearing age. Fibroids are muscle cells and tissues that grow around the walls of the uterus and womb, the cause of which is not known. Few of the signs are as follows:
- Painful and heavy menstrual flow, bleeding between periods
- A feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower back
- Difficulty in conceiving, frequent miscarriages, early labour
Not all women necessarily exhibit these signs. Studies have shown that some women have been diagnosed with fibroids but have not displayed any of these signs of discomfort.
Awareness and enlightenment about the gynaecological cancers are being provided as it is very challenging to detect cancer at early stages. These usually originate in the reproductive organs of the women and spread to various locations such as – within the pelvic area, area below the stomach and between the hip bones. There are 5 main gynecologic cancers:
- Ovarian cancer – they are the cancers of the ovaries which are present on each side of the uterus
- Cervical cancer – originates from the cervical region which forms the lower end of the uterus
- Vaginal cancer – Occurs in the vagina which is a hollow pipe-like structure between the outside of the body and the end of the uterus.
- Uterine cancer – Occurs in the uterus, the organ in the woman where the fetus develops when a woman is pregnant.
- Vulvar cancer – Originates in the vulva region which constitutes for the exterior region of the female genital organs.
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