If you are worried about your gynaecological health, you can seek help from GPs, women's health clinics and specialists such as gynaecologists and endocrinologists.
Many women and people who menstruate experience regular, manageable periods, with few physical or psychological issues. Menstrual problems, however, are still very common and can significantly affect people's lives.
Menstrual problems can include:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition. It is relatively common, affecting 8-13% of people with ovaries. However, the majority of people go undiagnosed. People living with PCOS can experience irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, acne, obesity, reduced fertility and can have an increased risk of diabetes. PCOS can be diagnosed by taking a medical history, examination, blood tests and an ultrasound. Treatment for PCOS includes a healthy diet and exercise and targeted therapy such as hormones and medication.
Endometriosis, or 'endo' for short, is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body. Over 11% of Australian women experience endometriosis. Symptoms regularly start when you are a teenager. As symptoms can vary, there is on average a 7-12 year delay in diagnosis. Common symptoms include severe pelvic pain during a period. Endometriosis can affect fertility.
There are a number of conditions that may affect your vagina and vulva (the outside parts of your vagina). These condition can cause minor discomfort, or pain and irritation, but most are easily treatable. Vaginal/vulva conditions can include:
Whilst uncommon, cancer also can develop in the vagina and vulva.
Better Health Channel: Vulval conditions
Jean Hailes: Vulva-vaginal irritation
Royal Women's Hospital: Vulva-vagina problems
Family Planning Victoria: Vulval health
What's Going On Down There
Women's Health Victoria: Labia library
Cancer Council Australia: Vaginal cancer
Cancer Council Australia: Vulva cancer