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A Conversation with Dr. Barry Jarnagin, Urogynecology Specialist with the Center for Pelvic HealthPelvic health is often overlooked in a woman’s healthcare routine and many women suffer unnecessarily from pelvic health problems. A third of women will be treated for one of the four main pelvic health issues before they are 60. Menorrhagia, Fibroids, Stress Urinary Incontinence, and Pelvic Organ Prolapse are the four most common pelvic problems. If you are experiencing any problems be sure to consult with your doctor.
Sometimes when I strain or laugh too hard a little urine slips out. Does this mean I have incontinence? What can I do about it?
At least 95% of women say they experience bladder leakage sometime in their life. This does not necessarily mean incontinence. If it is impacting your daily activities and causing you to avoid going out and doing what you like to do then you should see a doctor.There are several things that your doctor can do to help you. Don’t be embarrassed – chances are your doctor has seen many women with the same problem.
I have heard that the excessive bleeding of menorrhagia can be caused by cancer. Should I be worried?
Menorrhagia involves extremely heavy bleeding. It can be possible that it is caused by cancer but there are several other possibilities why women in their reproductive years experience heavy bleeding. If it occurs during the first years of menstruation or peri-menopause it is most likely that hormones are the culprit. Heavy bleeding is also common to women in their 30s. Fibroids are frequently the cause, but occasionally no cause can be found. If you are past menopause and experience any bleeding go to your doctor immediately because this could be a sign of a more serious problem.
What are the symptoms that would suggest I should see a doctor?
Ideally you should see your doctor before symptoms ever occur. Regular gynecological exams and physical checkups will help prevent some pelvic health conditions or catch it early on. If you are not able to go to a doctor regularly, a few symptoms to watch for are pain, incontinence, unusual bleeding, or a heavy, uncomfortable feeling in the lower abdomen. Also be sure to see a doctor if you have continual trouble emptying your bladder or bowels.
To schedule an appointment with any Saint Thomas Health Services physician, call 284-LIFE.