Having control of one’s health is important, especially for women and girls. The woman’s reproductive system has many stages of growth; from when a girl is at the early stages of experiencing their first menstruation to when a woman gives birth all the way to menopause.
Miniature problems are prone to occur every once in a while in a woman’s body; which is perfectly normal until it is not. Parents are, therefore, an important part of the process.
It is important for parents to take the initiative and teach their children the importance of seeing gynecologists from an early age. It is sad that most African parents still feel a heavy burden on their shoulders when it comes to teaching their children about women’s health issues.
It is, however, mostly up to girls to take full control of their own bodies immediately they experience their first menstrual experience. This control includes a visit to the gynecological doctor.
Dr. John Ong’ech informs EDAILY that most of his patients range from the age of 20-30; which, he says, is not saddening. He advises that girls should see a gynecologist soon as they experience their first menstruation.
“The common age of women who come to see me are between the ages of 20-30, but is is advisable that as soon as a girl is menstruating, they need to go and see a gynecologist,” says Dr. Ong’ech.
EDAILY engaged Dr. Ong’ech on the most common gynecological problems women go through and these are some of the ones he mentioned:
This is a physiological problem that has ailed many women for a long time with some experiencing menstrual pains for days while others weeks.
It is normal to get worried when going through menstrual cramps every month but, when women have the right information, the worry significantly subsides.
According to Dr. Ong’ech, “Painful cramps, also medically known as dysmenorrhea, can be primary or secondary.”
“In primary dysmenorrhea there is no cause but in secondary there is a cause. The primary dysmenorrhea is just a normal physiologically painful period that every woman goes through.”
A gynecologist can distinguish the difference between the two so as to avoid experiencing doubts on whether the menstruation is primary or secondary.
“When it is secondary dysmenorrhea, it now graduates to a disease; could be that there is a clot in the uterus or endometriosis which is a condition whereby menstruation flows backwards into the ovary and the pelvic cavity hence causing a lot of pain before, during and after menses,” Dr. Ong’ech clarifies.
Although women do not like to talk about reproductive health issues, most women will experience a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime.
Dr. Ong’ech says a yeast infection presents itself in that “women get a thick like discharge, one that looks like yogurt.”
Sex is usually one of the causes but what we take as food and hygiene are the major causes of yeast infections.
“When women take a broad spectrum of antibiotics, like amoxicillin meant to treat tonsillitis or throat infection, they are likely to get a yeast infection,” he adds.
The medical personnel further insists that “if hygiene is not done properly, a woman is more likely to contract a yeast infection.”
This can be basic hygiene that involves bathing everyday to avoiding a lot of moisture in the genital area to even making sure that the clothes you wear are not ill-fitting so as to ensure there is good flow of air in the vaginal area.
Urinary Tract Infection.
“90% of the population think that if you have a vaginal infection, this means that you have a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infection is not caused by sex, it is a bacterial infection in the urinary tract system,” says Dr. Ong’ech.
Urinary Tract infection (U.T.I) is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract system. Some of the causes of a U.T.I is lack of drinking enough water, contamination from the toilet or even the lack of urgency to answer a call of nature.
Contamination is especially relate-able because most of the public toilets are not usually in good condition therefore it is important to be cautious when dealing with them.
On the other hand, most people do not answer to the call of nature because they are afraid of conditions of public toilets. It is therefore important to know what to do to make sure one answers the call of nature in a clean environment.
“It is also encouraged that people pass urine more often than not because when urine stays in the bladder for a long time, the urinary tract is prone to get infected,” adds Dr. Ongech.
According to the doctor, pregnant women are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections because they are more prone to changes in their bodies.
He advises that, “For a urinary tract infection, we give antibiotics to treat it and we encourage people to drink a lot of water.”
Taking control of your body as a woman or as a girl is an important process of ensuring reproductive health. Dr. Ongech insists that, from an early age, girls are encouraged to start the process of seeing a reproductive health doctor which and to make it a yearly process as the girl grows up.