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Opinions of Thursday, 18 January 2018

Columnist: Liz Amoaa

Fighting gynaecological issues as an African woman

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Coming from an African background roots myself. Topics regarding gynaecological issues are rarely discussed therefore many women and young girls suffer in silence or lack the opportunity to seek adequate medical assistance.

This is what drove Special lady to create an awareness on these unspoken topics in order to reach out to women and young girls suffering from endometriosis, uterine fibroids, duplex uterus, infertility and other gynaecological issues.

Fertility seems to be a taboo topic among African society, a lot of our women go through emotional, mental and physical abuses for being infertile. We tend to ignore the issues on infertility, illness such as fibroids, Endometriosis, PCOS, uterine malformations (Double uterus etc).

Many of our women lose their lives or the babies due to these conditions etc. Trying to conceive can sometimes be very difficult for women who suffer from infertility, and what makes it worse is the pressure society placed on these women not being able to have a biological child.

Fibroids are non- cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb (Uterus). Some women have no symptoms when they have fibroids however, fibroids can cause symptoms depending on the sizes and location within the uterus and how close they are to other pelvic organs.

These symptoms are nausea, fatigue, heavy irregular bleeding, pelvis and lower back pains as well as pain during sexual intercourse. Having fibroids can increase chances of miscarriage or infertility. Treatments depend on the size of the fibroids.

Endometriosis can affect a person’s career, relationships, lifestyle and goals in life. In the UK doctors can take over 10years to diagnose a patient since the symptoms are mostly ignored. The symptoms are Chronic fatigue, anaemia, pelvis and lower pain pains, irregular menstrual periods, pain during sex, recurrent miscarriages, mood swings, imbalance hormones etc.

This condition is invisible and incurable, and it can spread to other parts of the internal organs (Lungs, Bladder, Kidneys even the Brain).it decreases the effectiveness of the immune systems which could result to other serious illness like cancer. Therefore, women with endometriosis have an increased in risk for cancer, known as epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work, features are irregular periods, high levels of male hormones in a woman body which may cause facial or body hair and ovaries becoming enlarged. The symptoms are similar to Endometriosis and is not curable, but symptoms can be treated same as Endometriosis

Another gynaecological issue that most people are not aware of is uterine malformation. An example is the Uterus Didelphys also called Duplex uterus, it represents a uterine malformation in a female fetus, where a pair of uterus form a larger hallow organ which is called uterus, but in this case, it fails to join to be one uterus therefore the female child will be born with two uteruses and in some cases two cervixes and rarely two vaginas.

Symptoms are painful periods, menstrual cramps, miscarriages and difficulties in conceiving. Some women with a duplex uterus have normal pregnancy however, the majority have a premature birth and difficult pregnancy since they are at a higher risk to miscarriages and stillbirth etc.

Although all these conditions can have an effect on the woman or young girl’s health, career, relationship and goals in life, eating healthy improve the chances of getting rid of these gynaecological issues and conditions. Also, drinking lots water, drinking herbal tea, avoiding red meat, fizzy drinks and cutting down sugar intake are the best way to improve immune systems.

To sum up we are all special irrespective of our medical conditions, therefore it is perfectly normal to seek medical advice and assistance on your own well -being.