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Patient Information

At Oxford Women's Health we want you to understand as much as possible about any procedure that our clinicians discuss with you.  Please see the information below regarding specific conditions and procedures - simply select the link that interests you:

chronic pelvic pain

Chronic pelvic pain, in general, is persisitent pain experienced in the pelvic area (below the belly button) lasting six months or longer.

Chronic pelvic pain is different for every person.  It can be caused by disorders of the female reproductive tract (gynaecologic), or the digestive system, urinary system, or irritation in the muscles and nerves in the pelvis.

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endometrial ablation

Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that removes the inside layer (the endometrium) or lining of the uterus.  The endometrium is the part that sheds each month as a period (menstruation).

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endometriosis
 
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect women of reproductive age.  It occurs when endometrial-like tissue (similar to the tissue that lines the uterus (womb)) exists in other parts of the body - most commonly in the pelvis.
 
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heavy menstrual bleeding
 
While there are medical definitions for heavy menstrual bleeding, the only practical definition is when there is excessive menstrual blood loss that interferes with your physical, emotional, social and general quality of life.
 
Monthly periods are an individual experience and women who have always had heavy periods will consider this normal.  However, if you believe that your periods are either unusually heavy, prolonged or both, there are many different treatment options available to you.
 
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hysterectomy
 
Hysterectomy is an operation where the uterus (womb) is removed.
 
There are different types of hysterectomy, which may include your ovaries and/or fallopian tubes being removed at the time of surgery.
 
A 'total hysterectomy' means that the uterus and the cervix (neck of the uterus) are removed - this is the most common type of hysterectomy.  A 'subtotal' hysterectomy means that the uterus is removed but the cervix is not - this is a less common operation.
 
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hysteroscopy
 
A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus (womb).
 
It is carried out using a narrow telescope, called the hysteroscope, which is inserted through the cervix (opening of the womb) into the uterus.  The hysteroscope is connected to a light and camera, which sends images to a monitor so that your gynaecologist is able to see inside the uterus.
 
As the hysteroscope is passed into your uterus through the vagina and cervix, no cut needs to be made in your skin.
 
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laparoscopy
 
Laparoscopy is commonly called 'keyhole surgery'.  It is a procedure in which a surgical telescope and camera are passed through a small cut, 'keyhole', in the abdomen - usually in the umbilicus (belly button).
 
Carbon dioxide gas is used to gently inflate your abdomen during laparoscopy to enable your gynaecologist to see your pelvic organs.  This allows them to look at, and operate on, the organs of the pelvis and abdomen.  Instruments can be passed through one or more other small cuts in the wall of the abdomen.
 
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menopause
 
Menopause is often referred to as the 'change of life' because it marks the end of a woman's reproductive life.  Menopause literally means that a woman has had her last (or final) menstrual period.
 
Most women become menopausal between the ages of 45 and 60 with the average age for Australian and New Zealand women being 51 years.
 
Each woman will experience her menopause in her own way.  Symptoms can vary between women, as will their intensity.  These symptoms are commonly short lived but, for some women, will persist for over a decade.
 
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pelvic organ prolapse
 
The organs within a woman's pelvis consist of the uterus (womb), vagina, bladder and bowel.  Normally they are held in place by a supportive hammock of muscles, ligaments and tissue that lie across your pelvis known as the pelvic floor.  When this supporting tissue is weakened, it no longer holds these organs in the correct position, causing the pelvic organs to prolapse.
 
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a bulge or lump in the vagina, which may affect your quality of life.  Symptoms may include a heavy, dragging feeling or lump in the vagina, bladder or bowel problems and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
 
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pudendal neuralgia
 
Pudendal Neuralgia is pain from the pudendal nerve that affects the skin between your pubic bone and your tail bone.
 
The pudendal nerve carries the sensations of touch and pain from the skin between the anus and the clitoris, as well as the sphincters (muscles that keep the openings of the bladder and bowel closed).
 
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stress urinary incontinence
 
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is when you leak urine or wet yourself during activity.
 
Women with this condition often leak urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze, exercise or do anything that puts pressure on their bladder.  This is caused by a weakness in the structures that support the bladder neck and urethra, which means they cannot stay fully closed during exertion, which allows urine to escape.
 
SUI is extremely common.  Often called 'light bladder leakage', it can affect up to 1 in 3 women.  Some women find it burdensome and embarrassing, which results in a negative impact on their quality of life and prevents them from seeking medical help.  There are a range of simple, effective treatments available.
 
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