CA 125 blood test
CA 125 blood test measures the level of blood antigens that are considered tumor markers. Typically the CA 125 blood test is used monitor the progress of ovarian cancer. But the CA 125 blood test is not considered a very accurate diagnostic tool. This test is used in combination with trans vaginal ultrasound and pelvic examination. CA 125 blood tests often return false positive results. Besides hardly about 50% of women with ovarian cancer have elevated levels of CA 125. CA 125 levels can be elevated due to menstruation, endometriosis, fibroids and pregnancy. The newer CA 125 blood test is said to be more accurate. This test is called CA 125 - II. Readings of above 35 U/ml are considered abnormal. CA 125 blood test is used to check the effect of treatment on women suffering from ovarian cancer. It is not used to check otherwise healthy women for ovarian cancer.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Nearly 1 million women in the US alone suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease or PID each year; PID is an infection in the reproductive organs of a woman. It is essential to treat the symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease immediately when noticed. Failure to do so may lead to complications such as infertility and even can be life threatening. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as chlamydia or gonorrhea are often the cause for pelvic inflammatory disease. Women who have multiple sexual partners or partners with symptoms of chlamydia or gonorrhea infections are at a higher risk for PID. Some forms of contraception such as IUDs may put a woman at increased risk of PID. Surgical procedures such as D and C (Dilation and Curettage), insertion of IUD or treatment of an abnormal Pap smear can lead to pelvic inflammatory. Usually the cervix prevents the spread of bacteria into the internal organs. But when the cervix gets infected with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), disease-causing bacteria travel up the internal organs and damage the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and abdomen. Bacteria present in the vagina and cervix can also have a precipitating effect on the Pelvic Inflammation. Usually multiple organisms are responsible for a bout of PID. Spreading of the infection can lead to further inflammation and scarring.
Women suffering from PID experience high fever and chills. Dull pain in the lower abdomen and lower back are typical symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. A woman suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease may also experience fever and irregular menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are pain during intercourse and urination. Some women do not experience any symptoms at all. Laboratory tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea and urinary tract infection are conducted on a patient who might be suffering from PID. A pelvic ultrasound helps in looking for any abnormalities in the pelvic area or fallopian tubes. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can also be diagnosed with falloposcopy - a visual study of the inside of the fallopian tubes.
Treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease is based on pelvic examination and examination of the woman's sexual and menstrual history. Antibiotic therapy of Floxin is used as oral medication for PID. This is the first FDA approved oral therapy for PID. Other drugs used in combination for treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are Cefoxitin, Oflaxocin, Clindamycin. If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to severe and permanent damage of the reproductive organs.
The uterus lies in the pelvic cavity supported by connective tissue and pubococcygeus muscle. Uterine Prolapse is a condition where the uterus slides from its normal position into the vaginal cavity. This can be attributed to loss of muscle tone or weakening of the muscles holding the uterus against the pelvic wall. Uterine prolapse can occur due to aging or childbirth trauma on account of large babies or difficult labor. Other causes for uterine prolapse include pelvic tumor, obesity and chronic constipation. Lack of exercise and tight corsets can lead to uterine prolapse. Lack of adequate rest in the post pregnancy stage or heavy manual work can lead to uterine prolapse.
A woman suffering from uterine prolapse suffers lower back pain. There is a feeling of bearing down or heaviness in the pelvis. There may be increased frequency in urination and pain during sexual intercourse. A woman might suffer discomfort in the lower abdomen and heavy menstrual periods. Difficulty in passing stools, hemorrhoids and urinary tract infection might be noticed due to complications owing to uterine prolapse. A pelvic examination reveals any uterine Prolapse or protrusion of the cervix into the lower part of the vagina.
Treatment Options : In severe cases, reconstructive surgery restores the uterus to its correct position and then strengthens the pelvic floor. Sacral Colpopexy Sacrocolpopexy is a surgical procedure for reconstructing the pelvic organ.
Treatment for uterine prolapse depends on the degree of prolapse and the woman's age and general health condition. Vaginal pessaries may be able to hold the uterus in place for mild uterine prolapse. But there may be side-effects such as irritating and foul smelling discharge and ulcerations. Kegels exercises can go a long way in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Hormone therapy such as estrogen replacement can prevent further weakening of the pelvic muscles. Hysterectomy is the surgical option to treat uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse can be prevented with good antenatal care and proper rest and following correct lifting techniques.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 4, 2022