Heartburn during pregnancy

Heartburn is a term used to describe a burning pain or discomfort in the chest and upper abdomen. The actual medical term for it is gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is quite common for pregnant women to experience the symptoms of heartburn, which usually come and go until delivery. It can start anytime during the pregnancy period and may worsen as the pregnancy progresses (second or third trimester). While it can be uncomfortable or painful, heartburn by itself will not harm the baby.

Symptoms and signs

  • Burning pain in the center of the chest and the upper abdomen, frequently accompanied by an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Belching (burping).
  • Nausea with or without vomiting.
  • Persistent throat irritation, with or without irritating dry cough.

Read moreHeartburn during pregnancy

Benign ovarian cysts

The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that contain eggs and will release them on a regular basis (usually monthly in the majority of the women). It also produces female and male hormones. An ovarian cyst is abnor¬mal growth in the ovary and can be either solid or cystic. It can be divided into either a benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) type. Benign or non-cancerous cysts do not invade neighboring tissue the way malignant cyst does. The exceptionally large ovarian cyst often turns out to be benign.

The term ovarian cyst refers to abnormal growth in the ovary that contains mainly fluid, although occasionally some solid component may be present as well.

Symptoms and signs

Read moreBenign ovarian cysts

Breast Cancer: The importance of Self Breast Examination

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women. In Malaysia, the overall lifetime risk of developing Breast cancer is 1 in 27, with 1 in 22 for Chinese, 1 in 23 for Indians and 1 in 30 for Malays.

Breast cancer is curable if detected early and treated appropriately. One must be mindful of how our breast feels. What is normal for one person, may not be normal for someone else. Only YOU know what is normal for You. Hence Self Breast Examination (SBE) is particularly important. It is quite easy to do and can be done by any woman independently. Self Breast Examination is best done 10 days after one’s period or if you are post-menopause, then pick any day of the month as a routine.

 

Steps to check your breast

Step 1 – Stand in front of the mirror and look at your breast (picture 1). Look for changes in shape and size, any dimpling in the skin, any hyper pigmentation. Look at your nipple and look for skin changes. Raised both your hands above your head and look to see if your breast moves symmetrically. Then bend forward to see the shape and size again

Read moreBreast Cancer: The importance of Self Breast Examination

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray examination that is used to evaluate the uterine cavity and to check for patency of the fallopian tubes (whether the tubes are blocked).

INDICATIONS (REASONS FOR PROCEDURE)

  • Infertility (difficulty in conceiving).
  • Confirm tubal and uterine abnormalities.
  • Recurrent miscarriages.
  • Follow-up to some surgical procedures.

CONTRA-INDICATIONS TO THE PROCEDURE

  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Pregnancy.
  • Recent curettage or active genital tract infection.

Read moreHysterosalpingogram (HSG)

Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (womb) resulting in inability to become pregnant and immediate cessation of menstruation. It is a common operation and may involve removal of the cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes at the same time.
Please discuss all aspects of this surgical procedure, its risks and benefits, and any possible alternative therapies. Your health care provider will help you decide which type of hysterectomy is appropriate for you, depending on your indications for surgery and your medical history.

Types of hysterectomy

Read moreHysterectomy (removal of the uterus)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) refers to a spectrum of clinical problems due to hormonal and metabolic imbalance, which can affect the reproductive and endocrine systems.

 

 

How Common?

PCOS affects 5-10% of all women of childbearing age regardless of race or nationality. It may begin during puberty and become more severe with time.

Read morePolycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Hysteroscopy (diagnostic and operative)

The hysteroscope is a small lighted telescope used for visual examination of the cervix and the uterus to help diagnose and treat abnormalities in the cervical canal or the uterine cavity. If it is used to look for the cause of the presenting problem, it is term as diagnostic hysteroscopy. If it involves some form of surgical procedures such as removal of growths (endometrial polyps or fibroids), removal of the lining or separation of adhesions, then it is called operative hysteroscopy. In many cases, both procedures are done concurrently – the so-called “see and treat” approach.

Reasons for the procedure

  • Evaluation and treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding.
  • To look for the displaced and removal of the intrauterine device (IUD).
  • Evaluation for infertility (difficulty in conceiving) or recurrent miscarriage.
  • Uterine polyps, fibroids or adhesions (which is called Ashermann’s syndrome).
  • Obstructed fallopian tubes.
  • Congenital malformations of the uterus

Read moreHysteroscopy (diagnostic and operative)

Anaesthesia and Analgesia in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr. William Morton demonstrated the first public administration of ether anaesthesia in the operating theatre of the Massachusetts General Hospital on the 16th October 1846
That day is remembered as a milestone in anaesthesia and celebrated as World Anaesthesia Day.
From that date onward, many progresses have been made in the field of anaesthesia, and more so specifically for the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology.

On the 16th August 1897, a German surgeon by the name of Dr. August Bier administered the first spinal anaesthetic. Spinal anaesthesia becomes one of the most popular methods of administering a patient pain free from surgery of the lower limbs, lower abdomen and Caesarean sections and is still widely used.

Read moreAnaesthesia and Analgesia in Obstetrics and Gynaecology