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The Birthplace Blog

Filtering by Tag: Urine Incontinence

Menopause: Pausing Periods, Not Life!

The Birthplace


Women's Wellness - Image.png

‘That time of the month’ is often the phase characterised by mood swings, cramps, pain and discomfort. Women share a love-hate relationship with their periods. Often times, the onset of periods brings about tremendous changes in a woman’s life - right from altering her physical appearance, to changing her routine completely. This is the time when women are worried about staining their clothes and plan important events in a way that they don’t clash with their periods. One thing that crosses many young girls’ minds when they first have their periods is - when will this thing end?

The answer to this question is simple - periods end when menopause happens.

Understanding Menopause

Medically defined as the full-stop to a woman’s fertility, menopause marks the end of menstruation in a woman’s life. While it might seem like a really good deal that life has to hand over to you (imagine, you don’t need a period tracker, you don’t have to worry getting your periods when you are on a vacation and all that), what menopause actually introduces is a different ball game altogether.

 Menopause happens when a woman hasn’t had her periods for 12 consecutive months. Typically, the average age for menopause is 51 years, but many women experience an early onset, too. When the ovaries produce less reproductive hormones and there is a considerable decline in estrogen (needed to regulate your periods) and progesterone (needed for pregnancy), that’s when the symptoms of menopause begin to appear. It also often triggers the rise of another hormone called follicular stimulating hormone or FSH.

When Will You Have Menopause And How Long Will It Last?

There are a lot of factors that determine when you will hit this phase. Even though the average age, like mentioned above, is 45-55 years, yet, your genetic make-up, your body type and health will play a role. The symptoms of menopause, which we will describe in the paragraphs to come, start anywhere between 2-4 years before you have your last period, and might go on till around 5 years after that.

What Does Menopause Do To Your Body?

Just like the beginning of puberty brings about evident physical and psychological changes, the onset of menopause also has the same impacts. While the absence of periods might seems like a great relief, yet, the symptoms of this phase can impact you more than you can think.

  • Period Problems: One of the most common impacts that the onset of menopause, or what is typically known as perimenopause, is problems in your menstruation. This can range from irregular periods, or changes in your flow - while sometimes you’d experience a very light period, on other occasions, you might experience heavy bleeding. During this phase, it’s important that you be mentally prepared as your periods can arrive without much warning, or be absent for long.

  • Lack of Sleep or Insomnia: Menopause is characterised by hot flashes, when your upper body feels warm, and night sweats, when you break into a sweat while you are sleeping. It’s obvious therefore that these lead to disturbed sleep cycles, often times causing insomnia.

  •  Vaginal Dryness: Decline in the production of estrogen can lead to genital tract atrophy, which is known to cause problems in the vulva and vaginal region, because of which you might experience swelling of the genital region, vaginal dryness and consequently, painful sexual intercourse.

  •  Urinary Issues: Such issues become very common with advancing age, yet, the impact that menopause has on the urinary system is quite high. If you are going through menopause, you are more susceptible to urinary tract infections or UTIs and you would also have an urge to visit the washroom often, which in medical terms will be explained to you as urinary incontinence. 

  •  Mood Swings and Cognitive difficulties: Just like your premenstrual symptoms or PMS as it’s popularly known as, mood swings will become a part of your routine when you hit menopause. Because your body is going through several hormonal changes, it is likely to impact your mood, as well as your cognitive abilities like remembering things.

  •  Physical Changes: While puberty results in a growth spurt, both in terms of your breasts and bodily hair, menopause does the exact opposite. If you find that you need to switch to a smaller bra size, then don’t be worried - it’s probably one of the effects of menopause. It might also lead to hair fall and thinning of hair.

Apart from these, palpitations, regular headaches, muscle and bone pain, stiff joints and weight gain can be clear signals that you are going through menopause.

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.  To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.

To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Early Menopause: The Causes And Impacts?

Menopause is a natural process, so please don’t consider it as a disease or disorder. As the body ages, its ability to produce certain hormones also decreases. Like mentioned before, when the levels of estrogen and progesterone come down, your body prepares itself for a goodbye to periods. However, apart from natural causes, there are a few other reasons why you might have an early menopause.

  • Hysterectomy: This is the procedure of removing your uterus, ovaries or both. If only your uterus is removed, you will not have menopause immediately, and the transition will be gradual. However, if your uterus and both your ovaries are removed, you will stop producing estrogen and progesterone, will cause immediate menopause.

  • Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy and radiation, as you understand, have several radical impacts on your body, one of them being menopause. Sometimes, however, many women observe the return of their periods after a prolonged absence.

  • Ovarian Issues: Lifestyle and other health issues could cause your ovaries to have issues. Such problems might impact that the production of certain hormones, which in turn trigger the onset of menopause.

Early menopause is often associated with higher risks of cardiovascular diseases, anxiety and depression and psychosexual disorders.

Diagnosis of Menopause

Menopause is clinically confirmed if you are 45 or above and you haven’t had your periods in 12 straight months. Even though this is one way of diagnosing menopause, yet, your gynaecologist is likely to carry out some tests to rule out anything else. During this consultation, your doctor will check for:

  1. Your last period, the kind of flow you experienced and whether it was regular or late.

  2. Medications you are using, if any.

  3. Your symptoms and how long you have been having them for.

 Once that is done, your gynecologist might also ask for the following tests:

  1. Vaginal pH levels (women in the reproductive age have a level of 4.5, while a level of 6 could indicate menopause)

  2. A Thyroid Test

  3. Lipid Profile

  4. Liver Function Test

  5. Kidney Function Test

 Even though there are some kits available to check for yourself, yet, it’s always best to consult a reputed gynaecologist for a proper diagnosis.

Will Menopause Impact Your Sex Life?

Menopause causes several of your hormones to be in a state of imbalance. Because your production of estrogen and testosterone (yes, women also have it) has decreased, it might contribute to a lower sex drive. Apart from that, other symptoms such as mood swings and muscular pain might also prevent you from enjoying sex. 

Lower production of estrogen could also limit blood supply to your vagina, resulting in swelling and dryness. This could impact sex as well, making it slightly more uncomfortable and painful than usual.

However, you needn’t lose hope! Some studies have suggested that many women report having an increased sexual appetite because of the lower chances of pregnancy. While most women hit menopause after their children-related responsibilities are taken care of, the chances of having more relaxed sex also increases!

Managing Menopause: The Guidelines

The phase of menopause can be quite a challenging one, especially because some of the symptoms will leave your drained and in pain. The first step is to be calm and gather more information about it, so that you can manage the symptoms well. There are some things that you can do to help yourself.

  • Eat right: Include plenty of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet

  • Avoid drinking and smoking

  • Massage your breasts with herbal oils

  • Use lubricants to have better sex

  • Do not stop using birth control measures till your doctor asks you to

  • Keep yourself engaged in activities to help your mood swings

  • Exercise well to manage your weight gain

  • Kegel exercises can help with your sex life as well as urinary incontinence

 Why Do You Need To Visit A Gynecologist?

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You are capable of managing many of the symptoms, but the absence of periods might not necessarily mean menopause. So, it’s essential to confirm the cause and only a gynaecologist can help with that. Apart from that, if your symptoms are severe, your doctor will be able to suggest several treatment options including hormone replacement therapy or HRT to help you.

Please understand that you are not alone in this journey. At the Birthplace, we intend to help you sail through the phase of menopause with maximum comfort and information. Our doctors listen to your concerns and recommend treatments and therapies based on your needs. So, don’t do this alone. Let us join forces with you to help you live your life on your own terms!


Vaginal Rejuvenation: The Route to Painless Happiness

The Birthplace


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She’s happy with a meal of leftovers from her children’s plate. She’s happy being the trouble-shooter of the family. From being the designated chef to the homework master, women often make their families their world, protecting and nurturing them with all their love and care.

From being a daughter and sister to being a wife and mother, it’s beautiful how you can transition into any role effortlessly. That’s partly because as a woman, selflessness comes to you quite easily and putting others before yourself is just a natural instinct.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that you ignore the ‘small niggles’ your health encounters, often labelling them as nothing serious. Even though this might bring great satisfaction, yet, ladies, you need to understand that it’s only when you are healthy will you be happy in the truest sense of the term.


Genital Wellness: A Topic That Needs Attention

Many women often take their genital well-being very lightly. Even though some attention is being paid to this important aspect with the introduction of creams and other products specifically for female genitalia, yet, most women either feel embarrassed to talk about it, or just brush it under the carpet thinking it’s not necessary at all.

The fact of the matter is problems in the female intimate parts have more repercussions than one in the overall health of a woman and they need to be addressed by booking an appointment with a reputed obstetrician and gynecologist. Before we get into details of what those problems are, it’s important for you to understand everything about the female genitalia.

Structure of The Female Genitalia: What Is Normal And What Is Not

The female genitalia is a rather complex system. There are several parts that together form the external reproductive organs in women and all of these parts are extremely critical in their own ways. Broadly, these parts can be categorised as:

  • The Mons Pubis: This is the soft fleshy part that covers the upper portion of the pubic bone. One of the characteristics of this portion is that upon puberty, one can find hair growth here.

  • Labia Majora: Literally translating to big lips, it refers to the folds that cover some of the internal genital parts.

  • Labia Minora: These are the fleshy parts that lie inside the labia majora and loosely translate to small lips. The texture of this not the usual skin-like appearance of the labia majora - it’s moist because of the presence of blood vessels that give it a pink colour. This part covers the opening of the urethra and the vagina.

  • Introitus: This is the opening to the vagina and it is where the penis enters during intercourse. This is also the part through which menstrual bleeding and the final stages of childbirth happen.

  • Clitoris: This sensitive part is located between the labia minora at their upper end. Its most important function is during intercourse.

  • Vagina: Then of course, there’s vagina where the sperm gets deposited to kick-start reproduction.

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.  To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.

To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Even though every woman has her own unique body type and the shapes and sizes of genitalia might differ, yet, there are a few things that are not normal. It’s important to understand these problems so that the doctor can take corrective measures without wasting too much time. 

While bulging of the labia minora during arousal is normal, yet, if you find that the inner or outer lips are enlarged most of the times, it might be indicative of a problem. Apart from posing health threats, such bulging could also prevent you from opting for certain types of clothing and might dampen your confidence.

Any itching or redness should be addressed immediately. It could be hiding an infection that could impact your routine life. Also talk to your doctor if you are suffering from smelly or discoloured discharge. Urinary incontinence could be another problem as well. If the appearance of your genital parts bother you (like looseness), your doctor will be the best person to suggest treatments to you.

Problems in Female Genitalia

Being an extremely complex yet sensitive region, any problem in the female genitalia should not be ignored. There are appearance related issues that crop up after a certain age, but they are not limited to that. Problems in the region could include:

  1. Loose muscles, causing problems in appearance

  2. Infections

  3. Loss of elasticity in vaginal muscles due to sex, childbirth or age

  4. Urinary Incontinence

  5. Vaginal Dryness

  6. Vaginismus

Even though these are just a few problems that we have outlined, there are several other issues, like we had mentioned above, that have burning, pain while urinating and excessive vaginal discharge as symptoms. Whatever the case might be, since the genitalia plays a critical role in your sexual and overall well-being, any aberration must be immediately reported to your doctor.

How Do These Problems Impact Your Life?

Imagine being inside an important meeting, delivering the presentation you have been meticulously working upon. Just when you are about to present the game-changer, your bladder alerts you. You had just gone to the washroom right before the meeting, but you still have the urge to relieve yourself immediately. It’s most probably caused by urinary incontinence. Now imagine you sneeze and you feel a trickle. That’s stress incontinence. It’s not a very pleasant situation, obviously.

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Problems in your genital area could have a direct impact on your sexual well-being as well. That can have ripple effects on your relationships and overall mental health as well. Apart from these important points, the appearance of the genital area has a lot to do with the levels of confidence many women have.

It therefore becomes critical to identify these issues with the help of a reputed doctor and get them treated as soon as possible, so that you are spared from having long-term impacts.

So, What Are Your Options: Surgical Help?

With plastic and cosmetic surgery seeing a demand unlike anytime in history, for many women, a surgical reconstruction looks like the only option. However, not many of you opt for it because of various reasons.

  • In a country like India, many women find it embarrassing and difficult to talk about issues down there.

  • Surgical options are expensive

  • They are also perceived to be very painful.

  • The downtime involved is quite high, keeping you off your hectic routine for far too long.

Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation: The Significance

With healthcare progressing leaps and bounds, painless and non-surgical interventions are taking on almost every aspect of medicine. From minimally-invasive surgeries to incision less and scarless procedures, healthcare now provides ‘tear-less’ solutions to several health conditions. That’s where cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology comes into the picture.

With several non-surgical methods to help women achieve healthy genitalia without the need for surgical procedures, cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology is the next big thing for women. Let’s understand how non-surgical procedures can help you.

  • Vaginal Laxity: When the vaginal muscles lose their tightness, they could bring along several problems for women associated with body image and sex life. The causes of vaginal laxity are often attributed to age, hormones and most of the times, childbirth. With the use of lasers and RF (Radio Frequency), doctors are now able to tighten the vaginal canal, as both these procedures uses heat to promote collagen production.

  • Labia Majora Looseness: With age, the labia majora could lose its volume, thereby affecting appearance and the confidence levels of the woman. Rejuvenation and contouring of labia majora is now possible with the use of dermal fillers that give it the volume it needs. In this case too, laser and RF can be used if the doctor feels it will be effective.

  • Urinary Incontinence: Believe it or not, now your embarrassingly high number of loo visits can be cut short using cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology. Specific treatments are administered to fix stress and urinary incontinence. 

  • Scar Correction: If you have had a surgical procedure down there, it could leave behind scars that might affect you psychologically. With the use of non-surgical treatments, your doctor can now correct stretch marks, cesarean scars and episiotomy scars.

  • Vaginal Dryness: With what is now popularly known as the ‘O’ shot or a shorter version of orgasm shot, women can now experience easy arousal and bid goodbye caused due to vaginal dryness. PRP or platelet rich plasma is drawn from your own blood and injected just above the clitoris. This helps reduce pain during sex and promotes more natural lubrication.

  • Others: Right from taking care of your mons pubis, to fixing wrinkles in your intimate area, non-surgical aesthetic and cosmetic gynaecology procedures can help get rid of vaginismus and even help you bleach the sensitive area down there. They also take care of recurrent vaginal infections, especially after normal deliveries and during the perimenopausal period.

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Choose The Right Doctor

Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology is a relatively new field and not many have ventured into it. Even though it looks like a great option, you should always be careful as to who you get it done from. If these procedures are performed by capable doctors, you will not experience any pain, but there are chances of mild discomfort. In that case, please notify your doctor so that appropriate medical action can be taken. You might experience mild vaginal discharge too, which your doctor will tell you about. However, any excessive discharge must be brought to the doctor’s notice immediately.

At Hyderabad, The Birthplace is the pioneer in this field. With reputed doctors and state-of-the-art equipment to assist the experienced hands, if you are thinking of getting vaginal rejuvenation done, please do visit us and we’ll be happy to help!