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Mātai Arowahine | Gynaecology - Common concerns


If you have concerns about your health, it is important to visit your doctor or GP. For more information on how to be seen by National Women's, take a look at our page on getting a referral.

Pelvic floor concerns

A strong pelvic floor is important for bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual function.

Symptoms of a pelvic floor issues include:

  • chronic (constant) pelvic pain that radiates to the groin, abdomen and back
  • painful sexual intercourse
  • strong or frequent urge to urinate
  • burning during urination
  • urinary incontinence
  • vaginal burning
  • painful menstrual periods
  • difficulty with defecation and constipation.

For a range of information leaflets in multiple languages about pelvic floor concerns and procedures, visit the IUGA Your Pelvic Floor website.

Heavy bleeding

Many women think that heavy periods are a normal fact of life - 'My mum suffered it and I am suffering it?'  - so it is seen as a normal part of womanhood. 

Heavy periods are very common in women, and usually are not a sign of anything serious, but they can cause a big disruption to your life. Heavy periods can cause tiredness from low iron in the blood, or less commonly, anaemia (low red blood cells).

Heavy bleeding is hard to define, but if you have to change tampons or pads many times a day, avoid going out for fear of an 'accident' (flooding), have large clots, or have to get up in the night to change pads, then you almost certainly have heavy bleeding.  It is more common in women who have just started their periods or are coming up to menopause.

Please speak to your GP/doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. The cause can often be identified through tests and screening.

For more information, read our heavy bleeding pamphlet.

Pelvic pain

There are many potential causes of pelvic pain. If you are concerned, make an appointment with your doctor or GP.

Take a look at this Pelvic pain booklet for a comprehensive list of potential causes and how to deal with pelvic pain.


Endometriosis occurs when tissue that usually lines the uterus is found in other parts of the body.

Common symptoms include painful periods, painful intercourse, lower abdominal and/or back pain or pain passing bowel movements. Women may also experience heavy bleeding and constant fatigue (tiredness).

Treatment is surgery to remove lesions or adhesions, or in extreme cases removal of the entire uterus.

More information:


Menopause is the time when monthly periods end completely. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.

Symptoms vary hugely in severity. Some women experience very little comfort, others may find themselves having hot flushes, depression, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.

More information, check out the Health Navigator website.


Fibroids are benign tumours that grow in the muscle wall of the uterus. They are very common and detectable in about 30% of women over the age of 30.

Symptoms depend on the number, size and location. Fibroids can cause heavy, long periods; pelvic pain; bladder and bowel pressure; infertility problems.

More information:

Ovarian concerns

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled spaces in the ovary. Some may be removed.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is a complication of follicle stimulation, a part of egg production.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.