Med-Surg - Reproductive System, part 3: Female Reproductive Disorders
by Cathy Parkes November 29, 2022 Updated: August 10, 2023 4 min read
Full transcript and video captions coming soon!
Hi, I'm Cathy with Level Up RN. In this video, I'll be talking about a number of female reproductive disorders including fibrocystic breast condition, menopause, pelvic organ prolapse, and many others. At the end of the video, I will be giving you guys a little quiz to test your knowledge of some of the key points I'll be covering in the video, so definitely stay tuned for that. And I will be following along with our Level Up RN Medical-Surgical Nursing Flashcards. So if you have our flashcards, definitely pull those out and follow along with me and pay close attention to the bold red text on the cards because these represent the most important and testable facts that you need to know in nursing school. Fibrocystic breast condition is not a cancerous condition. With this disorder, we have changes in the breasts, which include the development of fibrotic connective tissue and the development of cysts. So this condition is associated with a hormonal imbalance, specifically elevated levels of estrogen. Symptoms include breast pain as well as movable, tender, rubber-like cysts that commonly occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. And that's super important to know in nursing school. So diagnosis of this condition can be done using an ultrasound, and treatment is really supportive. So this can include analgesics, a supportive bra, as well as the application of heat or cold, depending on what makes it feel better. In addition, decreasing caffeine intake can help decrease the pain and tenderness associated with fibrocystic breast condition. The good news is that for most females, the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition will be reduced or go away completely after menopause when estrogen levels come down.
I'm now going to touch on a number of gynecologic disorders starting with menorrhagia. So with menorrhagia, we have prolonged and/or excessive bleeding, and this can lead to anemia. Our cool chicken hint to remember this disorder is with menorrhagia, you nearly hemorrhage. Dysmenorrhea means painful menstruation, and amenorrhea means lack of menstruation. Things that can cause a lack of menstruation include pregnancy, medications such as contraceptives, endocrine disorders such as Cushing's disease, low body weight, which may be present in patients who have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Endometriosis is a disorder where we have the growth of endometrial tissue which normally lines the inside of the uterus growing outside of the uterus. This can cause pelvic pain as well as dysmenorrhea, and it's a common cause of infertility as well. And then PMS or premenstrual syndrome is likely a disorder that many of you are familiar with. It's very common, and it can cause symptoms such as irritability, depression, breast tenderness, bloating, and headache, just to name a few. In terms of treatment of PMS, lifestyle modifications can be helpful and include things like decreasing sodium intake as well as increasing exercise. Medications are also used in the treatment of PMS, and those include analgesics, antidepressants, as well as hormonal medications.
Let's now talk about menopause. Menopause is the time when menstruation stops. It typically occurs around 50 years of age. So when an individual has not had a period for 12 or more months, then they are in menopause. Menopause, unfortunately, causes a lot of undesirable signs and symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, decreased vaginal secretions, decreased bone density, mood swings, as well as sleep disturbances. One option to address these symptoms is hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can prevent hot flashes. It can reduce vaginal tissue atrophy, and it can decrease the risk for bone fractures. However, hormone therapy increases the risk for an embolic event such as an MI, stroke, or DVT, and it also increases the risk for breast cancer, so the decision to go on hormone therapy should not be made lightly. If your patient does decide to take hormone therapy, then as the nurse, you want to make sure they are well aware of the signs and symptoms of these embolic events, and then they should take measures to decrease their risk of having a blood clot, such as stopping smoking if that applies to them.
Lastly, we're going to talk about pelvic organ prolapse, which is where one or more pelvic organs fall down or slip out of place. With a cystocele, we have protrusion of the bladder through the anterior vaginal wall, and this can lead to urinary tract infections as well as stress incontinence. With uterine prolapse, we have the uterus protruding into the vagina, and this is caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. And with a rectocele, we have protrusion of the rectum through the posterior vaginal wall. This can lead to constipation as well as hemorrhoids. Risk factors associated with pelvic organ prolapse include childbirth and pregnancy, obesity, chronic constipation, as well as decreased estrogen. Treatment options include Kegel exercises, intravaginal estrogen, surgical repair, as well as vaginal pessaries. So vaginal pessaries are small, removable devices that are placed inside the vagina and provide support to the bladder, uterus, or rectum.
All right. It's time for a quiz. I've got three questions for you. First question, with fibrocystic breast condition, where are the cysts commonly found in the breasts? The answer is in the upper outer quadrant. Question number two, what menstrual disorder is characterized by excessive bleeding and anemia? The answer is menorrhagia. And question number three, what type of pelvic organ prolapse causes the protrusion of the bladder through the anterior vaginal wall? The answer is cystocele. All right. That is it for this video. Let me know how you did on that quiz in the comments, and stay tuned for my next video because I will be talking about male reproductive disorders. Take care and good luck with studying.
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