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Conditions Treated

The Portland Hospital is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to diagnose, treat and manage both common and highly complex gynaecological conditions.

We provide treatment for the full range of gynaecological conditions including early pregnancy care, abnormal smears, endometriosis, fibroids and urinary tract infections. Please note that these services are charged in addition to the consultant’s fee.

Gynaecology treatments are advancing rapidly and we specialise in the latest minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques which can often reduce time spent in hospital and your recovery period.

We can treat minor conditions in our outpatient consulting and treatment rooms and surgical procedures take place in our three operating theatres with all the necessary back-up facilities. If you’re staying with us overnight, you will be cared for on our 12 bed gynaecology ward.

If your smear test has an abnormal result, you will be advised to have a colposcopy. This procedure provides more information about the abnormal cells. During the relatively pain free procedure, the consultant will use a magnifying device called a colposcope to examine the cervix and the vagina. The examination will determine where the abnormality is and whether a biopsy needs to be taken.

You can usually book in for a colposcopy on the same day and the results will be available within 7 days. Your consultant will discuss the results with you and suggest a further treatment plan if necessary.

Colposcopies take place in the outpatient clinic and are always performed by an accredited colposcopist and a nurse to assist and support you.

Cystitis is an infection of the bladder. The bladder is the part of the urinary tract that collects the urine from the kidneys which normally contains no micro-organisms. However, sometimes bacteria or yeast from the lower gastrointestinal tract or rectal area enter the urinary tract, usually through the urethra (tube that allows urine to pass out from the bladder). When bacteria or yeast cling to the urethra, they can multiply and infect the urethra. They can then travel up and infect the bladder. Most cases of cystitis are caused by bacteria from the rectal area.

There is another important form of cystitis called interstitial cystitis where women may experience persistent urethral sensitivity especially at the start and towards the end of passing urine. Interstitial cystitis can be treated easily when recognised early. A simple minor telescope operation (cystoscopy and hydrodistention of bladder) can numb the bladder temporarily to allow further treatment to seal the cracks of the bladder lining.

Bacterial and interstitial cystitis may sometimes occur together and cause severe symptoms not relieved by courses of antibiotics. In such cases, special combination treatment to eradicate the bacteria and protect the bladder lining is essential for complete cure of the pelvic pain.

Diagnostic infertility tests help couples who are having problems conceiving, including internal tests to check for blocked tubes, ovulation tests and ultrasound scans of the pelvis to check for any abnormalities. Before any testing is carried out, it is important that a detailed medical history is taken by one of our specialists. Should the need for fertility treatment arise, we work closely with the Fertility Unit at our sister hospital, The Lister Hospital, to provide seamless, high-quality care throughout your treatment.

Early pregnancy care is a specialty within our Women’s Health department.

Endometriosis is a chronic and common condition where the endometrial tissue – usually only found inside the womb – develops outside the womb, commonly on the organs in the abdomen and pelvis.

This tissue responds to hormones as it would in the womb; the tissue swells, breaks down and bleeds and is unable to pass from the body during menstruation. Instead the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed and causes pain, often causing scarring.

Endometriosis is diagnosed through a laparoscopic (keyhole) examination. At The Portland Hospital this procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic as a daycase procedure by a specialist consultant gynaecologist.

If endometriosis is confirmed, your consultant may treat this at the same time, with your prior consent, using laparoscopic techniques.

Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths which form in the womb, made up of muscle fibre. The size of fibroids can vary widely, from the size of a pea to as large as a melon. Fibroids are most common in women in their 30s and 40s and they tend to shrink after the menopause.

Our specialist Imaging team uses advanced ultrasound techniques to diagnose fibroids and your consultant gynaecologist will offer the most appropriate treatment depending on your symptoms.

Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids, and is the procedure of choice for women with symptomatic fibroids who do not wish to have a hysterectomy. Our specialist consultants are experienced in removing fibroids using advanced keyhole surgery techniques, which offer many advantages over the traditional open abdominal approach including enhanced recovery, a shorter hospital stay and reduced scarring.

Hysteroscopic resection is a procedure for removing fibroids that grow inside the womb. Also known as transcervical resection of fibroids (TCRF), this procedure is performed using an instrument known as a hysteroscope – a fine telescope which is passed through the vagina and cervix – to look inside the womb. A loop carried on the telescope shaves off the fibroid by passing an electrical current through it. Your consultant can perform this procedure on a daycase basis, allowing you to return to your normal activities as soon as possible.

A diagnostic test of a sample of cells is collected from the surface of a woman's cervix (the lower, narrow end of a woman's uterus) to check for inflammation, infection or abnormalities that can develop into cancer.

Hysteroscopic sterlisation is a minimally invasive procedure for women whose families are complete. This is a permanent birth control procedure performed by a Consultant Gynaecologist during which small, flexible micro-inserts are placed into the woman’s fallopian tubes through the vagina and natural pathways of the body. During the next three months, the body forms a natural barrier around the micro-inserts that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Three months after the procedure a test is performed to confirm that the micro-inserts are placed correctly and that the woman can rely on the procedure for permanent birth control.

Hysteroscopic resection is a procedure for removing fibroids that grow inside the womb. Also known as transcervical resection of fibroids (TCRF), this procedure is performed using an instrument known as a hysteroscope – a fine telescope which is passed through the vagina and cervix – to look inside the womb. A loop carried on the telescope shaves off the fibroid by passing an electrical current through it. Your consultant can perform this procedure on a daycase basis, allowing you to return to your normal activities as soon as possible.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria which invade the urinary system, most commonly in the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body), and multiply.

Cystitis is a common infection of the bladder – the part of the urinary tract system that collects urine from the kidneys – and can cause pain, discomfort and urinary frequency. Normally there are no bacteria in this tract, however, bacteria or yeast from the lower gastrointestinal tract or rectal area can enter the urinary tract. The bacteria can multiply and infect the urethra and can also travel up and infect the bladder. Your consultant can treat cystitis quickly and effectively with antibiotics.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious yet common infection of the female reproductive organs including the womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes. PID is commonly caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can affect the vagina and the cervix and also spread into the womb, the fallopian tubes and ovaries. PID can cause scar tissue to form in the pelvis and fallopian tubes, which can cause blocked tubes and result in infertility or an ectopic pregnancy. The most common symptoms for PID are abnormal vaginal discharge and chronic pelvic pain.

Your consultant will perform a series of tests, which can include vaginal swabs, an ultrasound scan of the pelvis and a biopsy of the lining of the womb. Laparoscopic examination under a light general anaesthetic may also be performed. Your consultant gynaecologist will offer you the most appropriate treatment according to your symptoms.

Menopause refers to the time in your life when menstruation ceases and the ovaries permanently stop releasing eggs. You are likely to experience menopause at any time between the ages of 40 and 58 (the average age is 51) and it is considered complete when you have been without a period for a full year. A natural menopause is a gradual process but you may experience a range of symptoms that vary in severity, including hot flushes, night sweats and irritability.

If symptoms are severe, menopause can be treated with medication such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There are various preparations of HRT and your consultant will recommend the preparation which is most suited to your needs.

Menorrhagia, also known as heavy periods, is a common condition that nearly 50 per cent of women will experience. It is often due to fibroids, endometriosis, polyps, polycystic ovaries or changes prior to the menopause.

Your consultant will suggest a personalised diagnostic plan to determine the cause in your particular case, which may include blood tests, an ultrasound scan, an endometrial biopsy and/or hysteroscopy (using a camera to examine the uterus, under local or general anaesthesia).

If surgical treatment is required, your consultant gynaecologist will be able to perform this using the latest keyhole surgery techniques to enable a swift recovery and minimal scarring.

Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids, and is the procedure of choice for women with symptomatic fibroids who do not wish to have a hysterectomy. Our specialist consultants are experienced in removing fibroids using advanced keyhole surgery techniques, which offer many advantages over the traditional open abdominal approach including enhanced recovery, a shorter hospital stay and reduced scarring.

Minimal-access surgery (MAS, or keyhole surgery) uses a laparoscope to allow surgeons to look inside your body using a thin telescope. The laparoscope carries a light into your abdomen and magnifies the structures, allowing your surgeon to operate without making a large cut into the abdomen. The telescope is inserted through a small cut in the skin and can be used to find the cause of pelvic pain or look at endometriosis or ovarian cysts. Our specialist consultants regularly use keyhole surgery for ectopic pregnancy, hysterectomy and endometriosis, or to carry out sterilisations and biopsies. These advanced techniques are normally carried out under general anaesthetic, requiring just a short stay in the hospital and minimizing any subsequent scarring and recovery time.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled cysts within the ovaries that can vary dramatically in size. They are very common – most women will have them at some stage of their life and will often be unaware – but some women may experience pain. The Portland Hospital’s Ultrasound service can diagnose ovarian cysts and your consultant will suggest a treatment plan for your specific situation. Not all ovarian cysts need to be removed but if you do require surgery, your consultant gynaecologist will use the latest keyhole techniques to minimize scarring and recovery time, helping you return to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where the normal function of the ovaries has changed. There are three key symptoms of the condition: your ovaries have many (more than 12) tiny cysts, your hormones are out of balance and you don’t ovulate every month. The Portland’s Ultrasound department can diagnose PCOS if you exhibit two of the three main symptoms. There is no way of reversing the formation of these cysts, but if you’re diagnosed with PCOS, it is important that you get treatment to control your symptoms – particularly if the symptoms are severe and cause a lot of worry, or if infertility becomes an issue. Complementary therapies and nutritional advice can help and The Portland Hospital’s multidisciplinary team can support you with a tailored plan to suit your needs.

Prolapse of the womb occurs when the muscles, tissues and ligaments supporting the pelvic organs weaken enough that the womb slips down from its normal position. This is a common condition among women who have had children or have gone through the menopause, and you may also be at risk if you are overweight, have a persistent cough or experience long-term constipation. Your prolapse may not require treatment but if surgery is necessary, your specialist consultant will have access to the latest equipment and techniques to ensure the fastest possible recovery.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder marked by physical and emotional symptoms. It affects women one or two weeks before the beginning of their menstrual period. The cause of PMS is unknown. It may be that a complex combination of environmental, metabolic, and behavioural factors produces a 'vulnerability' to the hormonal changes associated with menstruation. A brain chemical, serotonin, may play a role in severe forms of PMS.

Women need contraception for most of their reproductive lives and their needs differ at different stages; teenage, early (20 to 35 years old), late reproductive (36 to 45 years old) and Perimenopausal.

All methods of contraception including pills, patches, injections, implants, vaginal diaphragm and various coils (namely copper IUCD, GyneFix, and Mirena) are provided with the latest comprehensive information, guidance and advice and tailored to your individual needs.

Our team of expert consultants offer a sexual health service dedicated to helping you and your partner take care of your sexual health. Seeing a specialist ensures expert treatment and confidential advice, and gives you the confidence to discuss even the most intimate concerns.

Human papilloma virus (HPV, or wart virus) is a very common virus, transmitted through genital or sexual contact, that 70 to 80 per cent of women will contract at some stage in life. It usually produces no symptoms and many women will not even be aware that they have had the virus – indeed, most women (95 per cent) will clear it through their natural immunity – but in some cases it may not clear and can cause abnormal smears. HPV can lead to genital warts or, very rarely, cervical cancer, however regular smear tests every three years and HPV testing would detect any abnormalities before this develops.

A vaccine for HPV is now available at the Portland. This offers excellent protection and your consultant will be able to advise you appropriately.

Our urogynaecology services offer discrete diagnosis and the latest treatment for women who suffer from incontinence problems. Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control leading to the leakage of urine and it can be a temporary or chronic condition. Incontinence is a symptom, not a condition in itself, and may have several different causes. Our specialist team will undertake a detailed assessment to determine the most appropriate treatment for your particular circumstances.

Miscarriage refers to the premature end of a pregnancy, and 15 to 20 per cent of pregnancies end this way. Miscarriage can occur during the first or second trimester of pregnancy (before 20 weeks). Most occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and are unexplained and isolated events. Your consultant will discuss with you the best management plan to suit your situation, and please be assured that support is available for your psychological and spiritual wellbeing.

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that grows outside the womb, and can occur when the fallopian tube is not functioning normally and the pregnancy grows within the tube (20 to 25 per cent of cases). However, in rare cases, it may occur on the cervix, in the abdomen or on an ovary. An ectopic pregnancy cannot survive as only the womb can support the growth of a foetus. If an ectopic pregnancy bursts inside a fallopian tube, it is a life-threatening medical emergency and we are fully equipped to perform the urgent surgery that this requires.

The Portland Hospital offers a fast and efficient service for women with symptomatic breast conditions. Our multidisciplinary team of breast surgeons, radiologists and nursing staff provide comprehensive care for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

We offer diagnostic infertility tests to help couples who are having problems conceiving. This includes internal tests to check for blocked tubes, ovulation tests and ultrasound scans of the pelvis to check for any abnormalities.

A detailed medical history is taken by one of our specialists before any tests are carried out.

If fertility treatment is required, we work closely with our sister hospital, The Lister Hospital, to ensure you receive seamless, high quality care.

Oncology is the area of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of cancer.

The cervix is the neck of the womb and is located at the top of the vagina. Cervical cancer develops if the cells of the cervix become abnormal and grow out of control. If abnormal cells are caught early, which they often are through the cervical screening programme, cancer can often be prevented or treated.

There are various types of ovarian cancer. The most common type affects the cells forming the surface layer of the ovaries, called epithelial cells. Epithelial cell cancer makes up 90% of cases of ovarian cancer. The other types of ovarian cancer are mostly germ cell cancers, which arise from the egg-making cells of the ovary.

The uterus (womb) is part of the female reproductive system and is located at the top of the vagina. It is where a baby grows during pregnancy. The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium and is shed each month as part of your period. Most cancers of the uterus develop in the lining and are called endometrial cancer. Cancer of the uterus can also be called uterine cancer.

The Portland offers a Well Woman Check service as an essential part of pro-active healthcare management, which includes the following elements:

  • Consultation with a leading consultant gynaecologist
  • Full gynaecological history and pelvic examination
  • Blood pressure and BMI (Body Mass Index) assessment
  • Cervical smear and HPV testing
  • Contraception and sexual health review
  • Explanation of results and appropriate management plan discussed
  • Detailed written report emailed or posted to you and your GP

A large number of other surgical and non-surgical procedures are undertaken at the Portland, depending on your personal diagnosis. We are fully equipped to care for complex conditions, using the very latest treatments and techniques. To find out more, please visit our website www.theportlandhospital.com or call our dedicated Women’s Health enquiry line on +44 (0)20 7390 6201.

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