Medical maps: Gynaecology overview

Graafian follicle.

The purpose of this site is to share some of the approaches I adopted, adapted or developed when studying for medical finals.

One of the first subjects I’m going to tackle is gynaecology, because (i) gynaecology has a discrete number of presenting complaints; (ii) I find gynaecology interesting and (iii) I had my O&G finals recently, so the information is fresh in my mind.

Gynaecology is amenable to a presentation-based approach:

  • Bleeding (non-pregnant – I will cover pregnant bleeding in obstetrics)
    • Abnormal bleeding within reproductive years (this is what ‘Abnormal Uterine Bleeding’ refers to)
    • Bleeding outside of reproductive years
  • Pain
    • Painful periods
    • Painful intercourse
    • Pelvic pain unrelated or loosely related to menstruation or intercourse
  • Discharge (as a medical student, you only need to worry about infective causes here)
  • Fertility
    • Inability to conceive
    • Menopause and menopausal symptoms (defined as 12 months of amenorrhoea – I include this here as the climacteric [period leading to menopause] and post-menopause are times of reduced fertility)
    • (Contraceptive decisions)
  • Urinary incontinenceĀ Leakage during coughing/sneezing (raised intra-abdominal pressure)
    • Sudden urge to urinate
    • Continuous leakage of urine
    • ‘Dragging’ sensations and prolapse
  • Ovarian cancer symptoms – this breaks the mould, but it is crucially important so I include it in the map as its own entity

So the overall schema for gynaecology is relatively straight-forward. My medical map for gynaecology is shown below:

Gynaecology medical map. Click to zoom.

I hope this map provides you with a useful framework to navigate gynaecology. The symptom I am going to explore in the next post is bleeding.

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