Medical maps: Obstetrics overview

Obstetrics: the clinical speciality concerned with pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. There are six key parts to the obstetrics syllabus in medical school: Uncomplicated pregnancy and labour Maternal issues in pregnancy Baby issues in pregnancy Labour complications and postpartum complications Pregnancy loss Prescribing in pregnancy and breastfeeding If you understand these key areas, you’ll […]

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Medical maps: Loss of responsiveness

A loss of consciousness (LOC) is the loss of awareness of the self and the surroundings. The clinical sign is a loss of responsiveness (LOR). I make the distinction between LOC and LOR for two reasons: There are some conditions, like psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, where it is unclear whether the patient has truly lost consciousness […]

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Clue cells.

Medical maps: Vaginal discharge

Discharge – a mixture of fluid and cells from the vagina – can be physiological or pathological. Discharge is considered distinct from bleeding, or from the release of amniotic fluid during spontaneous/artificial rupture of membranes. Features of physiological discharge Physiological discharge is common and may be perceived as pathological by the patient. The term leucorrhoea […]

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Ovarian cyst.

Medical maps: Pelvic pain

In the last medical map we talked about gynaecological bleeding. Now let’s move onto another key symptom: pain. I’ll talk about pelvic pain rather than gynaecological pain, because it is important to be aware of non-gynaecological causes of lower abdominal pain. The pattern of pain is important, and broadly speaking, there are three: Painful periods […]

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Fibroid histopathology.

Medical maps: Gynaecological bleeding

Abnormal vaginal bleeding can be acute or chronic. Acute bleeds are often related to pregnancy (ectopics, miscarriage) and I will discuss these pathologies in obstetrics. Here we will focus on chronic gynaecological bleeding issues. We can divide this into: Abnormal bleeding during reproductive ages – called ‘abnormal uterine bleeding’ (AUB) – the most important symptoms […]

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