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Terms in this set (40)

-Ask about the age of menarche (when the first menses started); in the United States the range is between the ages of 9 and 16

-Ask about menstruation patterns
How often does the patient have menses? (Every 24 to 32 days is normal.)
How long are the menses? (3 to 7 days is normal.)
How heavy are the menses? (The number of pads or tampons used is an indicator.)

-If applicable, at what age did menopause occur? Menopause is defined as no menses for 12 months. The average age of menopause is 45 to 52 years

Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menses
Primary amenorrhea refers to the failure of menses to be initiated (causes: chromosomal abnormalities, malnutrition, hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction)
Secondary amenorrhea refers to a cessation of periods after they have previously existed (physiologic causes: pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause; pathologic causes: pituitary tumor, hypothyroidism, anorexia nervosa)

-Dysmenorrhea: painful periods with cramping or aching in the lower pelvis and lower back

-PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
Complex of symptoms occurring 4 to 10 days before the onset of menses
Psychological symptoms include tension, irritability, depression, and mood swings
Physical symptoms include weight gain, bloating, edema, headaches, and breast tenderness

-Polymenorrhea means having too frequent of periods

-Menorrhagia refers to an increased amount of bleeding or duration of flow

-Metrorrhagia is bleeding that occurs between periods

-Ask about pregnancies
How many pregnancies in total? How many births were term? Preterm? Miscarriages? Induced abortion?
Were there any complications in prenatal care, labor, or delivery?
What kind of birth control is currently used or desired?

-Ask about vulvovaginal symptoms including burning, itching, and the quantity and quality of discharge (including texture, amount, color, and smell)

-Ask about sexual preference and sexual response; be professional and "matter of fact" in questioning and never assume all patients are heterosexual

-Ask open-ended questions such as, "How is sex for you?" "Is your partner satisfied with your sex life?"

-Ask about symptoms of sexual dysfunction
Lack of interest
Lack of physiologic response to desire (decreased lubrication)
Lack of orgasm
Dyspareunia, or discomfort during intercourse
Vaginismus, or spasms of the muscles surrounding the vagina making penetration painful and difficult