It is difficult for many women to know what is normal when it comes to sexual and reproductive health and what could be a sign of a medical problem. Often, there are topics that many people are embarrassed to discuss with their gynecologist. However, it is important to keep in mind that gynecologists have seen and heard every scenario imaginable and are there to help you without judgment.
It may be difficult to bring up certain topics, but addressing all of your health concerns can improve your life in so many ways, from enhancing your overall health to increasing your comfort, boosting your sex life, and potentially saving your life. That’s why having a doctor you feel comfortable talking to is so important.
Here is a look at seven issues that you should always discuss with your gynecologist.
This may be one of the more uncomfortable topics to bring up, but if you notice a fishy or foul smell or your normal smell changes over a prolonged period of time, it is a good idea to mention this to your doctor as it could be a vaginal infection or an overgrowth of bacteria. These problems are easy to treat, but you’ll have the best outcome if you address them as early as possible.
Another topic that may be embarrassing to bring up is sexual discomfort. However, it is important to discuss it with your doctor to find out if there is a medical cause. For example, pain during sex may be alleviated simply by trying different positions until you find one that is more comfortable. However, if you experience pain no matter what position you use, bleed regularly after sex, or you find that lubricants do not seem to make any difference, you should mention it to your doctor.
Likewise, if you experience vaginal dryness during intercourse, it may be normal because of your age or the current point of your menstrual cycle. However, it could also indicate that it may be time to change your birth control, or you could have low estrogen as a result of menopause.
If you experience incontinence, you should always mention this to your gynecologist. It may be normal to experience this after childbirth, especially if you had a large baby or your delivery involved a vacuum or forceps. As women go into menopause, urinary incontinence can get worse. Although it is usually nothing to be alarmed about, it is inconvenient, and it may be possible to manage it medically.
A low libido is surprisingly common, but it is best to talk to your gynecologist to try to determine its cause. It may be that you need to change a medication you are taking, or it could indicate an underlying medical condition. Sometimes, the problem is psychological and could be related to stress, work, or the natural drop-off in spontaneous arousal that may come as relationships evolve. In any case, your gynecologist may be able to help you find ways to naturally increase your libido.
Bumps Or Growths
If you notice a growth around your labia or in your vagina, it is a good idea to have your gynecologist check it out. Many times it is nothing serious. It may simply be a pimple, an ingrown hair or a cut due to shaving. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to have your doctor rule out genital warts or herpes.
Getting your period is never fun, and it is not unusual to experience headaches, cramps, or breast soreness. However, if your period pain is incredibly severe and affects your ability to carry out your daily routine or your periods have been getting worse over time, you should talk to your doctor to rule out issues such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis. Your gynecologist can also make suggestions to help you get through this time of the month more comfortably.
It is important that your doctor is aware of your sexual history, particularly how many partners you’ve had, whether or not you’ve had any sexually transmitted diseases in the past, and your sexual orientation. Although you may worry that your doctor is judging you, you can rest assured that these are all normal conversations that gynecologists have with their patients every day.
Once again, they are not there to judge you, but only to gather information so that they can determine your risk factors for different types of problems and sexually transmitted diseases. They need this information to ensure that you are being tested for the right things and receiving the best care possible.
Reach Out To The Gynecologist Team At Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness
If you are experiencing any of the seven issues mentioned above or anything else related to female health, the women’s health-care team at Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness can help you understand what is happening to your body and find the right solutions. Compassion is a core value of our practice, and our professionals will take the time to explain everything and address all your concerns. Give us a call today to make an appointment for an in-person or telemedicine visit.