Women can be pros at avoiding the gyno. Nobody really wants to go, ever! It isn't exactly exciting and has potential to be terrifying. There used to be a long awkward talk in the office, but most gynos are skipping that these days. We have all heard horror stories about it from our grandmothers and even our moms, but things are changing. Now women have choices. You can pick a male or female provider and you can even choose to have a Nurse practitioner instead of a Doctor for most issues. And if you don't like your doctor and feel like they aren't listening to your concerns you can choose another gyno. It's important to remember that you are in charge and you are the patient. You may need to go when you don't really want to, but you still have control over your body and how the visit goes down.
Some women will ignore it when they know something is off with their body, they don't go to the doctor right away. Even when they know that they should. But this article will help explain that when things don't feel right down there, you know that the gyno is where you should be headed. Find a care provider you are comfortable with and if the following issues arise, you'll know where to go! Don't be shy about telling them if something makes you uncomfortable.
14 Funky Situation Down There
Eeeew! There is a mess in your undies and you don't know whats up. That is discharge and it's time to go. A new discharge can be normal but it could also be a sign of an infection. The most common are yeast infections and they are super easy to treat. You may be able to tell if it's yeast yourself because your friends can inform you or you can check online and match your symptoms. Your gyno will be able to test and get you treated right away. Other types of discharge can come from bacterial infections or even STI's. It does suck!!! but you have to deal with it asap. If your discharge is green or grey, run don't walk to the your gyno's office. Discharge is normally a good thing that helps our vagina stay clean so don't panic if you have some that is white or clear. It's also important to remember that any medication you take may change the consistency or even the color. This may be worth a call to your doc before heading in.
What the heck is that?? If you have a sore or blister on or around your private area, it is time to be seen. It could be a transmitted infection. Your doctor can prescribe an oral medication that would help dry up the sores and you can apply olive oil externally. The source of your problem could be something different, like warts. You really won't know for sure unless you see a professional. Most of the causes can be sexually transmitted so if you are sexually active it is likely that your sores are related. Bartholin's cysts and ingrown hairs can also produce sores and are not related to sexual activity. These are less serious but your doctor can still help. If left untreated , these problems can become abscesses which are very painful. In women over 40, these cysts can become cancer. The best thing to do is consult your doctor if you notice anything different, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
12 A Weird Odor
At times your lady garden can smell a little off. It depends on what you eat, your activity level and the ph of your body. But there are times when the smell can get out of hand. If you notice a major change, this can be a sign of infection. A fishy smell is linked to bacterial vaginosis and often increases after intercourse. Nothing says romance like a mist of trout from under the sheets! Get that checked out by your doctor asap! Some STIs also smell like a fish market, so definitely keep it casual until you get to the doc. A chlorine or metal smell is nothing to worry about. The chlorine smell can come from lubricants or tampons and the metallic smell is commonly associated with your period. Yeast is another smell to be on the lookout for. Some women notice a bread smell before they have the common symptoms of a yeast infection. If you notice any weird or off smells, call your doctor just to make sure all is well with your lady parts.
11 Pain During Nookie
Experiencing pain during intimacy is called dyspareunia. Appropriate! because the idea makes us all want to despair. A common cause is lack of lubrication, which has an obvious easy fix. Some other causes can be more complicated and might require your doctor's help. Vaginismus is the involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles caused by fear of getting hurt. Many infections can cause pain, even simple yeast infections. Other causes can be an infection in the cervix which is less common but can make intercourse unbearable. Fibroids and endometriosis can both cause the same types of pain. Another, more serious, cause is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. This one can be difficult to treat and ignoring it will only make it worse. If you are experiencing pain during intercourse and you think you may be pregnant, it's important to get to the doctor or even the emergency room right away. It's possible to have an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside of the womb, which can be life threatening.
10 OUCH! Burns When You Go To The Washroom
Painful urination or dysuria is most commonly caused by a UTI or urinary tract infection. These can occur in the entrance to your bladder, within the bladder, or all the way up to your kidneys. Being a woman makes you more susceptible so be on the lookout and head to the gyno at the first sign of symptoms. Pain is usually the one that sends us hunting down help. You may also have a fever, bad-smelling urine, or even blood in your urine. Many of the common STIs can also cause a painful trip to the potty so if you are sexually active it's important to get cleared. A less common cause would be kidney stones. These will cause pain so severe you will probably head into the ER pretty quickly. The doctor can usually test your urine quickly and get you a diagnosis. You will be pain-free in no time!
9 You Think You've Been Exposed To An Infection
Whether you heard a rumor or spotted something suspect on your man, don't wait to get checked. Maybe it's an ingrown hair, maybe not? Someone who has been unfaithful does not have your best interest at heart so do not trust that they are clean or have been tested! Most STIs will get worse over time and stopping the spread quickly is key. If you didn't already know, at home STI tests have become available and are somewhat affordable. Many people choose this option to protect their privacy but if your results come back positive, you still need to seek treatment. You can purchase a same day test at STDtest.com for 210$ but some STIs have a window of exposure. During this time frame a positive test may not show, so being in communication with a gyno is important. Skip the hours of crying, screaming and anxiety and just get checked.
8 3 Missed Periods
Missing a period is called amenorrhea, because AMEN! we all want to get a break from that beast! The most common cause is pregnancy. You can rule that out at home, or choose to do a test at your doctor's office. Once you are sure that you aren't pregnant, check your contraception. Many birth control pills and devices cause your period to take long breaks. This is can be an expected side effect. Weight changes and exercise can also cause your period to hold off. If none of these situations seem to apply, it's time to head in to the gyno. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is one suspect. Thyroid problems can also cause your period to halt. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications or herbal remedies you're using. Sometimes these can be linked as well. Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam, blood tests, and possibly an ultrasound to get to the root of the cause.
7 Too Much Pain Or Bleeding During That Time Of The Month
Too much bleeding is called menorrhagia. This can be common in premenopausal women but younger women shouldn't be having this problem. If you can't go about your daily activities or you are starting to dread your period more than usual, see your doc. If you soak a pad or tampon in an hour, for a few hours, you really should go in. Especially if you are having to double up pads and tampons. The same goes for women experiencing more than normal pain. If over-the-counter meds don't help your pain, or you get nausea and leg pain along with your period, go ahead and schedule and appointment. These can be signs of endometriosis. Normal pain should go after the first or second day of your period. The pain should not cause you to vomit or extend into your back. These signs are concerning.
6 You Found A Lump
A clinical breast exam done by a health practitioner is important because they are trained to look for early warning signs of cancer. They will examine and feel the breasts for any lumps or abnormalities. Doctors and nurses who do breast exams regularly may notice something you have missed during your breast self exams at home. If you found a lump at home, getting to the clinic and having a clinical breast exam is your first step towards a diagnosis. Early detection of cancer is crucial to your prognosis, so don't wait. Regular CBE are no longer recommended but they are important if you have abnormalities in your breast like fibroids or implants. These irregularities can make it harder to detect a lump yourself. Some providers recommend a CBE for everyone over age 20, every 3 years. Most of the time your gyno will include the CBE in your well woman exam.
5 You're Overdue For A Pap Test
A pap smear is a test where the doctor takes a sample of cells from your cervix and examines them for signs of cancer. Cervical cancer is slow-growing and highly curable when detected early. After the age of 21 you should begin pap smears every 3 years. After the age of 30 you can go every 5 years. The doctor will use a speculum to examine the inside of your vagina. A lot of women find this uncomfortable but it is a necessary procedure to have done. Results usually take about a week. Abnormal results don't necessarily mean cancer, but they do mean a follow-up visit is in order. You may need to have a biopsy done to make sure there is no cancerous threat. Try to remain calm during your exam. If the doctor doesn't get enough cells he may have to repeat the test again later and we all know that would suck!
4 Birth Control
Getting to the gyno is your first step towards birth control. They can give you all the options so that you can choose what works best for you. There are pills, patches, implants and iuds. Some may not be right for you, so go in with an open mind. You may also want to consider birth control if your periods are irregular. It can help with heavy bleeding and usually improves acne too. Women who suffer from menstrual migraines may also find some relief on birth control. It's important to talk to your gyno about the risks and not just the benefits. You may be more prone to blood clots or certain cancers so you need to know what to look out for. This is especially true if you have a family history. Once you get your birth control, it is still important to use a condom to protect against STIs.
3 Peeing Your Pants
If you are having some leakage when coughing or sneezing, go ahead and see the gyno. For most women there are a few simple fixes that can really help. Being afraid to laugh or exercise is no way to live! On rare occasions this indicates a more serious condition like a UTI. It can also be a sign of constipation or you may need to lay off the alcohol or caffeine. Your doctor will be able to get to the bottom of it. Women are more susceptible to this and it worsens as we get older. Gaining weight can cause this problem too. Be sure to tell your doctor about your diet and any medications you are taking. He will want to know all about the severity and frequency of your symptoms, so don't be shy and take a support person if you need to. Drink plenty of water because it is highly likely that you will be asked to pee in a cup.
2 That Time Of The Month Seems To Happen Too Often
When the crimson tide rolls in too soon it can be devastating. Especially for women who have painful or difficult to manage periods. When is this worthy of a trip to your doc? If your cycle is lasting 21 days or less. That means from the first day of your period to the next. A normal cycle is 24-30. Don't worry! This can be normal for women of all ages but it's definitely worth getting checked out. If you bleed for 10 days or more, go ahead and get seen too. You could be anemic and need to alter your diet or start some supplements. Other signs you need to go in are large clots and frequent spotting in between periods. Your doctor will want to check for endometriosis or a bleeding disorder. They will do a pelvic exam, blood tests, and maybe a uterine biopsy.
Yes, this happens, even when you're not pregnant or nursing. This can be normal so don't panic. It's still a good idea to contact your gyno. If the discharge is bloody, this needs to get checked out right away. Do not squeeze out more or stimulate the breasts. This can make the condition worsen. Your doc can help determine if the discharge is normal. The first thing he will want to do is rule out pregnancy. They may also want to do a mammogram to rule out breast cancer. Fibrocystic breast disease is another cause. This just means tissue in the breasts that makes them lumpy. It isn't anything to worry over. Infection can cause this as well, so pay attention for a fever, pain, or swelling in the breasts. Sometimes doctors find that a medication your on causes this condition, and for some women there simply is no explanation.