The thought of seeing a gynecologist can make you feel nervous or embarrassed, but it is essential to ensure that you stay healthy. An appointment with a gynecologist is vital since most women can’t tell the difference between what’s “normal” and what may be a sign of a reproductive health problem. From Menstrual irregularities to sores on genitals, annual checks can alert you about a life-altering disease.
If you have any of these five signs and feel like something might be wrong, it’s time to see a gynecologist.
#Sign 1 Vaginal itching or discharge
Vaginal itching or discharge is a telltale sign of bacterial or yeast infection. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, three out of four will have a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. However, it is not always easy to recognize because it is often confused with an allergic reaction. The discharge is thick and curd-like, with no foul order associated with it.
#Sign 2 Menstrual irregularities
If your menstrual cycle is shorter or longer than usual, treat it with concern. In addition, menstruation that is too heavy or too light may point to underlying issues. The generally accepted characteristics of a healthy period are:
- Menstrual cycle that is around 28 days long
- Monthly bleeding that lasts four to eight days
If there are changes to your periods outside of these parameters, it is time to consult your gynecologist.
#Sign 3 Sores or blisters on genitals
Bumps and lesions in or around the vagina are known as genital sores. These sores indicate that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI). While some bumps are painless, others may be itchy, painful, or tender. Female genital sores appear to be small and red, and include symptoms like pelvic pain, burning, bleeding, and itchiness. Herpes, syphilis, and genital warts are some of the common causes of genital sores. To ensure your reproductive health, your gynecologist may ask you to undergo STI screening.
#Sign 4 Bleeding in between periods
Vaginal bleeding between periods is not normal. It may look like light brown spotting or a heavy flow, resembling a regular period. If you have started hormonal contraception, then it is common to see this irregular bleeding. If it lasts longer than a few months, you may need to consult a doctor. Changing to an alternative form of contraception can often stop breakthrough bleeding. While most of the time it is benign, sometimes it may be due to cancer or pre-cancer.
#Sign 5 Painful intercourse
Pain during sex is a common problem experienced by many women. For some women, the pain may be temporary, while for others it is a long-term issue. A variety of factors – both physical to psychological – can contribute to this problem. The pain may be localized, or it may be happening deep in the pelvis. Some may experience an aching, burning, throbbing, or ripping sensation during sex. Some common causes of painful intercourse are:
- Vaginal dryness
- Genital injury
- Inflammation or infection
- Skin disorders or irritation
- Irritation or allergic reactions to clothing
About Complete Healthcare – Primary Care and Gynecology
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