Eight Symptoms that Suggest You Must See a Gynecologist
A gynecologist can help you gain control over your periods, prevent some cancers, and maintain good reproductive health. According to health experts, it is important to start seeing a gynecologist from age 13 to 15. Such visits must start before a woman becomes sexually active. Also, because puberty is a tough time, a woman can benefit from becoming familiar with the services of a gynecologist.
When a woman reaches the age of 21, she should begin getting a pelvic examination once every year. If you are wondering when you must see a gynecologist, here are some symptoms to watch out for.
Getting a period can be unpleasant for a lot of women. If you are like them, you may experience cramps, headaches, breast soreness, and other menstruation symptoms. However, for some women, the pain associated with their periods goes beyond these symptoms and can be quite serious. If you tend to deal with painful periods regularly, you may be suffering from uterine fibroids or endometriosis. You must see a gynecologist to have yourself checked for this condition. Your doctor can provide you with solutions that can help you manage your condition.
Strange Vaginal Odor
A healthy vagina releases a small amount of odorless discharge occasionally. If you notice a change in the color, smell, and quantity of your discharge, you may have to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist. Such changes can indicate yeast infection or STI.
Abdominal Discomfort and Pelvic Pain
You must tell your doctor the type of pain you are experiencing, whether it comes on constantly or suddenly. This way, your gynecologist can make a proper diagnosis. If you suffer sharp pelvic pain, this could mean you have an infection, ectopic pregnancy, or a ruptured ovarian cyst. If you tend to experience this pain more constantly, you feel full in the abdomen, you may have uterine fibroids. Also, endometriosis is a possible source of regular pelvic pain. If you have this condition, you will begin to feel the pain during your menstrual cycle and may become regular when endometrial cells grow outside your uterus.
Bleeding Between Periods
It is not alarming to experience occasional spotting between periods. However, if you experience heavy or painful bleeding that lasts for days, you must contact your gynecologist. You could be suffering from a vaginal injury, miscarriage, or cervical or uterus cancer. Also, you must see your doctor if you have stopped having periods because of menopause and have started bleeding again. You may be suffering from uterine cancer.
Vaginal Itchiness or Burning
If you experience uncomfortable sensations like burning or itching in your vagina, you must go to your gynecologist. You may be experiencing these symptoms because of some reason including an infection or STI. A urinary tract infection or UTI can be occasionally managed by consuming plenty of water and cranberry juice. However, if your UTI gets out of control, it can result in a serious kidney infection. In addition, itching or burning after sex could indicate an allergic reaction to the latest in condoms. Your doctor can help you determine what is causing your discomfort and identify the right preventative and treatment plan for you.
Although sex can be a little painful at times, sudden or extreme pain can indicate underlying issues. This pain could be due to an infection, fibroid, ruptured cyst, or an STD. Your gynecologist will examine you to determine the main issue that is causing your pain.
Moreover, sexual discomfort may also be experienced due to vaginal dryness. A lot of women experience this during intercourse. Usually, dryness can depend on the age of a woman and some mitigating factors in her life. Vaginal dryness can be experienced by a younger woman who has been on birth control for a while because of a lack of estrogen. Also, a lack of foreplay and arousal before sex can result in dryness. Dryness in postmenopausal stage can be because of low estrogen and vaginal estrogen can be prescribed by a gynecologist.
Urinary or Fecal Incontinence
These symptoms can be quite stressful and can negatively affect your quality of life. A lot of women experience them after childbirth, especially if they have a huge baby or a delivery that requires a vacuum or forceps. These symptoms may worsen when a woman enters menopause. A gynecologist will determine the nature of your incontinence to determine the best medical or surgical management options for you.
Growth in the vagina or around the labia can be a pimple, ingrown hair, or something more concerning. Although bumps are usually benign, you must have your gynecologist examine you when you feel something. You may notice genital warts for some time; however, herpes lesions can heal more than 7-14 days, so you must get checked during an outbreak.