10 Things You Should Tell Your Gynecologist

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 Your gyno can help you with a variety of issues, but vaginal problems are their specialty—and you'd be surprised how many people simply don't see their doctor when an issue arises. Many people are unaware that there are solutions to seemingly minor problems, which can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.

While you don't want to panic and call your doctor every time your period lasts a day longer than usual, you also don't want to overlook a potentially serious symptom. So, how do you know which issues require your doctor's attention and which are minor? The following symptoms are definitely worth noting:

1. Bleeding that feels a bit off

Mid-cycle spotting is something to mention to your doctor at your next visit, but you should also call if you notice persistent bleeding accompanied by pelvic pain. It could be an indication of an infection, such as chlamydia, or it could be a harmless polyp on your cervix. However, if you do nothing, it may become a problem.

2. Persistent abdominal pain, even if it's not severe

If you are experiencing severe pain in your lower abdomen and are unsure whether you should come in, it is best to schedule an appointment.

Abdominal pain could be nothing, but it could also be a sign of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or ectopic pregnancy, all of which require a pelvic exam.

3. A less-than-pleasant vaginal odor

If you notice a strange odor down south that does not go away or improve, contact your gynecologist. The most common cause is a forgotten tampon, which can increase your risk of infection or toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal complication of certain bacterial infections. A strong vaginal odor may also indicate a vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis.

4. Weird discharge

When it comes to discharge, everyone has their own definition of "normal," but in general, it's clear to white in color, can range from thin to thick in consistency, and can have a slight odor but be mostly odorless most of the time.

In addition to odor, you should see your ob-gyn if your discharge suddenly changes color or consistency. This could be due to a misplaced tampon, but it could also be a sign of infection, such as BV, a yeast infection, or an STD.

5. Pain during sex

Sex should not be painful, but a lack of lube can make it a little uncomfortable, whether you didn't apply any or didn't spend enough time on foreplay. However, if you experience pain during or after sex on a regular basis, it could be a sign of an infection, hormonal issues, uterine fibroids, or vaginal dryness, among other issues that your doctor can help you address.

6. Extremely painful periods

Painful periods can be a sign of endometriosis, scarring from infections, or uterine fibroids, among other things, so it's critical to get to the bottom of it. Once your doctor determines what's wrong, they can assist in identifying a treatment that may help reduce your pain—because you shouldn't have to put up with it.

7. New vaginal bumps

There are numerous causes of vaginal bumps. Infected hair follicles, harmless cysts, and sexually transmitted infections are all examples. It's also possible to have a pimple or skin tag down there, so don't be alarmed if you notice or feel a bump near your vagina. But don't dismiss it if it persists or causes discomfort, especially if you have a swollen vulva.

8. Low libido

Low libido can also be caused by a variety of medical conditions, such as endometriosis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and many others. Another significant one is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a sexual dysfunction characterized by a persistently low libido that affects approximately 10% of people assigned female at birth.

Your gynecologist can order a blood panel to try to identify an underlying health issue causing your low libido, or they can discuss changing medications if necessary.

9. Issues with bladder control

A urinary tract infection, pelvic floor relaxation, or an overactive bladder can all cause incontinence. Doctors can assist in determining the causes and treating it, which may include medication, pelvic floor exercises, or surgical procedures.

10. Contraception questions

Your gynecologist should be your go-to person for all contraception questions. They can advise you on your birth control options, answer any questions you have about how each one works, and assist you in determining which form of birth control will work best for you and your lifestyle.

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Tuesday, 27 February 2024