When it comes to your reproductive and sexual health, it can be difficult to know what’s “normal” and what could be a sign of a possible health issue. Even if you feel some embarrassment about certain topics, keep in mind that your gynecologist has probably seen just about everything and is there to help you, not to pass judgment.
When you go to your gynecologist appointment, here’s what to definitely bring up if it applies to you.
Cover your very painful periods
Getting your period can be an unpleasant time, bringing on breast soreness, cramps and headaches, just to name a few common menstruation symptoms. However, for some women, period pain is more than just typical cramps. It’s painful enough to interfere with daily life and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
If your periods involve a lot of pain or seem to be getting worse over time, it can be a sign you have uterine fibroids or endometriosis. It’s very important to discuss this with your doctor because you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are treatments available to ease your pain.
Discuss any vaginal odour during your gynecologist consultation
While it can be uncomfortable to talk to your doctor about vaginal odours, you must let them know if you have a fishy or foul smell, or if there’s been a change from your normal smell that has lasted for longer than a few days. Having an odour is normal, but any foul smells or changes could be the sign of an infection or bacterial overgrowth and require treatment.
Mention any growths, swelling or bumps
Noticing a growth around your labia or in your vagina can be alarming. While bumps are often benign, it’s still important you have your doctor do an exam any time you notice something. While things like genital warts may be noticeable for a period of time, other conditions–such as herpes–can come and go, making it important that you are examined while an outbreak is happening so your doctor can observe it.
Speak up about discomfort during sex
Discomfort during sex might not be a topic you want to mention, but that’s what your gynecologist is there for. Your doctor can help explain what’s causing your issue and help you find a solution.
Cover your sexual history
Your gynecologist is not going to judge you based on your answers to the questions they will ask about your sexual history. It’s important you answer these questions honestly. Your doctor is only asking to determine your risk factors for certain conditions and ensure you’re getting the best possible care.
Bring up any urinary or fecal leakage
Having fecal incontinence or urinary leakage can take a toll on your life quality and add stress to your daily routines. Many women have these symptoms after childbirth, and menopause can make them worse. Your doctor can determine how to treat you and whether a referral to a specialist is necessary in your case.
Your gynecologist is there to answer your questions, check your health and offer advice and guidance. Don’t stay silent during your appointment. Make the most of your visit by discussing any areas of concern with your doctor.