11 Times a Woman Must See a Gynaecologist
Most women fear a trip to the gynaecologist. It's uncomfortable, and sometimes, painful. But it's something every woman has to do. If you have any discomfort or questions about your reproductive system, it's better to see a gynaecologist rather than relying on guesswork and advice from friends. They may mean well, but they're not medically qualified.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit a gynaecologist:
1. If you skip your period.
In this case, the first thing your doctor will tackle is the possibility of pregnancy. But that's not the only possibility. Skipping your period is generally one of the first indications of an issue with your reproductive system.
Any of these could be a cause for an irregular menstrual cycle:
A. Excessive weight loss or gain B. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia C. Increased exercise D. Emotional stress E. Illness F. Travel G. Unsuitable birth control medication H. Illegal drug use I. Conditions like polycystic ovaries syndrome or imperforate hymen J. Breast-feeding
2. If you are going to the bathroom too often.
Pay your gynaecologist a visit if you feel the need to urinate every few minutes. If the urine is cloudy and/or leaves a burning sensation, you might have a urinary tract infection.
3. If sexual intercourse hurts.
Some pain during sex is not out of the ordinary. But if it's the kind of pain you've never felt before, see a doctor. It should be more urgent if you bleed during or after sex.
4. If you're wary of birth control.
If you're sexually active and don't want children, you need to discuss safe birth control options with a certified gynaecologist. Don't take a chance with off-the-counter pills. Most women think oral contraceptive pills lead to infertility, but that is a gross misconception. Consult your gynaecologist for pills that will be suitable for you. Do not rely on emergency contraceptives. If taken too frequently, they can damage your reproductive cycle.
5. If you have had unsafe sex.
Unprotected sex is best avoided, but if you have done it with a new partner recently, you must visit your gynaecologist to screen for sexually transmitted diseases. Most people think they can't get STDs when, in fact, they are more common than one might think. Do not take any chances. It's your health and your life at stake.
6. For abnormal vaginal discharge.
Generally, vaginal discharge is normal. It's your body's way of cleaning out the vagina and cervix. The colour of normal discharge can range from clear to a milky white. There will be more discharge if you are ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually aroused. However, if the frequency, colour and odour of the discharge seems abnormal to you, see your gynaecologist. These could be some of the reasons for an abnormal vaginal discharge:
A. Usage of antibiotics or steroids B. Bacterial or sexually transmitted infections C. Pelvic infection D. Yeast infections E. Birth control pills F. Cervical cancer G. Diabetes H. Scented soaps or lotions I. Vaginal atrophy - drying out of vaginal walls during menopause J. Irritation in or around the vagina. Avoid tight pants or underclothes to avoid rashes and irritation.
7. For abnormal bleeding.
Spotting or slight bleeding between periods is not alarming. If you're pregnant, any bleeding should prompt an immediate visit to the gynaecologist. If you're not pregnant, this is why you may have vaginal bleeding:
A. Ovulation B. Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome C. If you have just started using birth control pills or are irregular D. Intrauterine device E. Any infection in the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries F. Pelvic Inflammatory disease G. Hyperthyroidism H. Diabetes I. Cancer of the cervix, uterus, vagina, or ovaries
8. You get a positive pregnancy test.
Regardless of whether or not you want children, you must see your gynaecologist as soon as you get a positive result on a pregnancy test. If you want to continue the pregnancy, you must know how to take care of yourself in the following months. On the other hand, if you're absolutely sure that you want to terminate the pregnancy, don't feel embarrassed to go to the doctor. Tell her everything. Do not take off-the-counter medication, or try to do anything yourself.
9. You have an unusually heavy period.
If your period is unusually painful and the bleeding is heavier than normal, don't ignore it. Periods are considered heavy if you soak a pad or tampon completely every hour for several hours, and if the period lasts longer than 7 days. Blood loss from a heavy period can lead to anaemia, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
This is why you may be experiencing unusually heavy periods:
A. Hormonal imbalance B. Fibroids C. Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy D. Problematic intrauterine device E. Pelvic inflammatory disease F. Thyroid disease G. Liver or kidney disease
10. For unusual lumps in your breasts.
Doctors advise all women to do a breast exam at home at least once a month. If you don't know how to do a breast exam, ask your gynaecologist for help, or see this video .
This is what you should be looking out for during a breast exam.
A. Any changes in size, shape, or colour B. Any visible distortion or swelling C. Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin D. Inverted nipple E. Redness, soreness, or rash F. Any discharge from the nipples
11. If you're trying to get pregnant.
You may need to undergo some specific medical procedures, or just make some lifestyle changes if you've been trying to get pregnant for a while but haven't succeeded so far. This is especially important if you have abnormal thyroid, or polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOD). These are very common conditions in women these days and generally don't interfere with their daily routine. Consult your gynaecologist to figure out your ovulation cycle.
Make yourself a priority, ladies. Take care of yourselves.