The thought of getting your lady-bits examined by someone can be a pretty daunting thing. Which is why a lot of women (some of us, too!) try very hard to put off that all-important appointment with a gynaecologist. But, you know, there are some times when you just can't avoid it. Paying a visit to your gynaecologist isn’t just about pre-natal check-ups and stuff - there are many other times when you can’t ignore your body and need to figure out what exactly is up with your plumbing! You know it's time to visit your gynaecologist when...
From irregular periods to getting it too often (less than every 28 days), these are warning signs that you should see a specialist. If your flow has suddenly gotten way heavier than before and you’re soaking through pads/ tampons every few hours, or if you feel dizzy and weak during that time of the month, it’s reason enough to make an appointment. These problems could be related to anything from a thyroid issue to stress and diet. If you feel like you’re approaching menopause, you should pay your gynaecologist a visit just to make sure all is well and to help you cope with it well.
Unbearable period pain can be caused by a condition called endometriosis, while a sharp, sudden pelvic pain can be a sign of an ovarian cyst, whereas a constant, dull ache in the abdomen can indicate an ovarian fibroid. All of these require medical attention; so if you’re experiencing any type of pain in that region, get yourself checked immediately. It could be nothing or it could be any of these conditions - either way, better to be safe than sorry.
It’s embarrassing, but it’s more common than you thought. So if you’re experiencing any vaginal itching or burning, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. It can be super uncomfortable and could be a sign of urinary tract infection (UTI), yeast or bacterial infections or even a STD. Don’t worry, these conditions can be treated easily once diagnosed by a professional.
If you’re sexually active, then it’s even more important to schedule routine visits with your doctor to ensure that all is good. With every sexual partner that you have, you’re chances of contracting human papillomavirus (HPV) increases, which can in turn increase the risk of cervical infections and cancer. That’s why it’s important to get a Pap smear to ensure that you have nothing to worry about. Plus, it’s always good to seek advice on the best form of contraception for you from your doctor during your visit.
If sex is more painful than pleasurable, then that’s reason enough to make an appointment ASAP. Why would you want to miss out on one of the greatest pleasures of life? Painful sex can range from soreness down there to a deeper pelvic pain, and can be caused by a variety of reasons like vaginal dryness, uterine fibroids or infections. Your gynaecologist will most likely perform a pelvic exam and run some tests to find out the cause.
From chronic acne to a sudden onset of breakouts, to stray hairs sprouting on places you least expected, to weight gain/ loss as well as irregularities in your period and excessive hair fall - all of these are signs of hormonal irregularities. They can be caused by anything from PCOS/ PCOD to thyroid problems, and demand professional attention immediately.
Your vagina is amazingly conditioned to self-clean, and discharge is one of your body’s way of keeping it clean and healthy. Depending on your monthly cycle, the thickness of discharge varies on how far along you are in your cycle. But if it is yellow, grey or even green and has a bad odour, that is most likely a symptom of a bacterial or yeast infection. It could also be accompanied by itching, soreness or burning, so it’s best to get it treated as soon as possible.
If you’re having trouble controlling the pressure during peeing, or are facing a difficulty with bowel movements, it could point to pelvic floor problems. It could be caused due to weakened muscles and tissues in the pelvic region (often due to childbirth), and your practitioner will help you strengthen the area by suggesting Kegel exercises (for the pelvic region).
If you feel like you have a lump in your breast, that can cause plenty of anxiety. Save yourself from all that stress and get it checked out immediately. Not all lumps are cancerous; most breast lumps turn out to be benign cysts or caused by infections or hormonal irregularities, so don’t panic until you visit a professional. But do visit right away.