We all know that prevention is better than cure: so, nowadays, your Gynecologist also emphasizes you to go for regular Well Women Checkups. In order that you understand your body well, some issues that you need to understand and consult as and when need arises according to the US Department of Health & Human Sciences are
- Pain abdomen and discomfort – can have numerous reasons attributable to gynecologic or gastrointestinal pathology. The type and severity of pain give a clue to approach the right diagnosis. Ultrasound pelvis and abdomen also helps to rule gall stones, kidney stones, liver disorder or cystitis. Acute pain can be associated with ectopic gestation (pregnancy outside the uterus), ruptured ovarian cyst or acute pelvic inflammation or acute appendicitis or ovarian or uterine torsion and degeneration of uterine fibroid. If pelvic pain is associated with pain during periods or during sex, possibility of endometriosis has to be ruled out by tests and clinical findings. A pelvic examination helps to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
- Irregular and heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods: Some women have spotting before or after periods but this not an alarming sign. The right time to call your Gynecologist is when your periods are heavy with clots and prolonged flow or you need to change your pads every 2 to 3 hours. Bleeding in between periods is not a good sign and warrants a checkup to rule out a submucus fibroid. For such conditions, pap smear, endometrial biopsy and ultrasound may be useful to reach a correct diagnosis and rule out cervical or uterine cancer in perimenopausal or postmenopausal age.
- Missed periods: It definitely needs to be investigated. In reproductive age, pregnancy has to be ruled out first. Other common reasons could be hormonal imbalance due thyroid dysfunction or polycystic ovarian syndrome or hyperprolactinaemia. Even severe tubercular infection or excessive uterine curettage can lead to this problem.
- Postmenopausal bleeding: Women should not bleed once menopause has been attained after one year of no menses. If bleeding occurs, uterine or cervical cancer or polyp has to be ruled out.
- Vaginal discharge and itching: It is one of the most common reasons for you to visit your best Gynecologist. Vaginal discharge is usually a sign or reproductive tract or sexually transmitted infections. It can be accompanied by pain abdomen or itching. Discharge can be normal if not associated with burning in vagina or a foul smell. Curdy white discharge may be a sign of candidal vaginitis and needs to be treated to avoid its spread further.
- Urinary or bowel symptoms: Urinary incontinence or difficulty moving your bowels can be symptoms of pelvic floor problems. That’s when thetissues that support the pelvic organs become damaged or weakened, often due to childbirth. If the muscles are weak, your gynecologist may suggest special pelvic exercises, called kegels, to strengthen the area. But if there’s a tear, your gynecologist will suggest other treatment options.
- Pain during intercourse: One of life’s greatest pleasures shouldn’t be painful. Pain during sex can be felt as deep pelvic pain or soreness in your genital area. Common causes are vaginal dryness, infections, or uterine fibroids etc. Your gynecologist will likely perform a pelvic exam and tests to find out what’s wrong.
The need for Gynecologist arises since your teenage years to educate you on pubertal changes, contraception and safe sexual practices, HPV Vaccinatiion, menstrual hygiene etc to reproductive age problems (fertility issues, menstrual irregularities, urinary or reproductive tract infections to women nearing menopause with hot flashes, urogenital symptoms or postmenopausal bleeding which may be a forerunner for any gynecological cancer.