Regardless of one’s place of residence, talking about sexual health has always been a tricky issue. Even with gynecologists, women might find it difficult to talk about sexual habits, physical changes, periods, and other health issues, even with a doctor specializing in female reproductive organs’ health. The gynecologist is also responsible for performing a wide range of physical tests and exams focused on women’s health. So, it makes sense for the patient to give out their complete medical history and other relevant information for the proper care and treatment.
What may seem normal to you might indicate a potential underlying health problem. Even when you are embarrassed to discuss certain issues, do not think too much and share them with your gynecologist. Ultimately, the doctor is there to provide you with the best care and not pass out any judgment. There have seen and heard it all, so there is honestly no need to be embarrassed.
When you are at your gynecologist, here are some things that you should never forget to talk about.
#1 Painful Periods
Talking about painful periods can be embarrassing, which is why women often shy away from talking about their painful periods assuming it to be something of a norm. Yes, periods can be painful at times, with cramps, breast soreness, and headaches being some of the more common symptoms. But the pain you might be experiencing may be getting worse over time. These can be early indications of endometriosis and uterine fibroids. So, it is essential that you talk to your gynecologist about your painful periods.
Depending on the progression of the pain in the last few cycles, the doctor would recommend tests than can diagnose any such condition. There are also ways to manage the pain as well. Please inform your doctor about the painful periods so they can recommend simple treatments to help you manage the pain more effectively.
#2 Sexual Discomfort
Another equally important thing you must discuss with your gynecologist is the discomfort during sexual intercourse. Yes, talking about your sexual activity with a doctor might be awkward, but you need to explain your concerns so the doctor can advise proper treatment. There are basically two types of sexual discomfort that a woman might experience – vaginal dryness and pain during sex.
Vaginal Dryness: Vaginal dryness during intercourse is a common problem and not something to be worried about if proper treatment is administered. There could be many reasons behind your body experiencing such. But the most common factors are the women’s age and the mitigating factors in her life. Low estrogen is another factor that could be behind this condition.
Pain during sex: Another sexual discomfort could be the pain a woman is experiencing during intercourse. It is advisable one should change their position where they feel more comfortable. Use of lubricant is also advised. However, it should be noted that lubricants do not help with bleeding or vaginal dryness.
#3 Urinary or Fecal leakage
You should immediately connect with your gynecologist if you have been experiencing urinal or fecal leakage for some time. It could be pretty stressful for any woman to experience. Luckily for you, it is a common condition that women worldwide experience, especially after childbirth. These symptoms are often expected in the case of delivery that has required forceps and a vacuum. Women who enter their menopause stage also experience similar symptoms, which can worsen with time.
By making your gynecologist aware of these symptoms, you can get appropriate treatment depending on the nature of incontinence. There are many medical and surgical options that are available for you; you only need to make your gynecologist aware of this. If required, the doctor would refer to a pelvic floor disorder specialist. DO NOT take any medication for this issue without proper guidance from your doctor.
#4 Vaginal Odor
Vaginal odor can be an uncomfortable topic to broach with your doctor. Still, it is essential to discuss, especially if there is any kind of foul or fishy smell in your nether regions. If the smell has persisted for a while, it could be a sign of bacterial overgrowth or vaginal infection. Both of these conditions require immediate treatment; otherwise, they could significantly impact the patient’s physical and mental health.
#5 Sexual History
The last of the five things you must discuss with your gynecologist is your sexual history. Now, if you already have a gynecologist that you visit for your regular checkup, you can ignore this point. They would already have your sexual history on the file and would only require you to inform them about any recent changes in your sexual activity and lifestyle.
On the other hand, if you are visiting a gynecologist for the very first time, then it is essential that you are very open with your sexual history. Questions like how often you had sex in the last year, the number of partners you had, or the first time you had sex might seem a bit judging but do not worry, as these are basic questions that a gynecologist needs to be answered to get a clear picture of your health.
Here are some reasons why these questions need to be answered correctly.
They assist the doctor in determining whether there is any risk for cervical dysplasia or HPV infection. Having more sexual partners or having intercourse before the age of 18 significantly increases the risks of HPV. The cervical-vaginal is more pronounced when the female is under the age of 18, leaving them susceptible to HPV infection.
By having a clearer picture of your sexual history, the gynecologist can provide appropriate treatment if there is a risk of one suffering from STDs. They will also offer to counsel if the situation arises.
It helps the doctor ensure that the patient receives the best possible care. Without knowing the correct sexual history of their patient, the gynecologist would be unable to provide appropriate care. There are also many health issues that are often found in lesbian and bisexual women, which can only be treated if the doctor is fully aware of the patient’s sexual history.
Do not feel hesitant and awkward when discussing your sex life with your doctor; they very likely have heard all of this before. Gynecologists are professionals trained to provide the best possible care to women. And discussing any problem with them is in itself the first step to dealing with severe diseases easily and quickly. So, by withholding any information, you are only shooting yourself in the foot.