Prevention is the best possible cure against future health problems. With a zillion number of over-the-counter medicines that promise to cure nearly every vaginal infection, it's tempting to skip making an appointment with a gynecologist. But maximum issues down there call for a physical check-up. Visiting a gynecologist every year for a routine check-up is recommended for your health screenings as an important part of staying healthy and combat the risk of health issues. Seldom, females experience symptoms that require an extra visit to the gynecologist outside of your annual appointments such as vaginal discharge, UTI or pelvic pain. It is wise to contact your gynecologist immediately if things feel amiss with your body or reproductive health as staying on top of your health is very crucial. Seeing a gynecologist yearly can help detect and prevent a lot of health-related issues, from menstrual or hormonal imbalances to more serious concern areas like cancer.
A gynecologist will encourage you to be cautious with overall well-being. When you notice any of these signs in your body, it's time to see your gynecologist.
Know when to call your gynecologist
1. Irregular/missed periods
It is important to know what's normal for your body. If you feel weak, dizzy or inactive during menstruation, one should consult a gynecologist. Irregularity in periods can be a symptom of an underlying condition such as PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a hormone imbalance problem. A missed period could be a sign of pregnancy or that there is another medical emergency condition requiring quick attention.
2. Bleeding between periods/postmenopausal bleeding
Occasional spotting between periods shouldn't be a deal but when the bleeding lasts for days or is painful, it's time to contact a gynecologist. This could be a signal of an injury to the vagina or even cancer of the cervix or uterus. Also, it is advisable to check in with the doctor if the periods have stopped due to menopause, but have begun bleeding again which could be a sign of uterine cancer.
3. Unusual discharge or soreness in the genital area
Changes in discharge, as well as itching, discharge or a foul odor, could indicate some type of vaginitis (bacterial infection, yeast infection or possibly a sexually transmitted infection). In most cases, these problems do not go away on their own. Hence, it is advised to consult a gynecologist to evaluate your symptoms for proper treatment.
4. Breast Pain
Any abnormalities in your breasts should be brought in light to the gynecologist. This may include breast pain, bulging, discomfort, lumps or discharge from the breasts. A crusty or scaly nipple should be brought in the notice. Redness, swelling or warmth are a few more signs which should not be ignored. The gynecologist will help figure out if there is anything to be worried about.
5. Pelvic pain and abdominal discomfort
It is important to tell the gynecologist about the kind of pain one is having. Sharp pelvic pain can be a warning sign of an infection, a ruptured ovarian cyst, or a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. Constant pain or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen area indicates uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors. Another potential source of regular pelvic pain can be endometriosis, a common condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside the organ.
(Dr. Dimpy Irani, Obstetrics and gynecologist- Saifee Hospital)
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