If you are one of the many ladies who are hesitant to discuss their most intimate details with their gynecologist, you’d better get over your embarrassment. Discussing certain symptoms and health issues openly with your physician, and making sure s/he is in the loop as soon as they appear, will result in a higher chance of early diagnosis and accurate treatment if need be. Read down below as we reveal a few common confessions... that could have easily been yours had you had the courage to reveal them!
Confessions live from the bedroom!
Many women experience painful sexual intercourse but choose to hide their suffering, especially if there is no openness to discuss such delicate issues with their husbands. Many choose to simply avoid sex to try and deal with the situation. Here’s a better way to manage your pain: speak up at your gynecologist's clinic! Pain during sex can be due to vaginal dryness, a medical condition such as vaginismus (involuntary contraction of pelvic floor muscles), vulvodynia (chronic pain of the vulva - the entrance of the vagina), or ovarian cancer... many of which ca n be simply managed using lubricants.
Another sensitive issue that many women face is a sinking libido. How do they handle it? By giving excuses such as feeling tired, not being in the mood, or too busy with the kids. Here’s a golden alternative: discuss this with your gynecologist, as it may be a sign a of medical issue such as cancer, diabetes, vulvodynia, or high blood pressure. It can also be an adverse effect of certain medications due to chronic depression or resulting from emotional relationship related problems.
Confessions from down there!
Many women are reluctant to discuss certain signs and symptoms such as experiencing a smelly, itchy vagina, leaking urine, unusual vaginal discharge, or pain when urinating. Perhaps this is because they are afraid of being judged by their gynecologist or worried about being given guidelines for proper hygiene. If you are one of these many women, you should definitely reconsider as these signs can be indicators of more serious problems.
Vaginal odor, for example, is commonly due to vaginal bacteria, sexually transmitted diseases (Chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis), pelvic inflammatory disease, or yeast infections. Causes that are less common, but worth considering, are cervical or vaginal cancer. An itchy vagina is mainly due to candidiasis (vaginal yeast infection) that affects around 3 out of every 4 women. Unusual vaginal discharge is equally important, as it may reveal bacterial infection, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, or thinning and drying of vaginal walls. How would you know about all these underlying conditions if you are too embarrassed to mention them to your gynecologist?!
On the other hand, leaking urine or pain when urinating is often ignored, although again these are alarming signs. Leaking urine can be caused by either weak, lower urinary tract muscles or damage in nerves that control urination and can be signaling emotional stress, Parkinson disease, or stroke. Likewise, pain when urinating can reveal sexually transmitted disease, bladder stones, vaginal infection, kidney stones, or vaginal yeast infection – all of which are worth further investigation by your gynecologist.
Confessions from your monthly diary!
Your gynecologist needs to specifically know all about your monthly visitor! Is your cycle regular or irregular? Is the visit duration any shorter or longer than usual? Is it causing you too much pain? Discussing these with your gynecologist is important because painful periods can be due to uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths of the uterus), endometriosis (a disorder in which tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grow outside it), or pelvic inflammatory disease – all of which require immediate treatment.