It is common for women to develop some form of uterine prolapse, especially as they age. Though it often does not cause symptoms, in some cases, this condition can be embarrassing, cause discomfort, and interfere with daily life. However, understanding the causes behind uterine prolapse can help women with prevention and treatment.The uterus is a female sex organ…
3 Signs You Should Visit a Gynecologist
Annual checkups with a gynecologist allow for preventive treatment and early detection of health problems. However, there are times when these routine visits are not enough. Certain issues and life changes require a visit to the gynecologist between regular checkups.
Why visit a gynecologist in between checkups?
While waiting until one’s next annual checkup may be okay, scheduling a visit between these appointments may provide more immediate relief. For example, this relief may be in the form of pain relief for severe menstrual cramps. Where life changes are concerned, such as becoming intimate with a new partner or deciding to start a family, an in-between visit allows a patient to make well-informed decisions without waiting too long. Below are three of the most common signs to visit the gynecologist between checkups:
Severe pain during menstruation, ovulation, or sex
Menstruation pain is normal and expected. However, for some people, period pain can be severe to the point that it interferes with regular activities. Talk to a gynecologist if severe period pain is accompanied by heavy bleeding, blood clots larger than a quarter, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
A visit to the gynecologist is also recommended for severe pain during ovulation, which occurs about 14 days before menstruation. Like menstrual pain, ovulation pain may range from dull to sharp. It can even come in the form of cramps.
Finally, if a patient experiences discomfort or pain during sex, a gynecologist may help. The fix could be as simple as more lubrication. They can discuss treatment options if the pain and discomfort are due to a health condition, such as vaginismus, in which the vaginal muscles tighten involuntarily during attempted penetration. Depending on the cause, they may recommend certain exercises, physical therapy, sexual therapy, or medication.
Becoming sexually active or having multiple partners
Becoming sexually active for the first time or after a period of inactivity warrants a trip to the gynecologist. Not only can a gynecologist provide birth control options, but they can also order testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is a misconception that getting tested for STIs means the person does not trust their previous or current partner. However, STI testing is not a sign of mistrust but a sign of responsibility and care for one’s current partner. It only takes one partner to get an STI, and many STIs lay dormant. Chlamydia, genital herpes, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are some examples.
Similarly, people who have multiple partners may benefit from getting tested for STIs multiple times a year. This particularly applies if one of the patient’s former partners reports being diagnosed with an STI. While many patients find it nerve-wracking to get tested, a trained gynecologist puts patient comfort first.
Planning on having a baby
Patients who are thinking of becoming pregnant should consult a gynecologist. They can advise on stopping birth control, provide a fertility consultation, and discuss what to expect regarding conception and each trimester. A gynecologist may also recommend lifestyle changes to support a healthy pregnancy, such as:
- Stopping alcohol and tobacco use
- Limiting caffeine consumption
- Following a nutritious diet
- Getting in better shape
- Stress management
- Products to avoid (such as certain skin care products)
If a patient is already pregnant, a gynecologist can still help by providing prenatal care. Pregnant people should keep regular appointments with an OB-GYN to ensure their health and that of the baby. Not only will these medical providers help them prepare for childbirth, but they can also guide them through it.
Other reasons to visit a gynecologist
The above are only some of the most common reasons to visit a gynecologist. However, there are other times when it is worth booking a checkup. A common example is if the patient notices changes in breast size or lumps and bumps in the breasts. Other examples include:
- Vaginal odors
- STI symptoms, such as bumps on the vulva
- Unusual bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Changes in bleeding during periods (e.g., heavier bleeding)
- Changes in libido (e.g, low libido)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Schedule an OB-GYN visit
While you may have an annual visit scheduled, a checkup is sometimes recommended. Consult a gynecologist whether you are dealing with severe menstrual pain, are planning to become intimate with a partner, or are starting a new family. If you are having other issues related to female reproductive health, call our Fresno clinic to schedule an appointment.
Request an appointment here: https://fresnoobgyn.com or call Camilla L. Marquez, MD at (559) 424-1180 for an appointment in our Fresno office.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Gynecologist in Fresno, CA.
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