A gynaecologist specialises in women’s health, particularly in the female reproductive system. They handle a broad range of gynaecological issues, such as menstruation, pregnancy, obstetrics, childbirth, and sexually-transmitted disorders.
Nevertheless, it might be difficult to determine what is normal and what may be a sign of a possible health issue when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. Hence, revealing issues needed to discuss with the gynaecologist is critical. Here are seven essential things to discuss with your gynecologist.
Often, women fear their doctors would judge them when they knew about their sexual history. The doctors may ask them about the following questions:
- How many men have they slept with?
- What is their age when they first engaged in sex?
- Have they ever been infected with the sexually-transmitted disease?
- What is their sexual orientation?
Knowing the answers to these questions is critical for multiple reasons, which include:
- To identify risk factors for HPV infection and cervical dysplasia: Women who have sexual intercourse when they are younger than eighteen years old might make them more vulnerable to Human Papilloma Virus infection since the junction between the cervix and vagina is more conspicuous when women are younger. Sleeping with many partners also increases their chances of exposure.
- To discuss possible ramifications of previous STIs: Some sexually-transmitted disorders may affect women’s fertility. Hence, gynaecologists may want to offer proper counselling in case the situation arises.
- To make sure patients get the best care possible: Research found some health concerns among trans men and bisexual and lesbian women. Hence, both LGBT patients and healthcare providers should know about possible health issues and address them appropriately.
The discomfort felt during intercourse
While bringing up the topic of sexual discomfort may not be comfortable for most women, this topic is critical to discuss with the gynaecologist to diagnose and treat their condition. Some discomfort women may feel during intercourse include:
- Vaginal dryness: Many women experience this issue during sex. Often, vaginal dryness can be reliant on the women’s age and mitigating factors in their lives. For instance, for younger women who have been on birth control for a long time, this issue may be due to a lack of estrogen, and she might have to change her birth control. For busy moms, on the other hand, this issue might be because of the lack of foreplay and arousal before intercourse.
- Pain during intercourse: Women who experience pain during sex should try a different position and find one where they feel comfortable. Sometimes, they may need to consult with their gynaecologists, especially if they feel pain in all positions they have tried, if lubricants do not help with the dryness or if they bleed after sex.
Low libido is a common issue in women. Sometimes, medications may affect libido. It may also indicate underlying medical issues or known health concern’s side effect. The gynaecologists would help determine the best medical interventions in these situations.
Other women, however, may have low libido due to female sexuality’s nature, that is their sexual desire is affected by outside things which are out of their control, such as work and stress.
The presence of any bumps or growth in or around the vagina
Women should talk to their gynaecologists if they notice any growth in their vagina or around their labia. While bumps are benign in most cases, patients should request the doctor to conduct an exam if they feel something.
Abnormal vaginal odour
Having vaginal discharge with odour is normal. But if women notice a fishy or foul smell coming from their vagina, they should talk to their gynaecologists since this may indicate vaginal infection or bacterial overgrowth.
A period is not a pleasant time for many women. They may experience common menstruation symptoms like cramps, soreness of breast and headaches, which may interfere with their daily lives. But for some women, menstruation pain goes beyond cramping and can be severe. Women with painful periods should speak with their doctors as this may be a sign of uterine fibroid or endometriosis.
Faecal or urinary incontinence
Many women experience urinary or faecal incontinence after childbirth, especially if they had a vaginal delivery requiring a vacuum or forceps, or had a large baby. Women entering menopause, however, may experience worse conditions. Hence, they should talk with their gynaecologist to get proper treatment.
While talking about sexual habits, libido, vaginal odours, periods, and other gynaecological issues can be somewhat embarrassing and uncomfortable, it is crucial to discuss these topics with the gynaecologists so they can provide proper treatment to the patients.