A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health. Most adult women should see a gynecologist regularly, whether they are sexually active or not. When and how often you see your gynecologist may depend on your age and life circumstances.
However, you may experience some changes and abnormalities in your body which you should take seriously and here are seven of them.
Here are some circumstances that require that you visit your gynecologist as soon as possible.
1. Heavy Bleeding
Spotting in between periods is normal for many women. It’s a common side effect of the Pill. But if you’re bleeding heavily or it continues for a few days, it’s a good idea to check in with your gynecologist.
Spotting can be a sign of a pelvic infection, cysts, fibroids, polyps, or in rarer cases, gynecological cancer. It’s also common during pregnancy and usually not a big deal—but your doctor will want to know about it to make sure it’s not a worst-case scenario: a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
2. Changes in your menstrual cycle
Any change to your menstrual cycle should be taken seriously. If your menstrual cycle has stopped, become irregular, the flow lasts too long, or if you have any changes in the flow, be specific about what has changed and see your gynecologist.
3. Painful Urination
If it hurts or burns when you urinate, you need to see a gynecologist. In addition, other symptoms of concern include difficulty urinating, frequent urges, lower abdominal pain, or no urination. These can all be signs of a UTI or urinary tract infection. Without proper treatment, it can quickly turn into a kidney infection with chills, nausea, vomiting, and severe back pain.
Don’t delay in calling your gynecologist for proper treatment.
4. Period becomes unbearably painful
Everyone’s periods are different, and it’s normal for many women to feel some pain. But your cramps shouldn’t leave you feeling incapacitated. If they do, it can be a sign of a bigger problem. If you’ve had bad cramps your whole life, chances are it’s less clinically significant. If they start later in life, or the pain worsens or changes over time, that’s more concerning—it could mean you’ve developed a condition (such as a benign tumour called a fibroid) that’s causing your discomfort.
5. Abnormal vaginal discharge or odour
Regular discharge is mostly odourless. If you notice a slight change in the way your vagina or discharge smells, that’s totally normal. What’s not normal is a sudden foul or fishy odour, especially if it’s accompanied by a change in discharge colour, irritation, or itchiness. That’s a good indicator of infection like bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis (a common STI), or a yeast infection.
6.Pelvic pain or bloating that lasts more than two weeks
Cramps or pelvic pain along with bloating might seem like no big deal — maybe it was something you ate or a sign your period is on its way — but if you’re experiencing these symptoms for longer than two weeks, see your doctor. Pelvic pain can signal bowel issues such as colitis, irritable bowel, rarely colon polyps or cancer, ovarian cysts, or rarely ovarian cancer, or enlarging uterine fibroids.
7. Pain during sexual intercourse
Pain during intercourse is actually pretty common, and most of the time can be fixed by changing positions or lubing up. If it’s not, it may be a sign something’s going on internally. Deep pain can mean endometriosis, and a sudden, sharp pain could be a ruptured ovarian cyst.
Fibroids or cervicitis, inflammation of the cervix caused by an STI or other infection (like yeast), can also make sex painful. If the pain is more of a burning or stabbing around the opening of the vagina, it could signal a condition called vulvodynia; pain with insertion (or inability to insert anything into the vagina) may be a condition called vaginismus, which causes involuntary muscle spasms. A pelvic inflammatory disease may also cause painful sex, but many times is symptomless.