It can be hard to discuss intimate issues even with your best friend, much less your gynaecologist.
Here’s a look at burning questions you’ve always wanted to ask your doctor, but haven’t.
Clear or milky vaginal discharge is a normal outcome of changes in the hormonal ecosystem. You may notice changes in your discharge over the course of the month, from a watery consistency after menstruation to an egg-white thickness around ovulation. Such changes are normal, wanted even, for they symbolise positive hormonal fluctuations that occur in tandem with your ovulatory cycle. However, if you notice discharge with a foul odour, or tinted green or yellow, you may want to have yourself checked for an infection.
Must Read: More Vaginal Discharge
Take heart in knowing that this is a common problem faced by millions of women around the world. Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, occurs due to weakened muscles and nerves. You can fortify your muscles to increase your bladder capacity by practising Kegel exercises. Alternatively, if you are diagnosed with an overactive bladder, you may be advised medication to arrest nerve signals that heighten your sense of urgency with respect to urination.
Must Read: Break Free from Urinary Incontinence
Painful intercourse is more common than you think, and it may be caused by a number of factors, from vaginal dryness to more serious gynaecological diseases like endometriosis. Confide in your gynaecologist to help you seek a definitive diagnosis.
Menstrual cycles are not set in stone, so there’s a range of normalcy as far as flow and frequency go. Most women experience 24-32 day cycles, each lasting between 4 and 7 days. If your periods are erratic, irregular, prolonged, excessively heavy or entail significant pain, speak to your doctor to investigate possible underlying causes.
Must Read: Abnormal Bleeding
A reduced sex drive can be the outcome of several factors; stress, anxiety, fatigue, poor self-esteem or personal inhibitions. Take some time to understand what’s driving down your libido. Is there a specific concern? Is it rooted in something deeper? Sometimes, a drop in libido can be attributed to health concerns like heart disease, diabetes and unchecked thyroid disorders. Skewed testosterone and oestrogen levels can also be to blame. Your doctor can help you identify specific medical or other causes impacting your libido and prescribe a suitable treatment plan to raise your spirits and your sex drive.
The run-up to menopause can send your body into a tizzy, with hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, irregular periods and night sweats occurring often. In India, the average age of menopause is 46.2 years, so if you’re in your late 30s or early 40s, and experiencing various unusual symptoms, it may be worthwhile to check in with a doctor. If you are indeed in perimenopause, your gynaecologist might prescribe some solutions to tide you through this phase with minimal discomfort.
Your body is still tender after birthing a baby, so it’s natural for it to take its time getting in form. Your doctor might recommend waiting for at least six weeks after childbirth to have sex, to allow your body to heal from the bruises and physical trauma of childbirth. Remind yourself to be gentle on your body in the wake of your delivery. It’s likely that your oestrogen levels are still low and vaginal dryness may be a real possibility. Use a water-based lubricant to ease any friction during postpartum sex.
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