Visiting the gynecologist can be a daunting task. You may feel like you know what to expect, but there are many things that should be discussed during your appointment that you may not have considered. Here are a few topics you should bring up at your next visit to the gynecologist.
1. Breast Self-Exam
If you don't know how to give yourself a breast self-exam, ask. It's not embarrassing. It's life-saving. In fact, the National Breast Cancer Foundation states that "forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women" during a self-exam. Knowing how and what to look for is important, and you should ask your gynecologist for tips on what to do.
2. Recurring Infections
Yeast infections and urinary tract infections are fairly benign. However, when they are recurring on a regular basis, a talk with your gynecologist is warranted. It's possible you may have an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Additionally, something as simple as reducing the amount of sugar you consume can alleviate some symptoms.
3. Urinary Incontinence
Over 50 percent of adult women suffer from urinary incontinence, yet most chalk it up to old age or a lingering pregnancy symptom. The truth is, you don't have to suffer in silence. Speak with your gynecologist about the treatment options you have and the strategies you can implement to help you manage your symptoms.
4. Birth Control
If you are sexually active, you need to discuss birth control options with your gynecologist. Get the information you need about all of the available methods and ask questions. If you don't like one form or another, say so. Take this opportunity to also discuss emergency contraception, sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing, and other related topics.
You may be experiencing hot flashes, missed periods, mood swings, and other perimenopause symptoms. Ask questions about your symptoms and the difference between menopause and perimenopause, so you understand what you are experiencing now and what is coming in the future.
6. Vaginal Dryness or Pain During Sex
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness or pain during sex, this is a topic you should definitely bring to the attention of your gynecologist. You may have an infection you are not aware of, the beginnings of perimenopause, or an undiagnosed STD. Speaking up and advocating for your health is the key to getting the care you need.
Remember, your gynecologist is an ally in your health journey, and you should feel comfortable talking to them about your concerns. They are there for much more than just giving annual exams. They are also a valuable source of information in understanding and taking charge of your health needs.
Contact a local gynecologist to learn more.