5 tell-tale signs you should see your gynecologist

It can be a struggle for some to decide when to call their gynecologist. Many ask themselves questions like “Is my period late because I’m stressed or is this PCOS?” Others simply search for symptoms online instead of actually visiting a gynecologist for their reproductive health concerns. 

This apprehension has been ingrained in us because we were rarely, if ever, taught when we should see a gynecologist. As a result, many conditions go unnoticed and untreated. 

To help you decide when to call your gynecologist, here are five signs to look out for:

When there are changes in your period

Not everyone has perfect period cycles. However, sudden and extreme changes in your cycle such as it being too long or too short, too painful, or too heavy are signals to visit your gynecologist. Celebrity gynecologist Dr. Thais Aliabadi’s health website says that the menstrual cycle changes as such is our reproductive system’s “check engine” light. Don’t disregard these changes as “just hormonal” things. Besides, hormonal changes also call for check-ups with your doctor.

When you’re in pain

Feeling pain is your body telling you that something’s not right. Whether it’s pain from peeing or from having sex, it’s best to see your doctor to find out what’s causing it. Experiencing pain can be caused by an array of conditions from urinary tract infection to sexually transmitted diseases to issues needing surgery

When your vagina smells different

Vaginas don’t smell like rose petals and vanilla. If it does, then that’s concerning. Gynecologist and author Dr. Sherry Ross said to Health.com that “The vagina is not meant to smell like a rose garden.” Vaginal discharge is usually clear and odorless. Sure, it can be a bit sour and tangy due to normal bacterial flora. But anything other than that should be checked by your gyno.

When you notice breast lumps, unusual skin texture, and nipple discharge

Some people think gynecologists are only doctors for vaginal concerns. Gynecologists also check breast-related concerns like lumps, rashes, or nipple discharge. When experiencing breast concerns, it’s best to book a breast exam with your doctor to screen and prevent conditions and diseases like cancer. Taking preventative measures is better than risking worsening because of neglect.

When your PMS is debilitating

Many have been conditioned to think that experiencing physical and emotional  changes before or during your period is normal, regardless of the severity and extent to which it’s impacting day-to-day activities. When your cramps are too painful and you notice that the symptoms you’re experiencing on your period are extreme, it’s time to call your gynecologist. It might not be mild premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but it could possibly be a more severe form called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Art by Ella Lambio

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Andrea Posadas: Andrea is a perpetual daydreamer who hopes to pack as many punches in her voice as there are in her words someday.