8 Topics You Should Always Discuss With Your OB/GYN
Have you ever wondered if something you were experiencing could be a sign of a potential health problem but were too afraid to ask? Lots of women feel embarrassed to bring these issues up, but trust us–your OB/GYN has seen and heard it all, and we are here to help you. Here are 8 things you should always discuss with your gynecologist:
It’s important to talk about how many sexual partners you've had, if you've had any sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and about your sexual orientation and gender identity. These topics are important for your health and wellbeing, but we are not here to judge you. Answer honestly so that we can provide you with the highest level of care.
Aches and pains during sex, your period, or during pregnancy could be perfectly normal. But if your pain is disrupting your life or otherwise feels different or unusual, it’s always best to talk to your doctor. You shouldn’t have to live with incapacitating pain that affects your life or is causing you worry, and it’s our job to help keep you as healthy as you can be.
Low Sex Drive
Having a low libido can be fairly common during different times in a woman’s life for different reasons. But it's important to talk about it with your doctor to discover any underlying cause. Let your doctor know what you are experiencing, and we can examine potential causes as well as possible treatments or interventions.
A slight vaginal odor is usually normal, but if you notice a change from normal or any particularly strong smelling foul or fishy odors, those should always be mentioned to your OB/GYN.
Lumps and Bumps
Bumps are often benign, but it's important to have your doctor perform an examination when you feel or see something out of the ordinary. If you notice any color or texture changes, soreness, lumps, or hardened tissue in your breasts or pubic area, tell your doctor. Your OB/GYN will determine the cause and recommend treatment if needed, or calm your fears that all is normal.
If you are having issues with your mood, suffering from feelings of depression or anxiety, or struggling with intrusive thoughts, telling your OB/GYN can be a great first step. Your mental health can go through lots of ups and downs during life stages like pregnancy or menopause, but whatever the reason, we can help you or refer you to a specialist who can.
Incontinence or Leakage
Many women will experience urinary or fecal incontinence after childbirth, particularly if they had a large baby or a vaginal delivery with forceps or a vacuum. Entering menopause may worsen these symptoms. Despite being somewhat common, these symptoms can be deeply embarrassing and affect your quality of life, and there may be medical or surgical management options available. By talking with your gynecologist, we can determine the proper treatment and refer you to a pelvic floor specialist if necessary.
Contraception and Family Planning
Your OB/GYN is a great resource to talk with about your fertility, birth control options, and plans for becoming pregnant. We can offer advice on topics ranging from ovulation kits, birth control types, pregnancy tests, early signs of pregnancy, and more. Let us know your desires for family planning, and we can support you on your journey.
When it comes to sexual and reproductive health, it can be hard to know which issues are just part of being a woman and which ones are worth bringing up with your doctor. When in doubt, go ahead and bring it up. That’s what we’re here for.