As women go through life, there are a lot of natural changes that happen to our bodies. Certainly, through puberty, women’s bodies experience a tremendous amount of change, which can seem a little frightening if you are not expecting it. So, while some changes or issues women experience are nothing to be concerned about, there are other problems that occur which should be seen by a doctor. Going to see a doctor does not always mean there is a serious issue, but it is always better to get something checked out when you have a concern. So, in this article, we will discuss four women’s health issues you should always visit the doctor about.
Changes In Breasts
While changes in breasts are not always a cause for concern, it is always best to get them checked out by a doctor if you notice some serious changes. Women should always regularly check their breasts for any lumps and changes as often the early signs of breast cancer can present themselves in that way. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, so it is very important for people to be aware of the symptoms. When checking your breasts, try to look for hard pea-sized lumps and feel all over your breast, armpit, and up to your collar bone. Lumps can naturally occur in breasts, and most of the time they are harmless, but if you are unsure, then get them checked by a doctor.
Other changes you should look for are changes to the shape or colour of the nipple. You will know what is normal for your body, so if you notice that your nipples have recently changed in texture, and they have an orange peel-like texture, then go and see a doctor. Additionally, if you notice that your nipple is inverting itself or that there is discharge coming from your nipple, then you should make an appointment to get it checked out. Both menstruation and contraception can cause changes in breasts, but it is still always best to regularly check them and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
If you are regularly experiencing pelvic pain, then you should absolutely visit your doctor. Of course, menstruation can cause cramps or some pelvic pain, but if you are experiencing mild to extreme pelvic pain regularly, you need to get it checked out by a doctor. Pelvic pain is, unfortunately, quite common among women, but it doesn’t make it any less serious. It is always important to be aware of your body to ensure that you notice when something feels off. Pelvic pain is quite a generic term, and the symptoms can vary. It can include but is not limited to sharp stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a knotted feeling. If you start to experience any of these or any other forms of pelvic pain, then it is best to get it checked out.
Like the symptoms of pelvic pain, the causes can vary too. Menstruation is a leading cause of pelvic cramps, but it can also be caused by something more serious too. Endometriosis is one condition that can cause pelvic pain and can leave you feeling nauseous. The symptoms of endometriosis can vary, and it is often not diagnosed until years later. Because a lot of the symptoms are similar to menstrual cramps, many women will go undiagnosed as their pain is considered to be in line with what is expected during their period. If you are continuously suffering from pelvic pain, then make a diary of your symptoms and include details of the timings of the pain and how severe the pain is. You can then take this to your doctor who can review your symptoms and make a decision from there.
Vaginal discharge is a completely normal thing that most women experience. Every person with a vagina can experience discharge in a different way, and if you have discharge then you will know what is normal for you. Discharge serves a very important function in the overall health of the vagina. A vagina is essentially a self-cleaning machine, and discharge plays a huge part in keeping the vaginal healthy and protected from infections. If you have been menstruating for some time, you may have noticed changes to your discharge. This is normal, so long as your discharge returns to its usual state after menstruation.
In terms of abnormal or unusual discharge, one major thing to look out for is the smell. A healthy discharge shouldn’t have a smell, so make a doctor’s appointment if you notice that your discharge has started to get a smell. Another thing to look out for is consistency. If your discharge is presenting as an almost cottage cheese-like consistency, then it could be sign of a yeast infection. Additionally, if your discharge is more of a grey or yellow colour, then you may have bacterial vaginosis. Ultimately, if you have any concerns about your discharge, then it is always best to consult your doctor. Most of the time, abnormal discharge will be a sign of an infection, which can easily be cleared up with a course of antibiotics.
Pain During Sex
Studies have found that nearly one in 10 British women experience pain during sex. Although this statistic shows that it is common, intercourse shouldn’t be painful, and if you regularly feel pain when having sex, you should go and see your doctor. Unfortunately, there is a lot of time where pain in women is dismissed, and often many women go undiagnosed. Many women assume pain during sex is normal and so they continue to have intercourse assuming there are no issues. While sex can sometimes be uncomfortable, it should not be painful and if you do experience pain make sure you stop and then make an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to give you advice, and potentially provide you with treatments if needed.
Pain during sex can be caused by a number of reasons, and they are not always a serious cause for concern. Often, one of the main causes of pain can be that there is not sufficient lubrication so the friction can cause pain on the vaginal walls. Another potential cause of pain during sex is vaginismus, which is a condition that makes the vagina contract or painfully spasm in response to physical touch. Vaginismus can be extremely painful or even impossible for a woman to have penetrative sex, so if you think you are experiencing this, you should definitely seek advice from your doctor.
Ultimately, if you are concerned with any changes or issues with your body then you should seek advice from your doctor. You know your body better than anyone else so you will be able to tell when something isn’t quite right. Unfortunately for women, pain is ingrained in their daily lives, and it is often assumed that all pain is caused by menstruation. While this sometimes is the case, if you are regularly experiencing pain that is causing you to lose sleep at night, or if you simply have a gut feeling, then you should always get it checked out.