6 Symptoms You Should Always

Many people have a difficult time talking about their sexual and reproductive health because they may feel embarrassed or fear being judged. However, your gynecologist is devoted to helping you manage your sexual and reproductive health without feelings of shame or judgment. Therefore, it is essential to tell them about symptoms, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Here are six symptoms that you should always tell your gynecologist about: 

Vaginal Odor

Although it is uncomfortable to talk about vaginal odors, these odors actually provide your gynecologist with key diagnostic information. Changes in your normal odor or foul odors can indicate the possibility of a vaginal infection. Certain odors can even provide insight as to the type of infection. 

Urinary or Fecal Incontinence

Incontinence of any kind is extremely stressful and should be discussed with your gynecologist. Both types of incontinence can occur after childbirth or menopause. They can also be symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder. Discussing these symptoms with your gynecologist allows them to provide you with the necessary treatment to relieve these symptoms. 

woman with painful menstrual cramps curled up in a ball

Vaginal Lumps and Bumps

Vaginal lumps and bumps can occur for a variety of reasons. Most cases of vaginal bumps are benign and are simply caused by an ingrown hair or cuts from shaving. However, some cases can be caused by genital warts or herpes lesions. To be safe, you should always see your gynecologist if you notice any lumps or bumps that were not there before. 

Painful Periods

While it is normal to experience minor discomfort in the form of cramps, breast tenderness, and headaches during your periods, severe pain should be discussed with your gynecologist. If your cramps are so severe that they make it difficult or impossible to carry on with your daily routine or if the pain has been getting progressively worse with each period, then you should discuss this with your gynecologist since it can be a symptom of uterine fibroids or endometriosis. There are various treatments available for these conditions and other causes of painful periods. 

Low Libido

Having a decreased desire for sex can have a variety of causes such as certain medications, underlying medical conditions, stress, and the nature of female sexuality. Your gynecologist can identify the cause of your low libido and help you make certain adjustments to increase your libido. 

Dryness or Pain During Sex

In some cases, low libido can be caused by sexual discomfort. Sexual discomfort usually takes the form of vaginal dryness or pain. Vaginal dryness can occur as a result of low estrogen levels and can indicate that a change in birth control or prescription for vaginal estrogen is needed. It can also be a sign that more foreplay is needed before sex. Pain during sex that occurs in any position, is not helped by lubricants, or that is accompanied by bleeding should also be discussed with your gynecologist. Sex should not be painful, and experiencing pain during sex can be caused by a number of things. 

Overall, these are six symptoms that you should always tell your gynecologist about so that they can help treat the cause of these symptoms. Your gynecologist is devoted to your sexual and reproductive health, however they cannot help you if you do not communicate your symptoms with them. Even though it can be uncomfortable to talk about your sexual and reproductive health, it is worth the brief moment of embarrassment. 

Headshot of Sunshine State Women's Care Dr. Zann

Dr. Geoffrey Zann is a Certified Robotic Da Vinci Surgeon, Board-certified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a Diplomat of the American Board Obstetrics of Gynecology.  He has been a member of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and the Hugh R. K. Barber Obstetric and Gynecologic Society.