Often it’s hard to distinguish between what’s normal and what needs a doctor's attention. Here are the most common health symptoms women should not ignore.
Symptom #1: Pelvic Pain
Chronic pelvic pain can indicate benign uterine fibroids, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
“Fortunately, most pelvic discomfort isn’t related to ovarian cancer, but women should know the disease’s unremitting constellation of symptoms,” Holly Puritz, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician and gynecologist told WebMD.
The constellation of symptoms can include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and cramps nausea, diarrhea, abdominal swelling, constipation, or sudden unexplained weight change.
“If you have two weeks of bloating, pelvic pressure, and frequent urination -- and every day, you have it -- that’s a potential sign you should be checked for possible symptoms of ovarian cancer,” said Puritz in WebMD.
Symptom #2: Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
Irregular vaginal bleeding could come from multiple causes that aren’t serious including perimenopause, uterine fibroids or polyps, reported WebMD.
For bleeding after sex, Redbook.com wrote that an unlikely culprit could be chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection. The least common scenario would be cervical cancer.
One common cause for spotting between periods is not taking oral contraceptives at the same time every day. Less likely culprits are uterine fibroids. And the least common scenario is endometrial cancer, which frequently causes irregular vaginal bleeding in premenopausal women, wrote Redbook.com.
Symptom #3: Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Abnormal vaginal discharge may signify an easily treatable infection, said HealthCentral.com. This includes a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. MDAnderson.org warned that vaginal discharge colored with blood is sometimes a sign of cervical or endometrial cancer.
Symptom #4: Persistent Itch
Redbook.com wrote that the most common cause is a yeast infection.