As dreadful as you may think visiting your gynecologist is, in so many ways it can be a really rewarding experience. Allow me to explain. As a woman, your body is constantly changing as you get older, and with these changes comes the unknown. If you are experiencing something out of the ordinary it is imperative to speak up in order to detect a problem early if there is one. Use my Top 10 things you need to tell your gynecologist during your visit list to learn some important issues you need to speak up about at your next visit.
1) Have you had a recent change in diet and/or exercise?
Whether you are intentionally losing weight, or not there are always certain health risks involved so it is very important to talk to your gynecologist to make sure your body is on track with the weight loss. In addition to your physical body changes, there could be some internal changes that need to be monitored including your hormones that control your reproductive system as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol. The opposite is also true if you are intentionally or non-intentionally trying to gain weight. It is so important to keep your body happy and healthy, so speaking with your ob/gyn about the changes that are occurring is to keeping you healthy during the change.
2) My birth control pill is giving me abnormal side effects. What should I do?
If you are feeling abnormal effects, ie. abnormal discharge, cramping, heavy bleeding or dizziness you need to bring this up to your gynecologist because not all birth control pills are made equal. Different ones produce different doses of hormones and depending on the “real” reason for telling your gyno you need to be on the pill can help them determine which one is best for you. Saying you need the pill for cramping when you are really gaining weight and not admitting it can lead to worse effects. So being honest about how your period effects you can help your gynecologist determine which pill is best for you and your needs.
3) I have been really down in the dumps. Could I be depressed?
Virtually every woman at some point in their adult life goes through a rough patch of depression, but most don’t want to admit that it could happen to them. The first step to getting back on track is admitting your feelings at your gynecologist visit. They can help assess what the best course of treatment is. Some women don’t feel depressed till they hit menopause and that is totally normal, but their course of treatment is different from a young woman who feels depressed because she is on the wrong birth control and her hormones are out of whack. And then there are some who have battled through tribulations in there life and an anti-depressant or counseling is the best method. Again, every woman is different, so talk to your gyno and find out which method will best help you out of your slump.
4) I found a lump in my breast. It’s probably nothing since I am so young.
Fact: Breast cancer has been known to affect women and girls alike, down to the age of 10. Even if you think it is nothing, I can’t stress enough how important it is to speak up. Better safe than sorry! Also, I can’t stress enough how important it is to actually check your breasts starting early and often, especially if it runs in your family. So, if you feel something out of the ordinary please do your self a favor and bring it up to your gynecologist, even if you assume you are too young and have no family history. Breast cancer does favors for no one.
5) I’m expecting! Now what?
An expecting mother can experience all sorts of feelings both physical and emotional. It is necessary to bring all these feelings up with visiting your ob/gyn, especially if you are a first time mommy. No question is too stupid or insignificant. Pregnancy can be like sailing in uncharted waters, so asking a million questions and understanding every step of it can be very crucial to not only the baby’s health, but yours as well.
6) I get frequent yeast infections, but it’s too embarrassing to talk about.
Don’t be! Yeast infections are not considered an STD like many women assume. This type of infection is actually quite common for women with certain health complications and should be noted to your gynecologist to find a possible solution. Do you have diabetes? Suppressed immune system? On antibiotics? Or do you fall under the millions of women who are on birth control? If so, then you are highly susceptible to yeast infections and should talk to your gynecologist about what options are available to you. No embarrassment necessary. Trust me.
7) Where did my sex drive go?
This falls under another common problem amongst women of all ages and are extremely embarrassed to talk about. Anything from your birth control pill, to a bout of depression can cause a drop in your sex drive which leaves you and your partner wondering what he is doing wrong (it’s always his fault, right ladies!). In all seriousness, speaking to your gynecologist can help determine if your drop in sex drive is a medical or psychological issue. Once evaluated, your doctor can help suggest some possible solutions to get you back in sack and feeling good.
8) No more kids, please!
Having the opposite problem? You are 40 years old, three beautiful children, a wonderful loving husband that you still can’t get enough of, but can’t bear the thought of having any more rug rats running around your house. Sound familiar? Many women still in their child bearing years fear a healthy sex life with their partner because they do want to get pregnant. Talk with your gynecologist about different methods such as an IUD or tubal ligation to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. There are many different options, so speaking with your gynecologist about your thoughts, concerns and options can lead to a worry-free sex life.
9) I am sexually active, but afraid to disclose my sexual past and present.
This is a must have discussion with your gynecologist. It is so important to be open and honest about your sexual past, present and future with your gynecologist. Not relaying this important info during your visit can be potentially dangerous to your health. To give you the best treatment possible and run the tests necessary to ensure you’re healthy, honesty is the best policy. Your gynecologist has heard it all, trust me!
10) Does your family tree consist of more cancer patients than not? Mine does.
In my book, this is number 1 on the list of most important things to discuss with my gynecologist. Did your grandma have breast cancer at age 55? Does mom have ovarian cancer at age 40? Wait, your sister had colon cancer at age 24?! These are such important details your gynecologist must be aware of to determine which tests should be conducted when for early prevention and detection. This is one way you can help save yourself. So, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and find out all the details of your family history’s medical conditions and illness’s. It can save your life.