A significant number of young girls and women still do not visit a gynaecologist as often as they should. Here are 13 reasons why your gynaecologist should be on your speed dial.
1. When your daughter is closing in on puberty
Ensure you take your daughter to her first gynaecological visit when you notice that she is approaching puberty. It is important for young girls to understand their body changes and realise early on that a trusted gynaecologist will be their best friend for life.
2. If your periods are irregular
It is very important to track your periods. A small book in your draw, an excel worksheet or an application on your smart phone – tracking your periods helps you notice any irregularities, which you can discuss with your gynaecologist.
3. If you are sexually active/ have multiple sex partner
Visit your gynaecologist regularly to ensure you are not at risk of sexually transmitted diseases or infections arising from having multiple partners.
4. If you experience bleeding during sex
There can be some minor bleeding if you have had rough sex but if you notice regular bleeding after sex, do visit your gynaecologist.
5. If you are planning a baby
Visit your gynaecologist to understand your options if you are planning to get pregnant or want to avoid pregnancy. Your gynaecologist could also guide you to resources/specialists who can help if you are facing fertility issues or prescribe birth control.
6. If you have unprotected sex
Ensure you visit your gynaecologist if you are having frequent unprotected sex, for you could be at risk of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
7. If sex is painful
Visit your gynaecologist if you experience pain often during or post sex.
8. If you have experienced sexual abuse
Your gynaecologist could help you in the right direction or share information about resources that can help you if you seek counselling.
9. If you experience vaginal discharge or odour
It is normal to have minor vaginal discharge and changes in odour around your menstrual cycle. Visit your gynaecologist if you notice irregular or heavy discharge and odour that is abnormal
10. If you suffer from period acne
Visit your gynaecologist, if you notice acne on your face, neck or back consistently around the time of your menstrual cycle.
11. If you have uterine bleeding
Pain while urinating, burning sensation while passing urine or blood in your urine warrants a visit to the gynaecologist.
12. If you have an infection
Consult your gynaecologist if you notice any infection on the genital skin or persistent itching in the vagina.
13. If you notice a lump in your breast
Visit your gynaecologist if you feel a lump in your breasts, notice discharge from your breasts or experience severe discomfort in your breasts.