5 Questions you've always wanted to ask your gynecologist
It’s no secret that some women are ashamed or too embarrassed to ask questions about their cooch at the doctor. Well, not me! I will ask my gynecologist whatever comes to mind. Now I wasn’t always that way, but once I became an adult and started paying co-pays and deductibles, I figured if I’m coming out of my pocket then I need to get my monies worth! So below I did a little research and found the answers to some of women’s most common questions. NOTE: I am NOT a doctor. If you suspect that something isn’t right down there, please contact your physician.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE MY VAGINA SMELL FRESHER?
DO NOT douche. I don’t care what your momma or grandma told you about douching, all you need to know is that the vagina is a “self cleaning oven”. Douching will wash out normal bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to take over. Warm water and a soft washcloth is all you really need, since many soaps can irritate you as well. Now on to what you can do:
Trim or eliminate hair. Lots of hair will help trap odors, so less is more in this case.
Use baby wipes. Wipes can help you get rid of smelly urine or fecal matter easier than toilet tissue.
Drink cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can act as an antibacterial in the urinary tract and help with bad urine smells.
Go commando! Being panty free can help air out your lady parts. If that makes you uncomfortable, stick with cotton panties.
Take probiotics to help keep the vagina healthy.
Eat a healthy, veggie-based diet. Also drink lots of water which will dilute urine.
Keep in mind that foods like asparagus, beets, broccoli, onions, garlic, curry, coffee and alcohol can make your urine smell bad.
DISCHARGE, HOW CAN I TELL IF IT'S A YEAST INFECTION VERSUS SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS?
So first off, discharge is normal and varies from woman to woman. Don’t let any man or woman tell you otherwise! The key is to pay attention to how much discharge you have. If you’re usually on the dry side and then all of sudden there’s way more, then something may be off. (Just keep in mind that you will produce the greatest amount of discharge around ovulation). So here are a few tips to determine what may be bothering you.
All itching or discharge does not equal a yeast infection.
A yeast infection causes itchy, burning, red lady parts, mixed with clumpy cottage cheesy discharge.
Itching, burning, and increased vaginal discharge could also be the result of wearing uncomfortable underwear/clothing. (Think thongs during exercise, or skinny jeans all the time)
Persistent yeast infections could really be vulvodynia.
Itchy vagina but no discharge? It could be an allergy to scented soaps, a dermatological condition, low estrogen levels or other something else.
Discharge without itching- could be bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia.
In short, this list may make you even more confused. So when in doubt, the best option is to speak with a nurse at your doctors office and set up an appointment if deemed necessary.
IS IT SAFE TO HAVE SEX DURING MY PERIOD?
You can totally have sex during your period, but keep in mind that it will be easier to transmit sexually transmitted infections since blood is involved. Another thing to consider is that you can’t always trust that you’re not fertile during this time. Sometimes women do ovulate while they are still bleeding, so don’t count your period as a form of birth control. If you’re not worried about pregnancy or infection, go for it.
WILL MY BABY FEEL IT IF I HAVE SEX WHILE I'M PREGNANT?
I’ve heard women worry about their partner's penis hitting the baby in the head. Look, unless your partner has a penis that’s so huge and long that it will bust through your cervix into your utuerus where the baby is chilling, I wouldn’t worry. But seriously, can the baby feel it? Maybe, but will they really know what's happening? More than likely the experience will be similar to a mother going for a run or being gently rocked to sleep. If you're not experiencing any medical complications, I say get your freak on!
IF I GET MY PERIOD WHEN I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE GYNECOLOGIST, SHOULD I CANCEL?
It really depends on why you made the appointment in the first place. If you just want to talk about birth control options or decide whether you should continue a prescription, then keep your appointment. If you made the appointment for a Pap smear or procedure like a colposcopy, you should probably reschedule. If you’re unsure, just call and ask.
Got more questions? Ask them below in the comments section. I found Questions you’d only ask your gynecologist if she was your best friend by LIssa Rankin, MD to be a great resource for this blog post.
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