#GynaQuestions: What a woman should ask when seeing a gynecologist

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It is totally okay to feel shy and uncomfortable when talking about things as serious as reproductive health. But, the common feeling of shyness or discomfort should not put your reproductive health at risk. Gynecologists are clothed with the ethic fabric of revealing the most honest questions they are asked without being judgmental. Thus, women are encouraged to pick up their confidence, ask as many honest questions as possible. This will ultimately safeguard your reproductive and sexual health.

We know, that seeing a gynecologist is not necessarily fun for every woman, but, it is important. The awkwardness it comes with means that you need to find and get used to a gynecologist that you can trust and be able to ask some of the most intimate questions. If it means you find a gynecologist whose gender is comfortable with you, by all means do it! In essence, you need to ask this questions candidly and expect to find assistance in a safe and non-threatening conversation and environment.

What kind of questions do you ask then when you go for the chilling gynecological exams?

The ‘is it’ question

This is an important question that seeks to assure the woman of her comfort and trust when on an appointment. Is it painful? Is it Okay to stop using birth control? Is it okay to stop using condoms with my partner? Is it a long procedure? Is it safe to use douches? Is it normal to bleed after sex? Is it okay to have such frequent discharge?

The ‘why’ question

This question will help you get to understand the reason why your reproductive and sexual systems behaves the way it does. The ‘is it’ questions opens up a whole lot of possibilities to explore and the ‘why’ questions answers some of those occurrences. Any time you ask a gynecologist why things are the way they are, you learn more of how to take care of yourself. Some of the questions on appointment include; why is sex sometimes painful? Why do I need to do Kegel exercises? Why do I leak urine when…? Why do I feel pressure in my vagina and pelvis? Why do I have heavy discharge (or periods)?

The ‘how’ question

This is how you will find creative solutions to take care of yourself. You do it through learning. For example, ‘how often should I take STI tests?’ is an important question to take care of yourself and partner. How do I perform a proper breast self-exam? How can I tell if I have a vaginal infection?

The ‘what’ question

Seek also to know the underlying thing or the thereafter. What are my birth control options? What’s normal discharge (or amount of flow)? What should I do now? What age is too young for menopause?

Sometimes these questions might sound weird in your mind, but they are what you need answered.

How do I self-examine my breasts properly?

Many women will wait until the next checkup to examine their breasts. It is unfortunate that breast cancer exams which were offered once a year are now seldom offered. That is too long a wait. As we draw closer to the end of the breast cancer month, it is important you understand how to examine your breasts and surrounding tissues for lumps. This is an important question to ask and a good gynecologist will demonstrate how to do a self-exam, discuss any particular issues and guide you on when to seek immediate medical attention. Briefly go through this article and the breast cancer guide for more information.

Why is sex sometimes painful?

There are quite a number of reasons why sex could be painful, but most importantly it could be a sign of infections and /or conditions such as endometriosis as well as hormonal changes during the menstrual calendar that cause thinning of the vaginal walls and at menopause. Insufficient lubrication also accounts for pain during intercourse and sometimes occurs when certain medicines are used. Lack of enough foreplay may also contribute to insufficient lubrication hence pain. Asking this question to your gynecologist may just be your liberation point, as they will know the actual reason during the exam hence tell on the treatment options available.

Why do I leak urine when I laugh, cough or sneeze?

This question is one of the most under asked by women yet it is a common occurrence. Leaking urine when performing normal physiological processes is a sign of Urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence commonly presents itself as stress incontinence where a woman loses a small stream of urine when under strain and urge incontinence where a woman feels a strong uncontrollable urge to urinate that overpowers the bladder leading it to spasm and eventual sudden loss of urine. It is common but abnormal needing the doctor’s advice. Ask this question!

Is it normal to bleed after sex?

It is good not to ignore things that appear normal. Sometimes bleeding after intercourse can be normal, and in as much as you do not need to panic, consistent bleeding may need a physician’s opinion. Normal bleeding can be from a cervix that has exposed blood vessels but when it is from a cervical or vaginal lesion, an exam need to be done. It is a question that definitely needs to be asked. For other reasons refer to the question ‘why is sex sometimes painful?’

We cannot exhaust the questions one need to ask, but most of them have been covered above. If you cannot be able to find exhaustive answers in your research about them, kindly go ahead and ask your doctor this questions candidly and with confidence…

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