Women’s Health: 3 Signs You Need to See a Gynecologist

It’s recommended that all women of childbearing age see their gynecologist regularly for routine examinations. Unfortunately, many women who begin noticing problems between visits often choose to wait until their next scheduled appointment to seek treatment. This is a bad idea because some symptoms can be a sign of serious issues that should be treated sooner rather than later. Here are three signs that you need to see a gynecologist.

Pelvic or Abdominal Pain

Pain in the pelvic region or lower abdomen can mean several things, but all of them warrant a visit with your gynecologist as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing sharp, shooting pains in these areas, it can indicate ruptured ovarian cysts, an ectopic pregnancy or a pelvic infection. These are all serious situations, but ectopic pregnancy, which is estimated to occur in one out of every 50 pregnancies, is life-threatening. For dull, consistent pain and abdominal fullness, uterine fibroids may be to blame. These tumors are usually benign, but your gynecologist needs to know about them because they’re associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer. Keep in mind that these symptoms could indicate that you are a high risk pregnancy. Make sure you visit a OBGYN that specializes in high risk pregnancies and maternal and fetal medicine (Source: Gilbert Webb MD USNews).

Endometriosis can also cause consistent pelvic pain. This is a relatively common problem where uterine lining (endometrium) develops outside of the uterus, such as on the fallopian tubes. The pain may initially only occur during your period, but it can eventually progress into chronic pain. When you have your period, the misplaced endometrial tissue also bleeds, which can result in debilitating pain. The condition has no known cure, but taking birth control can help minimize the symptoms.

Irregular Bleeding

If you tend to spot between your periods on occasion, it’s not usually anything to worry about. However, if your period isn’t due yet and you’re bleeding heavily for days on end, or if there’s pain, you need to see your gynecologist immediately (Source: webmd.com). This can indicate vaginal injuries, miscarriage, ruptured ectopic pregnancy or possibly cancer. If you’re post-menopausal and are no longer having periods, but you suddenly start bleeding anyway, this can be a symptom of cancer.

Pain during Intercourse

Approximately 21 percent of women aged 18 to 30 suffer from pain during intercourse, also known as dyspareunia. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious health problem, such as cancer, but it can make romantic relationships suffer and result in depression and anxiety. Potential causes include insufficient vaginal lubrication, uterine fibroids, yeast infection or pelvic inflammatory disease. A trip to the gynecologist can help you find out what’s wrong and get you set up with an appropriate treatment.

If you experience discomfort, pain or irregular bleeding, your body is trying to tell you something isn’t right. When this happens, it’s important to visit your gynecologist to diagnose the issue and have it treated as quickly as possible.