Embarrassing Vaginal Problems! Don't Be Embarrassed to Tell Your Doctor.

>> Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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No one likes going to the doctor but women are much better at seeking out medical attention and getting regular medical check-ups than our male counter-parts. But let’s be honest, it can be so awkward and uncomfortable and for some reason, so embarrassing to reveal to our doctor the real questions and worries on our mind. Maybe there are some things we never talk to anyone about and this makes us feel like we are the only ones with the problem. It is often hard to say what is on our mind and let it out but once we do we find out that many women suffer from the same problems and that our doctor is used to hearing all about these problems.

So what do we worry about? It seems like vaginal discharge is bothersome, especially when it changes from what we think is normal. The vagina is constantly cleansing itself and keeping up with changes in our body. Everything from having sex, monthly periods, stress, hormone changes and dehydration can effect vaginal discharge. Pregnancy increases hormone levels and will also increase vaginal discharge, whereas stress and menopause decreases hormone levels and can cause vaginal dryness and dehydration.

Vaginal discharge that is accompanied by itching, swelling, burning, or strong odor can be a sign of infection and needs to be checked out. The most common infections are yeast and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). Some women can actually cause imbalance from "over cleaning". Some women try too hard and use commercial douching products or clean up inside the vagina with soap. This can completely destroy your vagina's ability to clean itself. This weakens the vaginas defenses making you more susceptible to vaginal infections.

This is why many women have turned to WaterWorks feminine cleansing system to clean the vagina of residue from their menstrual period and semen as these can interfere with the vaginal eco-system and pH level and need to be cleansed from the vagina as soon as possible for purposes of optimum vaginal health. Since WaterWorks is FDA approved for this purpose and uses no chemicals, only plain water, it will not destroy the normal vaginal flora. The sprinkling action and reaction of the stainless steel nozzle with the water will remove vaginal odors. For many women who use WaterWorks this is the first time in many years that they have not had worries of vaginal odor.

Another seemingly embarrassing problem that causes panic among women is a new lump or bump in the vaginal area. Of course we all worry it must be a sexually transmitted bump from our partner or past partner and worry what to do. Most of the time it is an ingrown hair, an inflamed hair follicle, a blocked sweat duct or even a pimple. Keep in mind that bumps surrounding hair follicles are more common if you remove hair from your bikini area. If you shave your pubic hair, for example, do not use the same razor you use for your armpits, or at least rinse the razor with rubbing alcohol in between. Do not share razors, even with your partner for the same reason, it can transfer bacteria causing theses kind of bumps.
Leaking urine between trips to the bathroom (incontinence) becomes more common in women as we age and after having babies. The drop in estrogen in post-menopausal women and the loosening and weakening of pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy are both common reasons. This problem is so common but we rarely speak out to our friends or family and feel we are the only one. There are treatments for this, so once you let your doctor know then you can be sent to the appropriate doctor for help. You don't have to live with it.

It’s okay to be a little embarrassed and nervous about these issues but you can tell your doctor you’re embarrassed. Most importantly, don’t self-diagnosis. Make an appointment to be evaluated. So often my patients come in fearing the worst when their issues are in fact totally benign and very simple and easy to take care of.
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