women's health questions

5 Questions Women are Too Embarrassed to Ask a Doctor, but Really Should

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In spite of the awkwardness you’ll feel about some health concerns, you need to consult with your gynecologist or other health care provider. They understand your anxieties and have experience answering all types of questions.

1. Why are my periods irregular?
Experiencing an early or delayed menstrual cycle is actually quite normal. Irregular periods can be related to a condition called “anovulation.” This simply means that ovulation hasn’t occurred yet due to severe hormonal imbalances.

Sometimes an irregular period may be due to subtler hormone imbalances. You may be ovulating, but the timing of your ovulation can switch around greatly month-to-month. Lifestyle and medical conditions contribute to these variables, such as extreme exercising or dieting, the pill, age, stress, or symptoms of other physical problems.

2. What is douching and should I do it?
The term “douche” refers to a cleansing solution used to freshen the vagina. Douches are known to come in a prepackaged bottle that allows women to squirt the solution through a nozzle.

The practice of douching has long been debated. Douching potentially causes yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Perceiving douching as a sanitary practice is a misnomer when it comes to hygiene. It’s far better to keep the area clean through showering and keeping adequate “airflow” to your nether region.

3. I have tiny bumps “down there” that can be painful. What are they and how do I know if it’s something more serious?
Anything spotted in the way of bumps or red spots might have you alarmed, but it might not be what you’re thinking. In many instances, these bumps could just be pimples or an ingrown hair on your pubic region. Also,if you shave your pubic hair, bumps might appear out of skin irritation.

If the bumps are painful, seem to be growing or spreading or secrete a colored liquid discharge, this could be more serious and you should see your gynecologist. Sometimes these bumps can result from the herpes virus or other infections.

4. I have a foul-smelling discharge coming from my vagina and I’m itching terribly. What is it?
Yeast infections are one type of irritation women may get from time to time. It’s a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva. Put another way, it’s a type of vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina.

Vaginal yeast infections isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection, you can spread the fungus through mouth to genital contact. There are several over-the-counter medications in the way of anti-fungal vaginal creams or suppositories that can effectively treat these infections.

5.  Can I get pregnant one week after my period ends?
Fertility levels change as your body moves through the monthly cycle. There are times you’re more fertile than others during the month, but there’s never a true “safe” time that your fertility levels drop low enough to completely eliminate the chance of becoming pregnant. The time after your period can be a very fertile time, so be consistent with birth control if you use it.

The doctors at Pacific Women’s Center deal with these sensitive issues and many others every day. They welcome your concerns and want to answer your most embarrassing questions. Call the center today for help and reassurance that you have the same concerns as everyone else!