7 uncomfortable questions to ask a gynecologist
It can be highly beneficial to have a reliable gynecologist to ensure optimal reproductive health. Some individuals may feel uneasy discussing personal matters with their gynecologist. Hence, finding a doctor who creates a safe and comfortable environment is crucial. A proficient gynecologist will provide factual and informative responses to all sensitive inquiries without causing any embarrassment or judgment. The following are some questions that can be asked during a gynecologist appointment:
What is my vulva supposed to look like?
It is extremely normal to be curious about the vulva. Is it too big, too small, too dark? These are some of the common questions most women have about their bodies. A vulva is different in every woman, and it is completely normal. A good gynecologist will help one understand this easily and can explain that this is just a part of the genitals, and as long as it is healthy, one does not have anything to worry about.
Should I shave or wax before visiting?
Some may question whether it is appropriate to wax, trim, or shave pubic hair before going for a doctor’s visit. This is a valid question; the right answer is to do what makes one feel comfortable. Although, doctors suggest that one should not wax the pubes completely. This is because the pubic hair is there for a reason. It acts as a protective buffer and helps reduce friction during sex and other activities. It is also helpful in preventing the transmission of any infections, bacteria, and other pathogens. So, one does not need to wax the pubic hair before seeing a doctor. A gynecologist acknowledges the significance of hair and will never criticize someone for it. Some people feel comfortable trimming their hair before a visit, which is okay, too, as long as one does not hurt oneself in the process.
How much pain is normal during periods?
It is normal to experience muscle cramps during periods, but they should not be excessively painful. If one is experiencing severe pain, it is crucial to consult a gynecologist to ensure everything is okay. Pain is the body’s way of communicating, so it is essential to understand if there are any underlying conditions that require further diagnosis. It is important to speak with the doctor to get a detailed explanation and address concerns. Abdominal pain could point to other health concerns like PCOD, PCOS, or endometriosis. These are all hormonal conditions that make the menstrual cycle excruciatingly painful. Some even experience dizziness and fainting due to pain. In endometriosis, surgery is usually recommended to treat the condition. However, it is a recurring condition and can come back even after surgery. Since it is hormonal, it is important to check hormone balance too. The same goes for PCOD and PCOS, where hormonal imbalance can worsen the symptoms.
A gynecologist will also speak about other lifestyle changes that one can incorporate to help ease period pains.
Is vaginal discharge normal?
Yes, it is normal for the vagina to discharge a white substance. The vagina is a self-cleaning part of the body, and this discharge is a natural way of removing anything unnecessary inside the body. This discharge will continue until menopause. If the discharge has stopped before reaching menopause, that is cause for concern because there may be too much dryness which itself causes other symptoms like irritation and even infection.
A gynecologist will also explain the difference between a healthy vaginal discharge and a thrash. Thrash is a yeast infection that can affect any female. It is usually caused due to increased estrogen levels, uncontrolled diabetes, or an impaired immune system. One can easily differentiate a thrash from a normal vaginal discharge as an infection will create a burning and itching sensation, and one will see an unusual amount of thick, white discharge from the vagina.
Is it normal for the vagina to smell?
A healthy vagina has its own natural smell, which is normal and not a cause for concern. Generally, vaginal discharge does not have any odor. However, if there is a noticeable vaginal odor, especially if it is strong or fishy, it may be a sign of an infection that requires treatment before it becomes worse. A gynecologist can quickly diagnose the issue by examining the vagina and identifying any relevant symptoms. If necessary, they may also recommend tests to obtain a more accurate diagnosis.
Why is my libido low?
It is a common occurrence as one ages, particularly during menopause. The estrogen levels in the body drop, leading to a hormonal imbalance. This also causes the vagina to dry up, making intercourse a painful experience. Menopause can also cause mood swings and irritation, which can affect the overall mood. Apart from hormonal imbalance, gynecologists suggest that stress or lack of physical exercise could cause this decrease in libido. Another diagnosis could be that of sexual dysfunction. It is important to have a detailed conversation with the doctor to explain the symptoms better and come to the right diagnosis.
Why am I unable to reach an orgasm?
This can be another uncomfortable question to ask a gynecologist, but this may also be a question to discuss with your partner. A gynecologist may help explain sexual organs and their functions. However, a partner will be able to help one explore them better. If one is still unable to reach orgasm, it is possible that one suffers from anorgasmia. This is a form of sexual dysfunction which means that even though one may enjoy sex, one may still be unable to reach an orgasm. Speaking to the gynecologist will help in understanding how to manage the condition.
Although these questions may feel awkward to ask, they are actually quite common and important for a gynecologist to address. Don’t feel ashamed to bring them up and seek clarification. A good gynecologist will be happy to provide the answers one needs.