Discussing problems about your pelvic health with your healthcare provider may feel awkward—but it is definitely nothing to be embarrassed about or to avoid. Your doctor has heard it all, and there is nothing that you can mention to them that they have not handled before.
If something does not seem right, don’t hesitate to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Often, the sooner you discuss the problem, the sooner you can get treatment, find a solution and feel better. It is also important to keep up with your regular screenings and check-ups to keep yourself healthy not only above the belt—but also below.
What Women Need to Know
Pelvic issues are common problems for women. In fact, one in three women will have some kind of pelvic health problem by the age of 60. Pelvic problems include:
· Abnormally heavy menstrual periods
· Uterine fibroids (benign tumors made of muscle and connective tissue in the uterus)
· Stress urinary incontinence (urine leakage during physical acts such as coughing or sneezing)
· Pelvic organ prolapse (dropping of pelvic floor organs)
· Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
· Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
· Gynecological cancers
If you experience any changes in your pelvic health, it’s important not to suffer in silence. The good news is that although pelvic issues are common, they are often treatable and, in many cases, preventable.
Tests, screenings and regular check-ups are designed to find problems early, which provides the best opportunity for making pelvic issues easier to treat.
Early detection can increase your chances of a better outcome if cancer is diagnosed. The main types of gynecologic cancer—cervical, endometrial, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar— can produce a variety of symptoms that range from none at all to severe problems.
Signs & Symptoms
Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
· Post-menopausal spotting or bleeding
· Unusual discharge
· Pelvic pain or pressure
· Itching or burning of the outer genital organs
· Sores, warts or rashes
· Abdominal pressure, pain or bloating
· Feelings of fullness
· Increased abdominal girth
· Back pain
· Persistent nausea or indigestion
· Changes in bowel or bladder habits such as frequent urination, irritable bowel syndrome or constipation
Protect Yourself Against STIs
STIs are also called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Women often have more serious health problems from STIs than men, including infertility. Lower your risk of getting an STI by:
· Getting vaccinated to protect against HPV and hepatitis B
· Using condoms
· Getting tested
· Being monogamous
· Limiting your number of sex partners
· Not abusing alcohol or drugs
To schedule an appointment with one our women’s health physician experts, call 505.727.4500.