Fitness + Well-being

6 Things You Must Tell Your Gynecologist

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Nobody really wants to have to say, "Uh, I have this itch" or "I had unprotected sex," but docs really need to know all the nitty-gritty in order to give you the right care, Dr. Lissa Rankin says.

"We're not asking you about the number of sex partners or whether you've had an abortion to embarrass you," she says. "It helps us know your body." Here are things you should not keep to yourself.

Unusual discharge and/or pain

  • You could have an STD, like chlamydia, herpes, or gonorrhea.

Unexpected or heavy bleeding

  • You could have fibroids or hormonal issues that need to be discussed.

You think you're pregnant

  • You'll need extra tests and a prenatal-vitamin prescription, or to discuss your options.

You've had unprotected sex

  • You need to be checked for STDs or possible pregnancy.

Persistent bloating, with pelvic pressure and pain

  • Individually, these can be symptoms of many things. But when they occur together consistently for two weeks or more and feel worse than routine tummy trouble, they may be signs of ovarian cancer.

Severe menstrual pain

  • You could have endometriosis, a common, treatable condition in which uterine tissue is found outside the uterus. If sex hurts you may have vulvodynia, which is pain in the vulva or entrance to the vagina.

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