At PGOMG, we believe that it’s important for women to be educated and fully in control of their health. In order to assist in these matters, we have comprised a blog post series which will aim to address some of the top questions women have about their healthcare today – below is part one of our series.

What are some symptoms that women should never ignore or put-off going to the OBGyn for?

  • Changes in your breasts – are you experiencing any of the following: tenderness/pain, changes in the skin of the breast or nipples (swelling, redness, ridges, dimpling, etc), a lump in the breast or under your arm, or discharge? If so, these changes could be symptomatic of something serious. In order to be sure that these changes are not from a medical condition that requires treatment, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss these symptoms. In the meantime, all women should be performing self breast-exams on a monthly basis in order to detect any changes when they first become apparent.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding – does your period last longer than seven days? Does your period affect your daily routine, i.e. you miss work or other activities because of your period? Or was your recent period very different from your usual experience (heavier bleeding, itching, burning, bumps, sever pelvic pain, unusual discharge, painful urination)? A lot of women live under the assumption that their period is just going to be something that they have to get through month after month regardless of how much pain they are in or if they are canceling plans because they feel so unwell. This is simply not true. If you find that your period is negatively affecting your quality of life, contact your doctor to discuss your options. Treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding and other symptoms is available.

How often should women be tested for STDs?

  • Once sexually active, women should be tested according to their individual concerns and/or their doctor’s recommendation. One instance in which STD testing is called for is when you enter a new relationship, in which both parties should be tested for STDs. Another is if you fit into a high risk profile for STDs – meaning if you have multiple sexual partners during a short period of time. Take the time to discuss any concerns you may have about STDs with your doctor, but keep in mind that if begin to experience symptoms of an STD, such as genital pain, burning, itching, odor, discharge, bumps/lumps, a rash, and etc. then you’ll need to schedule an appointment to be tested right away.

Be sure to tune in for Part II of our series Top Women’s Healthcare Questions for more educational information on some of the most common healthcare issues women face today.