Everyone has secrets, but when it comes to your health, ahem….down there, you shouldn't be keeping them from your gynecologist or obstetrician. Here are some securely kept secrets that you should always tell your doctor at your annual gynecological exam.
Your Periods are Irregular
When you see changes in your otherwise regular period, you should always tell your gynecologist. When you see a change in the consistency of the flow, such as it being lighter or heavier than usual, there may be other things going on in your body, and your doctor needs to know. A change in flow can be anything from a cyst, an infection or an imbalance in your hormone level. If the number of days in your cycle is constantly changing and you're in your early 40's, you could be going through perimenopause.
The Number of Partners You've Had
Even though there is no judgment, it's never fun to tell your gynecologist exactly how many partners you've had. This little tidbit will help them to look at your sexual history from a medical standpoint. Whether it is an embarrassingly high number, or an embarrassingly low number, you need to be honest with your doctor. It is also vitally important to tell if you've had unprotected sex with someone other than your monogamous partner. There are STDs that do not have symptoms, so you may be at risk, even if you aren't feeling anything different.
If You've Had an Abortion
You may not want to talk about it, but your doctor needs to know. This piece of information lets your gynecologist know that you do have the ability to get pregnant. It also lets the doctor know that you may have scar tissue as a result of your abortion.
Sex Isn't Fun
If you are bleeding after sex consistently, you may have an infection or even precancerous tissue in your cervix, so it is best to share this information. If you find sex painful every time, you may have vaginal dryness. This could be a side effect of birth control, and can be easily taken care of with lubrication. There is a possibility that a tilt in your uterus is making sex painful as well.
You Smell Down There
It may feel quite embarrassing, but this is an issue that many women have. It can be a sign of infection or it could be an imbalance in your pH level, which are both easily treated. Another culprit may be a tampon that you forgot about and never removed. Your period may bring a slight odor as well, so this is also very normal.
You're Thinking About Babies
When you can foresee babies in your future, whether it is in the next month or the next five years, let your obstetrician know. They have many pieces of valuable medical advice that may help you in your quest to get prepared for pregnancy. Diet, exercise and the time of the month can each play an important role in your fertility.
It is usually not a fun visit, but an annual checkup with your gynecologist like one from Mile High OB GYN or obstetrician is a must. Remember these important details and always be honest with your doctor. It's for your own good.