Warning Signs that Your Vagina is Unhealthy - INDJOBSGROUP

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Warning Signs that Your Vagina is Unhealthy

Warning Signs that Your Vagina is Unhealthy
Like the well-being of any other organ of the body, vaginal health is crucial to a woman’s overall well-being.
A healthy vagina dispenses a healthy amount of discharge that sloughs off dead cells and unwanted bacteria, keeping the vagina safe and infection-free. It also lubricates the vagina and prevents dryness.
An unhealthy vagina can affect your fertility and libido. Long-term vaginal distress can affect your relationship with your partner, lower your self-confidence and induce stress.
An unhealthy vagina is more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections like genital and vulvovaginal candidiasis). Approximately 75 percent of all women are likely to contract a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Any minor infections, if not treated timely, present the threat of exacerbating into complex health issues. Therefore, consulting your gynecologist at the first sign of a vaginal malfunction is crucial.
Here are 10 warning signs that indicate your vagina is unhealthy.
1. Itching & Burning
A constant itching and burning sensation indicates the onset of a number of vaginal infections. When the harmful bacteria outnumber the good bacteria in the vagina, the imbalance manifests itself through the physical symptom of itching and burning.
A certain amount of yeast is essential to ward off harmful bacteria in the vaginal area. However, an over production of yeast can result in a yeast infection, causing symptoms that include itching and burning.
An inflammatory sensation and itching without any foul odor emanating from the vagina are signs of a yeast infection, according to a 2004 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Itching can also be a reaction to chemicals or ingredients in soaps, creams, contraceptive foams and prepackaged douching mixtures. These mixtures can alter the bacterial balance and acidity of the vagina that protect it against infections.
2. Smelly Discharge
It’s unlikely for your vagina to smell like a bed of roses, but if you notice a recurrent strong odor, one that even transfers to your undergarments, it might be a sign of an infection.
An excess of harmful bacteria causes bacterial vaginosis. A foul-smelling vaginal discharge is often the first and most common symptom of this infection.
A “fishy odor” is one of the major symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, according to a 2011 study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health.
This discharge may especially occur after intercourse.
Pregnant women who contract bacterial vaginosis run a risk of delivering their baby prematurely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It also increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and may sometimes lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
Therefore, seek medical attention right away if you notice a vaginal odor.
3. Discoloration & Excessive Discharge
Vaginal discharge is the body’s natural mechanism to keep the vagina lubricated and flush out harmful bacteria. Normal vaginal discharge – clear or white and does not give off a bad odor.
A brown or red discharge that occurs right after a menstrual cycle is usually not a matter of concern. However, if you experience brown or red discharge on normal days between periods, seek medical attention as it could be indicative of cervical cancer. If it occurs during early pregnancy, it could signify a miscarriage.
A green or yellow, smelly and froth-like discharge is not normal and may be a sign of trichomoniasis, an STD.
A watery white, gray or yellow discharge might be a symptom of bacterial vaginosis. While the amount of discharge differs from woman to woman, recurrent and excessive discharge may also indicate bacterial vaginosis.
Seek medical attention right away if you notice a discoloration in your vaginal discharge.
4. Abnormal Bleeding
If you experience bleeding between periods, it is a cause for alarm. A menstrual cycle that lasts abnormally long may also be a sign that there’s a problem.
If you have reached menopause (absence of menstruation for 12 months) but are still experiencing bleeding and spotting, consult your gynecologist immediately.
Post-menopausal bleeding is a crucial symptom and must be immediately diagnosed to prevent its transformation into a malignant disease, according to a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Some women may also notice the passage of blood clots through the vagina post-menopause – another warning sign of an unhealthy vagina and related diseases, such as endometrial polyps (growths in the inner lining of the uterus) or endometrial or cervical cancer.
5. Bleeding During or After Intercourse
While it is common for women who are new to sexual intercourse to experience bleeding, medical attention must be sought if it is a recurring issue in young women.
Bleeding during or after intercourse in a woman of any age could indicate a vaginal infection, a vaginal tear (induced by childbirth), STDs like chlamydia or vaginal dryness. The friction produced during intercourse can irritate dry skin and cause spotting.
If you have gone through menopause and experience bleeding during or after intercourse, it is a great cause for worry as it could indicate cervical cancer.
Therefore, any abnormal bleeding during or after intercourse needs medical attention as it could have long-lasting and grave consequences.
6. Vaginal Atrophy
Your vagina becomes dry, thin and inflamed when your body produces less estrogen than required. This is called vaginal atrophy. The most common symptom of vaginal atrophy is painful intercourse.
It is most likely to occur after menopause, since that is the time when the body’s estrogen production declines. It can also occur during breastfeeding.
Thinning of the vagina due to vaginal atrophy may lead to urinary tract infections. Seek medical attention if you experience painful intercourse at any age.
7. Bumps or Blisters
If you notice a bump on your outer vagina, it might be a symptom of vaginal or vulvar cancer. Vaginal cancer remains one of the least-discussed cancers among women today.
Although it is not as common as other cancers in women, a study published in 2000 in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine reported a significant increase in the number of young women contracting vulvar cancer since 1980.
A cancerous bump may begin as a mole but change color and texture to transform into a hard bump or lesion.
The bump can occur anywhere on the outer vagina, although it is most commonly located near the clitoris. It is usually black or dark brown, but it can also be pink, red or white.
Sores and blisters might be symptoms of STDs, such as genital herpes.
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice a bump on your outer vagina.
8. Painful Urination
While painful urination is most commonly associated with urinary track infections, it can also be a major symptom of a vaginal infection like a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
A vaginal infection can occur due to the use of products like creams and soaps that contain certain harmful chemicals. It may also occur from using a chemical-based douche or leaving a tampon in too long.
Vaginal infections often cause the vagina to become inflamed and hurt when urine passes through it.
Painful urination can also be a symptom of various STDs, including chlamydia and genital herpes.
Apart from being painful, the urination may also be inflammatory and the person may suffer constant vaginal itching. If you experience pain while urinating, seek medical attention.

Know When a Woman Should See a Gynecologist

Many women fear a trip to the gynecologist. Visiting a gynecologist can be uncomfortable, and certain procedures to treat problems may be painful. However, it is something every woman has to do.
Regular visits to a gynecologist are important for all women, regardless of whether they are sexually active. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that girls begin seeing a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15.
A gynecologist is a doctor who focuses on women’s reproductive health. They check your body to make sure that your reproductive system is healthy and help you avoid problems in the future. Visiting a gynecologist means you are taking responsibility of your body in new ways.
Pregnancy is the number one reason that prompts a woman to see her gynecologist. However, there are many other issues that women may face that need to be checked by their gynecologist.
Here are some of the reasons why a woman should see her gynecologist.
1. Irregular Periods
Skipping your period once in a while is fine but if you skip your period frequently, it is important to see a gynecologist. It could be one of the first indications of an issue with your reproductive system.
Occasional missed periods are often linked to issues like excessive weight loss or gain, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, anemia, a strenuous exercise routine, breastfeeding, emotional stress, some kind of illness, too much traveling, use of unsuitable birth control medication and illegal drugs, even asthma and hay fever.
However, conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause, or hormonal imbalances can also trigger this problem. So, do see your gynecologist to find out the exact cause.
At your appointment, your gynecologist will first rule out the possibility of pregnancy. If the pregnancy report is negative, other tests will be done. Depending upon the cause, treatment will be planned to correct the problem and prevent it from recurring.
2. Urinary Issues
If you are making trips to the bathroom more often than normal, pay your gynecologist a visit. It can be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
In addition to a strong, persistent urge to urinate, other signs and symptoms of UTI include passing frequent but small amounts of urine, pain or burning sensation during urination, pelvic pain, and cloudy and strong-smelling urine.
Whatever the cause may be for frequent bathroom trips, when diagnosed timely there is plenty you and your gynecologist can do to counteract the problem.
3. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
It is common for women to experience slight vaginal discharge (from clear to a milky white color) between menstrual cycles. It is part of the body’s process of cleaning out the vagina and cervix. Vaginal discharge increases when you are ovulating, breastfeeding or sexually aroused.
However, if you notice changes in the color, odor and quantity of vaginal discharge, see your gynecologist. Some of the causes of abnormal vaginal discharge are bacterial or yeast infections, sexually transmitted infections, side effects of birth control pills, cervical cancer, and menopause.
Abnormal vaginal discharge can cause a lot of discomfort. There are medicines as well as home remedies to treat this problem. See your gynecologist to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
4. Irregular Bleeding
If you notice spotting or slight bleeding that is not associated with your period or ovulation, get yourself checked by a gynecologist right away.
Bleeding during or after intercourse can be due to an injury to the uterine lining, inflammation of the cervix, or some other problem.
Irregular vaginal bleeding can also be a sign of uterine polyps, fibroids, infection of the pelvic organs, cervical or uterine cancer.
If you experience any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, you must consult your doctor immediately.
5. Unusually Heavy Periods
If you suddenly experience unusually painful and heavy or prolonged bleeding, do not ignore it. Menstrual bleeding is considered heavy when you have to change sanitary napkins or tampons more often than once every 2 hours.
Some of the causes of heavy periods are a hormonal imbalance, fibroids, polyps, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, thyroid disease and liver or kidney disease. Blood loss due to a heavy period can lead to anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath and many other complications.
Follow the advice of your gynecologist. If appropriate for your condition,  try blackstrap molasses to help regulate the amount of blood lost during menstruation.
Blackstrap molasses is high iron content aids red blood cell production. Simply add 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses to a cup of warm water or milk and drink it once daily.
6. Lumps in the Breasts
You must not ignore any unusual lumps in your breasts or underarm area. They can be a sign of breast cancer, the most common form of cancer among women.
So, get a lump thoroughly checked by a gynecologist, especially if it lasts for 3 weeks or more.
Middle-aged and older women must do monthly breast self-examinations. During the examination, look and feel for any visible lumps, swelling, redness, rashes and any discharge from the nipples. In addition, a health care provider should do a complete breast examination every three years.
7. Vaginal Odor
Strong vaginal odor is a very common problem that prompts a woman to visit her gynecologist. Slight vaginal odor is normal, but a strong odor like a ‘fishy’ smell may indicate a problem. In addition, strong vaginal odor can be very embarrassing.
Vaginal odor can be due to bacterial growth, yeast infections, poor hygiene, hormonal changes and sexually transmitted diseases. If it is due to an infection, you may also experience symptoms like redness, itching, burning and irritation in the vaginal area.
Vaginal odor can be treated or managed once diagnosed by a gynecologist. In the meantime, try to include yogurt in your diet to help fight off infection and restore the normal vaginal pH balance.
8. Excessive Sweating
If you are 40 years or older and you experience sudden excessive sweating without any known trigger, see a gynecologist. It can happen while you are awake or asleep.
Excessive sweating as well as hot flashes can be a sign of perimenopause, the period when a woman moves closer to menopause. Other accompanying signs and symptoms may include irregular periods, vaginal dryness, mood swings and sleep disturbances.
Seeing a gynecologist will help find the underlying cause and the best treatment options.
In addition, you can try apple cider vinegar as a healthy way to beat excessive sweating. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little honey in a glass of water. Drink it twice daily to regulate hormones.
Some Dos and Don’ts for Your Visit to Your Gynecologist
  • Do look for a gynecologist in your area who you are comfortable talking to about your problem.
  • Do keep track of your monthly cycle and bring the information to your appointment.
  • Do come up with questions beforehand.
  • Do keep a diary with you about your medical history as well as family history.
  • Do remain relaxed before your appointment.
  • Don’t be shy talking about any problems with your gynecologist.
  • Don’t hide your social habits, sexual activity or any health information.
  • Don’t have sex the night before your appointment.
  • Don’t use yeast medications or douches 24 hours before your appointment.

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