Going to the gynecologist can be an awkward, even nerve-wracking experience. The last thing you want to do is make it any more excruciating. Even though you most likely have some questions for your doctor, most of us would rather just grit our teeth and count the ceiling tiles.
Here are the answers to eight awkward questions so you know when you can keep your mouth shut and when it's time to speak up:
1. How much discharge is normal?
This can be a difficult question because the amount of discharge varies per person and is subject to change throughout the month or as you get older. A woman's body naturally discharges dead skin cells, bacteria and fluid to maintain homeostasis down there as well as create a lubricant to aid in conception. So sometimes, such as if you're pregnant or ovulating,you may have more discharge than usual.
However, if your discharge is gray, white or bloody you should consult your physician for potential treatment.
2. Why is my poop so weird during my period?
Your body chemistry changes a lot during that time of the month, so it shouldn't be a surprise that your gastrointestinal system is subject to change as well. Many women have more bowel movements during their period than normal. This is because progesterone, a hormone that helps relaxes your muscles, decreases during menstruation, making it easier to contract your muscles the muscles involved in moving your bowels.
3. How heavy is too heavy for periods?
You can determine your flow by recording how many sanitary products you soak. Each regular-sized sanitary product holds about one teaspoon of blood. A heavy flow is defined by nine to 12 teaspoons (or nine to 12 completely soaked regular sanitary products) during one period.
If you have a heavy flow, you should ingest extra salt, fluids and iron to reduce your risk of anemia. Also, you can curb your heavy flow with ibuprofen and contraceptives.
4. Is shaving safe?
According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 60 percent of women develop one or more health problems due to pubic hair removal. Needless to say, your gynecologist would probably discourage you from shaving or waxing your private areas, especially during Aunt Flow's visit. Your body grows hair for a reason: to protect from harm or infection. By shaving or waxing you are removing your body's natural defense system.
5. Is it normal to urinate this much?
The average person uses the bathroom six or seven times a day. So if you're visiting the ladies' room several times a day, your urination frequency should be normal. On the other hand, if you are drinking about two liters of liquid a day, but need to urinate more than seven times, this could signify an issue.
6. Do I smell bad down there?
Most likely you smell normal. Your body has bacteria that does a good job of keeping you clean from infections and abnormal odors. However, if you notice a smell that isn't your norm eau de parfum, speak up to your gynecologist so they can test for bacterial overgrowth, and get you back to feeling fresh as a daisy.
7. Should I cancel my appointment if I'm on my period?
Your doctor won't be bothered by the blood (they probably are accustomed to dealing with worse) and the newest Pap smear results aren't affected by it. Go ahead and leave your tampon or menstrual cup in while you talk with your gynecologist, if that makes you more comfortable, and just ask them to step out so you can remove it before your check up.
8. Are you judging my body?
Your doctor is a medical professional, so they are used to seeing bodies of every shape and size. Above all, they are more concerned with providing you with genuinely good care than with judging your body.
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