All the Important Questions You Must Ask Your Ob-Gyn

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All the Important Questions You Must Ask Your Ob-Gyn

The human body is a mystery that people don’t fully understand. Ladies, most especially, have certain things that they need to learn directly from doctors to get the correct information that will help them maintain their reproductive health.

Like most women, you may have already visited an obstetrician-gynaecologist clinic at some point in your life, probably to have your regular pap smear test or to have your cervical cancer vaccination. Whatever the case may be, getting the most out of your check-up lies in how much useful information you can get from these experts.

Don’t know what to ask?

Below are all the most important questions for your ob-gyn, broken down into two parts: the menstrual period and typical concerns and pregnancy.

Menstrual Period and Other Typical Concerns

The menstrual cycle happens in a regular pattern for many women, but even they have a lot of questions about what happens in their bodies. Here is a list of some of them:

What is normal in vaginal discharge?

Having vaginal discharges are normal – healthy, even.

For a healthy woman, the discharge usually looks milky or clear. It is the body’s way of cleaning out the vagina and getting rid of old cells.

You may also notice the discharge getting thicker at some point in your menstrual cycle. This is also normal and signals ovulation or sexual stimulation.

What is cause for concern is any change in the colour, volume, or smell of the discharge. If anything along these lines happens to you, it’s time to see your doctor for a check-up.

Why do I get heavy periods?

There are situations when women bleed longer than usual (more than a week) during their period, making them use more sanitary protection than they usually need. This heavy bleeding is called “menorrhagia.”

You may experience menorrhagia as you enter the menopausal state, but it can also happen earlier due to uterine fibroids. To rule out such problems, your ob-gyn may need to conduct laboratory tests. You may also undergo hormonal birth control treatment or surgery to restore the endometrial cell lining of the uterus.

What do I do in case of a feminine itch or smell?

If you’re experiencing a feminine itch or unusual smell, it could be a sign of an infection.

Intense or persistent itching could signify yeast infection, while foul-smelling discharge may signal trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis. These infections need antibiotic treatment and not a douche.

In fact, douching may aggravate the condition and potentially spread the infection from the vagina to the uterus. To be sure, consult your doctor who can perform the necessary tests to confirm their diagnosis.

What could my pelvic pain mean?

Pain along the pelvic area is a common symptom in both gynaecological and non-gynaecological issues.

It could be an early sign of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, scar tissue, or painful adhesions. If not, it may have something to do with other organs in the area, like the intestines or the bladder.

An ob-gyn is well-trained in diagnosing and treating pelvic pain. If it’s out of their field of study, ob-gyns can refer you to another specialist.

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to STI?

Don’t hesitate to talk to your ob-gyn if there’s a possibility that you’ve been exposed to sexually transmitted infection (STI). If left untreated, these can lead to serious health problems like a pelvic inflammatory disease or even cancer.

Moreover, some forms of STI don’t have any noticeable symptoms, so it’s better to get tested if you’re sexually active or have more than one partner.

The tests you will undergo will depend on you and your partner’s sexual history. The key is to be honest when talking to your doctor so that they can come up with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Pregnancy

Another major aspect of most women’s reproductive health is pregnancy. Below are the common queries you may ask your doctor before, during, and after gestation:

How do I know if I’m pregnant?

Besides availing of maternity services, you can check if you’re pregnant using a pregnancy testing kit available in pharmacies and drugstores.

Also, watch out for a couple of signs and symptoms that could point to pregnancy, including:

  • A missed period
  • Needing to urinate more
  • Tender and swollen breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Morning sickness (nausea)

Take note that these symptoms don’t always manifest in all pregnancies. 

Some women feel no symptoms at all, which is why doctors recommend taking a pregnancy test that measures the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) around three to four weeks from the first day of your previous period.

Do I need to change my diet during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your ob-gyn will recommend more variety in the food you consume, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and unsaturated fats. You may also be asked to take prenatal vitamins to give your body a boost of nutrients needed for nurturing a baby in your womb.

There are also some foods that must be avoided, including:

  • Unpasteurised dairy products
  • Soft cheeses that don’t indicate they are made from pasteurised milk
  • Raw sprouts
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood that hasn’t been cooked
  • Raw or uncooked eggs, meat, fish, and poultry

Avoiding these foods reduces your chances of exposure to food-borne illnesses while pregnant, keeping both you and your baby safe.

Your ob-gyn can provide specific dietary recommendations tailored to your needs.

How can I determine my due date?

Many apps and tools are available for calculating a pregnant woman’s due date, but they follow the same basic principle doctors use.

To know your due date, you need to count 38 to 40 weeks from the date of conception. That is roughly 280 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

You can also subtract three months from your LMP, then add seven days to the result. This will go the other way of the calendar, which is a shorter route if you count approximately nine months from the LMP.

For example, if your LMP was on April 11, counting back three months leaves you on January 11. Add seven days more, and you get January 18 as your due date.

Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?

It depends.

Some pregnant women are okay to drive throughout their pregnancies, provided that they wear their seatbelts. Some also fly until the third trimester or up to 37 weeks through gestation (which is what most airlines permit).

However, some pregnancies require bed rest, so it’s best to talk to your ob-gyn first before going on long trips. Your healthcare provider can also offer sound advice on safety measures while travelling.

Just Ask to Know

Asking your ob-gyn questions directly is the best way to know the answers to your concerns about reproductive health. 

Make a list of the questions you want to ask on your next visit to your doctor. This way, they can advise you on ways to keep yourself fit and healthy.

Read more: Ayurveda For Women’s Health

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