“Do other women feel pain during sex?”
“Should I be worried that I am bleeding so heavily?”
“Is this normal?”
“Am I normal?”
Although these are common questions, many women are unwilling to discuss them with their doctors. Health concerns can range from quirks—is it weird that one breast is smaller than the other? to potentially life-threatening conditions—Is this lump supposed to be here? When it comes to your health, no question is stupid and there should be no shame caused by asking questions—even intimate ones—to your doctor.
Let’s take a closer look at some questions that women should never be embarrassed to ask.
Health care providers say sex is one of the main issues that women are hesitant to bring up.
First, let’s talk about orgasms. If a woman who is sexually active has never had an orgasm, she should bring this up with her doctor. Often women aren’t familiar with their own body and they’re reluctant to tell their partner what is not working. A doctor can provide suggestions for both communication and physical exploration.
A low sex drive can also be a reflection of communication or health problems. A poor body image, anxiety, a history of abuse can all contribute to a low libido as can unresolved conflict or lack of trust in a relationship. Certain medications can also affect desire. Discussing these concerns with a doctor can shed light on what’s affecting you.
Pain during Sex
Women should not experience pain during sex. Some pain could be caused by infection, scarring, or other health conditions that a physician could diagnose. Women should definitely bring up any discomfort they feel with a doctor as several treatments are available.
Pain and dryness is particularly common in older women. As women get older, layers in the vagina decrease, the opening of the vagina gets smaller, and the ability to lubricate declines.
Doctors often recommend that women who experience pain use lubricant, avoid tight pants and underwear, and engage in foreplay before sex. If lifestyle remedies don’t ease the pain, woman can discuss medications and further treatments with her doctor.
Even though it’s a common problem, urinary incontinence—involuntary leakage–is another sensitive subject. As women age, their muscles loosen, causing a higher risk of urine leaking. Pregnancy, weight gain and diabetes increase the likelihood of incontinence.
Many women use their incontinence as an excuse not to exercise, travel, or participate in other enjoyable lifestyle activities. It’s important for women to realize that a range of treatment exists, such as Kegel exercises, scheduled toilet trips, medications, and surgery.
Vaginal bleeding should not be ignored if it happens unexpectedly, the bleeding is heavier than normal, or if it occurs while you’re pregnant or after menopause. It’s best to ask a doctor if you notice changes in your monthly flow and especially if you begin to bleed when pregnant or after you’ve stopped having monthly periods. Abnormal bleeding could be a sign of cancer, miscarriage, infections, and hormonal changes.
Any symptom that a woman experiences should be a question she asks. Doctors are trained to discuss your health; if your doctor is not providing an “askable”, welcoming situation, then it might be time to switch doctors. While it’s the job of both the doctor and the patient to ask questions, women should find a doctor with whom they feel comfortable discussing personal matters.