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10 questions you may be too embarrassed to ask your gynecologist

Do you have a question you're too embarrassed to ask your gynecologist? If you have a health issue, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your doctor has heard it all and is there to help you. Tia Guster, M.D., a Piedmont obstetrician and gynecologist, shares questions she commonly hears from her patients.  

1. Why am I not very interested in having sex?

“This is a very common question,” says Dr. Guster.  “And this is a great conversation for you to have with your doctor, because there can be a number of factors that contribute to this.”

Low libido in women can be a result of stress, taking certain medications or going through menopause. By discussing this issue with your doctor, you may find a simple solution.

2. Why am I having a lot of cramping, discomfort and sharp pelvic pain?

Sharp pelvic pain may be a sign of an infection like a ruptured ovarian cyst. And constant discomfort or pain could be a sign of uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Any time you have pelvic pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor to get to the bottom of it, says Dr. Guster.

3. I just shaved, and now there are a ton of bumps and it itches.

“Patients usually think that something awful is going on,” says Dr. Guster. “But they typically just have razor bumps. I usually advise them not to worry or scratch. And I tell them to consider using clippers instead of a razor for hair removal.”

4. Am I supposed to have this discharge in my undies?

“Vaginal discharge is normal,” says Dr. Guster.  “But if your discharge has a strong odor, you need to alert your doctor.”

5. Is bikini waxing safe?

Waxing is a very popular grooming trend,” says Dr. Guster.  “But before trying it for the first time, I would recommend doing a test spot to make sure you do not have an allergic or poor reaction to the process.”

6. When I have sex, why does liquid come out?

“When patients reference this liquid, they are referring to female ejaculation,” says Dr. Guster. “And this is very common. During intercourse, lubricants are produced by the glands in the vagina. The amount varies from person to person.”

7. Are my nipples supposed to be inverted like this? 

“This topic comes up a lot when patients are breastfeeding,” says Dr. Guster. “Women want to know how they are going to feed their baby. But patients with inverted nipples can still breastfeed.”

Breast shells can be worn over the nipples to apply pressure and draw them out for nursing. And breast shields can be used while nursing to make it easier for the baby to latch on.

8. Why do I smell so bad down there?

Dr. Guster says a certain level of natural body odor is normal. Vaginal smells can occur because of your menstrual cycle or even from sweating.

But foul, fishy smells can be a result of an underlying condition, so it’s important to check in with your doctor.

9. What the heck is a menstrual cup?

“The menstrual cup is a sustainable device worn during a woman’s monthly cycle,” says Dr. Guster. “It’s not necessarily a new concept as the concept of menstrual cups have been around for more than 50 years, but it is very popular.”  

Menstrual cups are worn internally and sit low in the vaginal canal, collecting menstrual flow. They offer 12 hours of leak-free protection and need to be emptied, washed and reinserted at least twice a day.

10. How long should I wait to take a pregnancy test?

“I usually tell folks to take a pregnancy test about two weeks after a missed cycle or make a trip to the office for a blood test,” says Dr. Guster.

Get more women's health tips from Living Better.

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