9 red flags for your vaginal health

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Vaginal health and intimate hygiene are vital for your overall well-being, dear ladies. These aspects of our wellness are also often not spoken about openly because of a sense of perceived embarrassment. But we should know when something may seem wrong with our vaginal health. What are some of these signs? Come, let us find out.

Dr Rubina Shanawaz Z, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Uro Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bengaluru, tells Health Shots about some common vaginal problems.

9 vaginal problems you must be careful about:

1. Itching:

This could be either external (the part called the vulva) or internal(vagina).If it is external,first rule out allergies,especially when associated with a rash. If not an allergy,it could be due to a viral or fungal infection.

Itching inside the vagina is commonly caused by yeast infection,especially when accompanied by thick white discharge.When there is no discharge,itching can be due to dryness of the vagina.

Itching and irritation in or around the vagina can be troublesome, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Burning while peeing:

This can be due to an urinary infection especially when associated with the constant need to pass urine.A urine analysis can help in ruling out an infection. When there is no infection,burning can be due to a postmenopausal loss of hormones leading to narrowing of the urinary passage.

3. Inability to control your pee:

This again most commonly occurs due to an urine infection.When infection has been ruled out ,this can be due to weakness of the muscles that support your urinary passage or over-activity of the urinary bladder causing urine to leak out unexpectedly.

4. Vaginal discharge:

This is one of the most common vaginal problems. Clear or white discharge is normal when it occurs immediately before your periods or mid-cycle during ovulation time.The red flags to test the discharge are when it is off coloured, yellow, green or thick white and accompanied with a foul smell or itching.

Constant excessive white discharge will also need to be looked into.

Also read: Do you feel a burning sensation after sex? Dr Cuterus tells you why

Your vaginal discharge can indicate issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Lumpiness on the vulva:

Bumps on the skin down there can be as a side effect of shaving or hair removal products. If the lumps are clear and fluid filled, accompanied with burning sensation, genital Herpes infection should be considered. If the lump occurs on the lower part of vagina and is extremely painful, a pus collection will have to be ruled out.

6. Unexpected bleeding:

Any bleeding outside of your menstrual cycle is abnormal. This can be spots of blood midway through your cycle or spots of blood after sex or bleeding with urination. In all these scenarios,a gynaecologist examination of this vaginal issue is essential to determine the cause.

7. Vaginal dryness

When this is felt post sex,it can be due to a basic lack of lubrication. Sometimes,an untreated vaginal infection can also lead to dryness.If it occurs after menopause,it can be as a result of hormonal deficiency.

Treat vaginal dryness with care. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

8. Feeling of something coming out of the vagina:

This is due to weakness of muscles of the pelvic floor causing the uterus,urinary bladder or the rectum to descend down causing the feeling of a mass coming out of the vagina.This can be associated with difficulty in passing urine or stools.

9. Constant lower abdominal ache:

This can be due to a variety of reasons ranging from a muscle pull to an infection of the urine, uterus or intestine or due to an abnormal growth in one of these organs.

Consultation with your gynaecologist along with relevant investigations including blood tests and an Ultrasound can help in resolving your issues.

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