Vaginal complaints: do I really need to see a doctor?
I think we can all agree that every woman will experience nasty vaginal complaints once in her lifetime. The statistics don’t lie; three out of four women suffer from frequent vaginal complaints. Some are mild and innocent but some are more severe. We can even determine a top 5 in vaginal complaints:
1. More discharge than usual (71%)
2. Itch in/around the vagina (54%)
3. Irritation in/around the vagina (43%)
4. Unpleasant odour of the discharge (30%)
5. Different colour of the discharge (15%)
So we all have had some nasty intimate complaints. But I seldom hear other women talk about it. It seems that there is little we know about vaginal complaints. How do you know when it is serious enough to go to a doctor?
Causes of vaginal complaints
First of all, let’s take a closer look at the factors that can cause vaginal complaints. The most important factors that influence your vaginal health are vaginal hygiene, your hormones, sex and your menstrual cycle. All these factors have an influence on the vaginal flora; the bacteria that live inside your vagina. I won’t go into detail about all these factors but the main thing that you should remember is to give your vagina the appropriate care.
Appropriate intimate care
How do you know what appropriate care for your vagina is then? That is something that every woman needs to discover for herself. But the main factor is good hygiene; washing your vagina every day with water and staying away off soaps or perfumes. And if you notice that you suffer from complaints before, during or after your period, make sure you take some extra measures. For example, douche after sex or menstruation and change your tampons or sanitary napkins more frequently. All this is to prevent the delicate vaginal flora from getting disrupted.
When to consult a doctor
And what about those complaints like heavy itching, odor and change in discharge? Should you run to your doctor immediately? Some complaints disappear after a while. But if they don’t, you can use self care products to treat these discomforts or see a doctor. It is always of great importance that you pay your physician a visit from time to time for a vaginal test, even when you do not have any complaints. This will not only detect the early signs of cervical cancer but also give an insight in the status of the vaginal environment.