Nothing is Taboo

By on May 27, 2016

You know the questions you've always wanted to ask your OB/GYN during your annual appointment but haven't mustered the courage to say out loud? Don't worry, we asked one of our WellHealth Women's Specialty Care OB/GYNs, Dr. Jasmine Pedroso, so you won't have to ask!

CareConnection: If your period starts later in life (16, 17 years old), will your fertility be impacted? 

Jasmine Pedroso: That depends on a few factors. If your period started later in life due to extreme exercise and low body fat, that may not affect your fertility. If your period started later in life due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (a condition which causes you to ovulate less frequently), then the answer would be yes. 

CC: Should there be bad odor coming from my vagina? 

JP: The vagina normally has special kinds of bacteria that help to control pH balance or acidity. Bad odor is usually due to an imbalance in that bacteria leading to an infection called Bacterial Vaginosis, which is not sexually transmitted.  Loose-fitting breathable underwear, good hygiene, and a healthy diet can help keep this balance healthy. 

CC: Is it normal to leak urine? 

JP: Leakage of urine is a common problem women can face throughout their lifetimes. Women may leak urine due to severe bladder irritation from a urinary tract infection. Women may also leak urine on their way to the restroom if they have a sudden urge to go but cannot make it on time, a condition known as urge incontinence.  Women may also leak urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising, a symptom of weakness in the support structures of the pelvis, known as stress urinary incontinence.  If you are experiencing any of these issues, talk to your doctor about ways to manage and treat your symptoms. 

CC: How can I talk to a new sexual partner to make sure that they have been tested for STDs? 

JP: When discussing STD screening, it is important to be specific about which STDs have been screened for and how recently they have been screened. Ask directly: When were you last screened for STDs and which ones? Would you mind getting tested again? You should mention HIV, HEP B, HEP C, HPV, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, and Chlamydia.  If it is still difficult to discuss, talk about and/or show your partner your recent test results - this may help encourage them to get tested themselves. 

CC: Is there anything I can do to improve vaginal dryness during sex?

JP: Dryness during sex may be due to lack of blood flow and circulation in the area. Water or silicone-based lubricants are sold at most drug stores and are helpful for immediate lubrication.   Vaginal moisturizers, such as Vitamin E oil, KY liquibeads, and vaginal estrogen creams, are often prescribed for postmenopausal vaginal dryness when the above methods have failed; however, very high doses of hormones can be harmful in some patients.  

If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, or other conditions that are affecting your quality of life, make an appointment to talk with your preferred provider. Many of these symptoms can be managed or alleviated entirely!