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10 Questions women are embarrassed to ask their doctor

Are you normal 'down there'?

Regardless of the specific question, when a women has any concerns of what's going on "down there" we tense up and keep our mouths shut. The scarier and more embarrassing our concerns, the more probable the need that we should consult our doctors! SheKnows took some of your most pressing questions to the experts -- and some of their answers may surprise you!


What are things that I can do to relieve UTI symptoms and prevent them from occurring in the first place?


If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) such as frequent urination, urgency or lower abdominal pain, you can relieve symptoms with an over- the-counter remedy like AZO STANDARD Maximum Strength, says Dr. Romanzi. It can offer relief in approximately 20 minutes. You can then use an AZO Test Strips to confirm if you have a UTI. This allows you to inform your doctor over the phone and potentially get an antibiotic faster to treat the infection.


For prevention, drink adequate amounts of water, always wipe from front to back, and use a dietary supplement that contains PACran, such as AZO Cranberry. This blocks the attachment of harmful bacteria to the bladder wall. Some women suffer recurrent bladder infections after menopause, and may benefit from low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy in the form of suppository, cream or vaginal ring. If bladder infections continue to recur despite these efforts, discuss antibiotic prophylaxis with your doctor. Antibiotic prophylaxis involves single dose antibiotic take at or after a typical precipitating activity, most commonly sex, in order to prevent infection from developing, so that you can avoid the cycle of recurrent infections.



Can my doctor tell if I've had an abortion, an STD or a miscarriage?


No, says Dr. Romanzi. Not unless you have excessive scarring as a result. Since these things can affect your mental and physical health, it's important to let your doctor know about all your past medical problems and procedures. If you come in with an infertility problem or pelvic pain -- either of which can be related to miscarriage, an STD or complications from an abortion, your doctor will be better able to diagnose and treat you if she knows about your health history.




Does bacterial vaginosis have to be sexually transmitted?


There's a broad spectrum of bacterial infections that women can get, and they're extremely common, and doctors are taught in med school that it's always sexually transmitted (30 percent of prostitutes have vaginosis, by the way). So it's scary and embarrassing when you get one. "My doctor admitted that she's heard a couple of patients (myself included) who convinced her that there may be some exceptions to the "somebody's cheating" explanation for infections, says reader Dana, a marketing executive.




Is it normal to have a lot of pain during my period?


"Painful periods, nausea and 'killer cramps' for days are not all part of 'being a woman.' Says Tamer Seckin, MD. An estimated 10 million United States women and adolescent girls, do not experience relief from a couple of ibuprofen and a day or two to feel normal again. In addition to 'killer cramps,' these women may experience painful intercourse, irregular bleeding, increased gas and bloating and infertility.


When all other causes are excluded, 90 percent of the time, it's probably endometriosis. Unfortunately, endometriosis is the most prevalent; most misdiagnosed, mismanaged, and mishandled disease--and one of the top three causes of female infertility. Thousands of women end up with unnecessary hysterectomies. Women and girls often try to 'manage' the pain of endometriosis for years with painkillers and other medications, but these only mask symptoms of the disease. Yet every stage of endometriosis is treatable and, with the correct surgical techniques, even curable.

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