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7 Embarrassing symptoms women shouldn’t ignore

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5Red spots on your bikini line

Angry red spots on your bikini line could indicate folliculitis, which occurs when your hair follicles become infected with bacteria. It usually shows as small red spots around one or more hair follicle, with tiny, white-headed pimples occasionally making an appearance. Mild folliculitis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but severe infections can cause scarring and even permanent hair loss. If your bikini line is inflamed, make an appointment with your GP: they can prescribe a top-strength anti-fungal cream to clear up the issue in no time.

6A lump on your breast

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NCBF), breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in Australian women, with more than 13,500 new cases diagnosed every year. Of these, around 2,800 women don’t survive.

If you notice a lump on your breast, don’t delay visiting your doctor — NCBF CEO Sue Murray says early detection is vital to increase your chances of a positive outcome. Murray recommends that you feel your breasts for lumps at least once a month, by checking all over the breast — from your armpit to your cleavage, and from the top of your collarbone to your stomach — for changes in size, colour and shape. Visually, look for dimpling, redness, soreness, puckering or bulging of the skin.

7Unexplained changes in bowel habits

Does it feel like you’re suddenly rushing to the toilet every half hour? Changes in bowel habits, such as regular bouts of constipation or diarrhea, may indicate easily treatable bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, but other possible causes could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome or even bowel cancer. If your new toilet habits are accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, nausea or abdominal pain — or if there is any blood in your stool — visit your doctor immediately.

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