This might be an embarrassing conversation to start but it’s one that every woman faces at some point during her lifetime. While this might not be a topic you’ll want to bring up with your girlfriends, if you are experiencing this issue it’s always a good idea to turn to your OBGYN for more information. After all, this change in vaginal odor could be trying to tell you that there is an issue. Here are some reasons why you might be experiencing this problem and what you should do about it.
This is often the most obvious reason why a woman faces unpleasant vaginal odor. There are several different kinds of infections that could be to blame. One common infection is bacterial vaginosis, which may also cause burning during urination and a grayish-white discharge. In most cases, this condition is treated with antibiotics.
Of course, trichomoniasis (a parasitic STD) or a yeast infection could also be to blame. Some yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications, but trichomoniasis will require a round of antibiotics. To play it safe, visit your gynecologist right away if you noticing any of these symptoms.
It goes without saying that your hormones fluctuate throughout the month and you may find that you experience a change in vaginal odor in that small window after ovulation but before your period. During the start of menopause, women may also notice an unpleasant watery discharge, which is often the result of reduced levels of estrogen. In this case, a gynecologist may prescribe a vaginal cream that contains estrogen, which can help reduce or even eliminate this unpleasant symptom.
If you are a woman in her mid-40s or older and noticing changes in vaginal odor, you could be going through menopause. Turn to your OBGYN to get all of your questions addressed about the symptoms you may be having as you approach menopause.
Just as sweating anywhere else can bring about an unpleasant change in body odor, sweating down below can also cause vaginal odor. Athletes, wearing tight clothing or being overweight can also increase your chances of developing a sweat-related vaginal odor. If this is something that happens to you, make sure to wear more breathable fabrics (e.g. cotton), change wet workout clothes immediately or lose the excess weight (if necessary).
If your vaginal odor is accompanied by symptoms such as itching, burning, redness, pain, discharge or sores, you need to visit a gynecologist right away for treatment.
While your period may put a damper on some of your activities it doesn’t have to get in the way of everything. OB-GYNs often hear women asking whether it’s okay to have sex while on their period. The simple answer is that sex is completely fine during this time of the month. Of course, there is a lot more that goes into it. Find out everything you need to know about having sex while on your period to decide whether this is the right decision for you.
The first thing to consider is how comfortable you feel with having sex while on your period. It’s completely natural and completely safe, but some women are concerned that they might feel a bit self-conscious or that they may ruin the sheets. If you are concerned about getting blood on your bedding, you can always place a towel down, or opt for another location such as the shower that won’t have you worried that you may have to throw out your nice new sheets.
One benefit to having sex while on your period is that menstruation can often act as a lubricant, which can make the act more pleasurable for everyone. Plus, with the elevation of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, you may find yourself more sexually charged and more easily aroused, which can be a major plus. If you also find that you easily experience dryness during sex then having sex while on your period may actually improve the situation. It’s even believed that orgasms can help with menstrual cramps.
Of course, there are two other things to consider before you get down to business. The first thing you’ll want to do is discuss this with your partner to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the idea of having sex while on your period. By making sure that your partner is completely comfortable with the situation you negate any negative thoughts or concerns you may have during sex.
The second thing to consider is that many women hear that they can’t get pregnant during their period so they opt to have sex without a condom. It’s important that you talk to your gynecologist about the risks involved in not using a condom. Besides the risk of contracting STDs, there is also still a possibility that you could get pregnant. For some women, their ovulation overlaps with their menstruation. If you aren’t taking birth control then you’ll want to wear protection even during this time of the month.
If you have questions about your sexual health, menstruation or other women’s health issues, your OBGYN is here to help. There is no question too embarrassing or awkward. We are here to make sure you get the answers you need to lead a healthy life.
Zika virus has certainly gotten a lot of attention in the news lately. If you’ve been traveling recently then no doubt you’ve also seen the warning signs in the security lines. Despite the headlines in newspaper, websites and the news, perhaps you still aren’t entirely sure what Zika virus is and what it could mean for your pregnancy.
The Zika virus is contracted by a mosquito bite, but it can also be sexually transmitted or transmitted from a mother to her unborn baby. This condition can cause symptoms such as a rash, pink eye, muscle aches, low-grade fever, fatigue, and headaches. The symptoms can last a couple days or up to one week. While the symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting, this virus can be dangerous for pregnant women. If a woman contracts the Zika virus during pregnancy it can lead to brain deformities such as microcephaly, neurological disorders (e.g. seizures), vision and hearing impairments, and developmental problems in the unborn child.
Of course, your risk of contracting the Zika virus in the US is very low; however, if you are planning to travel internationally and you are pregnant, you will want to check to make sure that the Zika virus cannot be contracted in these regions in which you are visiting.
The best way to protect yourself from Zika virus is to not travel to regions in which you can contract this infection or to avoid sex with anyone who has traveled to these regions (or, at the very least, use a condom everytime you have sex). Of course, if you must travel to these areas while pregnant, there are some precautions that you can take to prevent mosquito bites including,
- Wearing long sleeves and pants
- Applying and reapplying insect repellant often
- Making sure that there are screens on door or windows in the place you are staying
If you start to come down with symptoms of Zika virus then you will want to see a doctor right away. Women who are pregnant who have to travel to these regions should talk to their doctor about regular testing.
The Zika virus can remain within the body for up to six months. Of course, once the Zika virus has gone away, this should not affect any future pregnancies you might have. If you are frequently traveling and you are pregnant, chances are good that you may have questions about Zika virus and protecting both yourself and your unborn child. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Finding out that you’re pregnant can be exciting news; however, if you’ve also been diagnosed with HIV then you may be feeling more concerned about what this means for your pregnancy, the health of your child and your health. Of course, it will provide some relief to know that HIV-positive women can give birth to an HIV-negative baby. The most important thing you can do for you and your child is to visit your OBGYN right away for care as well as turn to other doctors who are providing you with your HIV treatments.
In most cases, the medications used to treat your HIV should be safe to use throughout the course of your pregnancy. Of course, there are some instances in which women may need to change the antiretroviral medications they take. This is why it’s important to talk to your medical team as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant.
It’s imperative that you continue taking your HIV medication throughout the course of your pregnancy just as you had been prior to your pregnancy. Taking your medication at the same time everyday is also important to your health and the health of your child to make sure that they do not contract the virus.
If you haven’t already started taking HIV medication it’s necessary to get on a medication schedule right away. Women with HIV who start taking their antiretroviral drugs right away during their pregnancy will have a lesser amount of the virus in their blood when it comes time for their delivery.
You will want to work with your HIV doctor and your obstetrician to discuss the best ways to manage your HIV while pregnant to reduce the likelihood of passing HIV onto your child. This first consultation should be scheduled right away. From there, your obstetrician will decide how often you should come in for routine monitoring and care. During these routine visits, an ultrasound will often be used to see how the fetus is developing.
When it comes to your birth plan, this is something you should discuss as soon as possible with your OBGYN. It is possible for women with HIV to deliver their baby vaginally, but the safest and best method for delivery will depend on how low or high the viral count is at time of delivery. Based on the viral load at around 34 to 36 weeks, your OBGYN will be able to determine if a vaginal delivery is possible or whether you will need to undergo a cesarean section prior to going into labor.
Along the way, you may have questions or concerns about your pregnancy and managing your HIV. When you do, make sure that you have an OBGYN that you trust to provide you with the caring and compassionate care that you need to have a smooth and stress-free pregnancy.
When it comes to our babies, we only want to give them the very best. As a new mother, there are so many decisions you will have to make regarding your child’s health and well-being. One of the biggest decisions to make is whether or not to breastfeed. Many women hear that breastfeeding is the best option for providing the proper nutrients to their growing newborns, but why is that the case?
Breast milk is ideal for your little one because it contains all the proper nutrients and vitamins your baby needs during the beginning stages of their life. You may not realize this, but breast milk has the ability to provide your little one with immunoglobulin A (IgA), which they need to help fight against diseases and infections such as meningitis, ear infections, and respiratory diseases.
Breastfeeding your baby may also protect them against certain allergies. Some studies have found that babies who drink formula or cow’s milk were more likely to develop certain food allergies than babies who were breastfed. There have even been some studies that have found a link between cognitive development and whether your child drinks breast milk.
Breastfeeding may also reduce your child’s chances of becoming obese in later years. This may have to do with the fact that breast milk doesn’t have as much insulin as formula or that babies who are breastfed are better able to determine when they are full and should stop eating, which may create a healthy habit that they carry on throughout life.
Breastfeeding can also benefit the mother, too. When you nurse your baby it releases oxytocin, which helps mothers feel more relaxed. Since the first few months with your baby can be new and stressful, having these moments to reduce stress and lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression can make this transition into parenthood much easier.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least six months, even though they can continue to do so even after the first six months. If you have questions about breastfeeding or if you are having concerns or issues with breastfeeding, this is the perfect time to talk to your OBGYN, who will be able to address your concerns and make the breastfeeding process easier for you and your baby.
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