Talking with your doctor
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As a woman, there are various health issues that you may face from time to time due to the various changes that your body goes through such as your menstrual periods, pregnancy, menopause and more.

However, since precaution is always better than cure, spotting early signs and symptoms would not only ensure timely treatment but also prevent life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

Here are five signs that you must watch out for and discuss with your doctor to rule out any health risk.

1. Bleeding Or Spotting Between Your Menstrual Period
Heavy bleeding or spotting in between your menstrual periods (or after menopause) that may or not be accompanied by pain could point to an underlying medical condition or even cancer. [1]

What It Can Mean: Vaginal injury, uterine fibroids, ectopic pregnancy, infection in the cervix, hormonal imbalance, severe stress, vaginal dryness especially after menopause, thyroid abnormalities, cervical or uterine cancer.

2. Heavy Vaginal Discharge Or Soreness
Vaginal discharge is your body’s way of eliminating any toxic or harmful substances from your vagina. It is normal for the texture, color, smell and heaviness of your vaginal discharge to change often, but if you notice an abnormally heavy discharge or get a foul or offending smell from it, make sure you tell your doctor about it. [2]

What It Can Mean: Vaginal infection, yeast infection, bacterial infection, vaginitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or genital sores.

3. Pain Or Discomfort In Pelvic Area
Any pain or discomfort in your pelvic area  must be discussed with your doctor. Make a note of points such as the intensity of pain, does it interfere with your regular routine, is it sharp and throbbing, does it change and for how many days have you been suffering from it. [3]

What It Can Mean: Rupture in an existing ovarian cyst, ectopic pregnancy, uterine fibroids.

4. Very Heavy Period Or A Missed Period
If you always had regular periods but suddenly see a change in your menstrual cycles such as very heavy bleeding or a missed period, bring it to your doctor’s notice. Also, make a note of changes in the menstrual cycle such as longer or shorter cycle, unusually heavy or thin bleeding that may cause weakness and fatigue. [4]

What It Can Mean: Hormonal imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid issues, pregnancy, anemia.

5. Pain During Sex
Sometimes sex can get painful due to a number of reasons, but if you feel uncomfortable or are in pain each time you get intimate, it could be a cause of concern. Also, check whether you also have some vaginal soreness in addition to pain while having sex or after it. [5]

What It Can Mean: Vaginal dryness, uterine fibroids, vaginal infection.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Women’s Health here.

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1. Vaginal bleeding between periods. Site (Accessed 30 October 2015)

2. Vaginal discharge. Bishop GB. Vaginal Discharge. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 172. Available from: (Accessed 30 October 2015)

3. Recognizing myofascial pelvic pain in the female patient with chronic pelvic pain. Pastore, Elizabeth Anne, and Wendy B. Katzman. “Recognizing Myofascial Pelvic Pain in the Female Patient with Chronic Pelvic Pain.” Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN / NAACOG 41.5 (2012): 680–691. PMC. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. (Accessed 30 October 2015)

4. Heavy menstrual bleeding. Site (Accessed 30 October 2015)

5. Women and sexual problems. Site (Accessed 30 October 2015)