4 Scary Health Concerns Women Face
Sure, headaches, stomach pains, and a bad cough can all be concerning. But when it comes to women's health, a few different scary health concerns come to mind. Unfortunately, women are often too afraid to seek help with these personal issues. Whether they are embarrassed, confused, or unsure how to broach the subject, many women brush these symptoms off or just sweep them under the rug. We're here with the RepHreshing Truth about what these 4 scary health concerns could mean and what you should do to take control of your feminine health when facing uncertainty.
What You're Experiencing: Many women have experienced it before. Whether you're conducting your regular breast exam or getting dressed in the morning and happen to feel something out of place. Immediately we shift to panic mode. Could it be something serious? Could it be a sign of breast cancer?
What It Could Mean: It is completely understandable that we become scared after discovering a breast lump. After all, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States (CDC). However, while we should be cautious, it is also important to understand the other reasons you may be feeling a lump. According to Mayo Clinic, an estimated 90% of suspicious breast lumps are noncancerous.
Additionally, you should understand how breast tissue normally feels. "The glandular tissue in the upper, outer part of the breast usually feels firm and slightly rope-like, bumpy or lumpy (nodular)" (Mayo Clinic). So while you may think you are feeling a suspicious breast lump, it could actually just be the consistency of your breast tissue.
When You Should Seek Medical Attention: So how are you supposed to know what it is you are feeling? The first rule is that you are better safe than sorry. If you just aren't sure, go see your doctor. He or she will be able to tell you what it is and take the appropriate actions.
As a general rule of thumb, consult your doctor if the lump is new or changing or doesn't go away after your next period, since hormones during your menstrual cycle can often be the culprit (Mayo Clinic).
Pain During Intercourse
What You're Experiencing: Have you ever unexpectedly noticed strange pains and discomfort during intercourse and completely freaked? It can be a very scary thing to discover something that should feel good, doesn't. Stay calm, don't panic, and understand why this may be occurring.
What It Could Mean: Pain during intercourse could mean something as simple as menopause or a vaginal infection, or something more serious like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or cervical cancer (Cancer.Gov). And these aren't the only possible explanations. Some other possibilities outlined by WebMD include:
- Vaginismus: a common condition involving an involuntary spasm in the vaginal muscles.
- Endometriosis: Condition in which the tissue lining the uterus grows outside the uterus.
- Ovarian Cysts
- Sexually transmitted diseases
When You Should Seek Medical Attention: Since the causes of painful intercourse can vary so widely, it is important to be proactive. If you are unsure as to why you may be experiencing the pain, you should go see your doctor. In instances of menopause, you may just be experiencing vaginal dryness and your doctor will recommend a long-lasting vaginal moisturizer, like Replens. Replens is a vaginal moisturizer that contains a bio-adhesive that allows it to attach to dry, compacted cells and deliver continuous moisture until those cells are naturally regenerated.
You may also be tested for a vaginal infection and STD or given a cervical exam. Your doctor will be able to determine the cause of your painful intercourse and help you with the next steps.
Burning While Urinating
What You're Experiencing: Whether you wake up in the morning with a painful urgency to pee or you discover a burning sensation whenever you're relieving yourself, you are probably experiencing a range of emotions. These symptoms can be frustrating, scary, and downright confusing. Instead of going into full panic mode, take a deep breath and learn a little more about what this could mean.
What It Could Mean: Burning during urination is referred to as dysuria, and can be the result of several different things. Most commonly, painful urination is a symptom of a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI's are infections "involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra". Typically, UTI's can be treated with antibiotics in a few days (MedicineNet).
According to MedicineNet, other possible explanations for burning while urinating include:
- Bladder Infection
- Kidney Stones
- Bladder Cancer
When You Should Seek Medical Attention: With all of these causes, you will want to seek medical attention. Don't try to treat this on your own. There are over-the-counter products for UTI, but they are designed to only treat the symptoms and do not help with the underlying problem. For that, you will need a doctor. In some cases, antibiotics will be able to take care of the symptoms and treat the cause; however, more serious medical treatment may be required for others (MedicineNet). Overall, you will want to be proactive in treating the cause and relieving the uncomfortable burning sensation.
What You're Experiencing: You just hopped out of the shower and within minutes you notice an odor "down there" that just won't go away. Not only is this frustrating, it can also be kind of scary! Not knowing why something is happening with your lady parts can be confusing, but it happens to the best of us. It is important to understand why you may be experiencing this vaginal odor and what you can do about it!
What It Could Mean: If you are experiencing vaginal odor, you are not alone. 1 in every 4 women has experienced vaginal odor in the past year. And, on average, they experienced vaginal odor 10 times per year. Over their lifetime, most women will experience feminine odor at some point. While you may be freaked out, vaginal odor is typically just a sign of pH imbalance. When your healthy vaginal pH of 3.5 to 4.5 becomes unbalanced, odor-causing microorganisms can flourish. No amount of washing can help this problem - and it may actually make things worse by disrupting beneficial flora and raising pH. Did you know that the most popular feminine washes have a pH of 5.5 - even those that claim to be "pH balanced"? That is because washes are meant to be used externally, and your odor and pH problem is internal.
Don't freak out, it's not your fault. Vaginal odor occurs even when women have good hygiene. Also know that you do not have to live with it! RepHresh Gel gets to the cause so that you can actually eliminate vaginal odor. RepHresh Gel is clinically shown to maintain healthy vaginal pH, and healthy pH can help reduce risk of vaginal issues.
When You Should Seek Medical Attention: If vaginal odor persists or is accompanied by a fever, pain or other symptoms that give you concern, you should visit your doctor as it could be a sign of something more. If you think you might have an infection, you should see your doctor. RepHresh Gel is not intended to prevent or treat vaginal infections. Your doctor will do a pH test and assess your symptoms and may take a simple swab for examination under a microscope before providing a diagnosis. If you have a yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication or recommend an over-the-counter treatment. If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Make sure you use all of the medicine your doctor prescribes, even if you start to feel better.
We know these 4 health concerns can be very scary and intimidating. However, we want you to feel empowered to take control of your health. Preventative action can ensure that more severe conditions do not arise and that serious medical issues do not progress due to lack of knowledge or medical intervention. Remember, if you're in doubt, ask your doctor! Don't ever be embarrassed or afraid to seek out the RepHreshing Truth!