Ask The Expert Archives on General Health

July 13, 2011

Questions on Contraception

A:
We care! Go to: Vulvodynia for more information regarding 

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Overgrowth and irregularities of the labia minora are variants of normal anatomy. It can be surgically corrected if it bothers you. Talk to your gynecologist.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You should not be spotting. Make an appointment for pelvic exam ASAP.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Both you and your boyfriend should go see a doctor ASAP.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: A cyst is a saclike growth on the body in which liquid is contained. There are many types of cysts: ovarian, bartholin, and breast, to name a few.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Ask your gynecologist about Depo-Provera.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Please also visit OBGYN.net PCOS Pavilion for more information on PCOS

A: It sounds like a Bartholin's cyst. Go see your gynecologist for treatment.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: A laparoscopy could help. Get a personal second opinion.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Tissue-like matter could be "endometrium" (inner uterine lining). Go see your gynecologist.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: The mini-pill oral contraceptives are the best, low-dose oral contraceptives for breastfeeding women. Some side effects are: irregular bleeding, spotting or missed periods. At this moment perhaps you should get another pill. Talk with your gynecologist about your options.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: What you have is called "galacthoerrea". It is not anything serious. See your doctor and ask him about prolactine (hormone test), X-ray and CT scan.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Some exercises should help to get your muscles toned up.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: PMS is usually monthly and/or whenever you get your period. You are lucky to only get symptoms on certain cycles!

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: HPV is a non-curable condition. A pap smear is an excellent screening test for cervical abnormalities, including cancer. All you need is to have a pap smear 3 times/year (the first year after a positive result for mild dysplasia) and twice/year afterwards.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

A: It doesn't seem to be related to cancer. Irregular bleeding, spotting or no bleeding at all are side effects of Depo-Provera.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: The effects of having a hysterectomy depend mostly on age, previous condition and type of hysterectomy. Many women who have had an hysterectomy (simple) enjoy a normal, active sex life.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It's perfectly normal to have one breast slightly larger than the other. And, as far as your second question, depending on the type of hymen, you do not necessarily bleed when you have sexual intercourse. By the way, now is the time you should start gynecological care!

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: You should consult a Neurologist.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: I agree with your doctor, it could be just tension. But remember that you can get a second opinion (and a second gyn exam).

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It's probably due to an infection (trichomonas (TV) or bacterial vaginosis (BV)). See your gynecologist ASAP.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Vaginal disorders could be due to trichomonas vaginalis (TV) or bacterial vaginosis (BV). You should also consult an Internist to rule out other causes.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It could be due to stress. It could also be a bacterial infection. You should try to get medical attention.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Itching and burning are some of the symptoms of vulvovaginitis (infection). See your gynecologist to determine the cause.

Marta Mendez MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: It could be a vulvovaginitis (trichomonas, or bacterial vaginosis) that will only be resolved with specific treatment. Regular vaginal douching is never a good idea.

Marta Mendez MD,  OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: There are a variety of benign medical conditions that can enlarge the uterus (e.g., fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, adenomyosis). Consult your gynecologist.

Marta Mendez MD,  OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: El cuadro se denomina "Galactorrea" (secrecin de leche sin estar embarazada o lactando). En general se debe a causas BENIGNAS. Precisamente el estmulo de los senos puede producir galactorrea y se considera normal. Tu mdico solicitar radiografas y exmenes de lab. (ej. "Prolactina" en sangre) para descartar otros procesos. No olvides consultarlo. Saludos.

Marta Mendez MD,  OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Normal discharge (ovulation) is usually clear white and does not cause any irritation. On the other hand, abnormal discharge ( e.g., candida, trichomonas, bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia) can cause itching and/or burning, abnormal odor and other discomfort.

Marta Mendez MD,  OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A: Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) is a safe and effective method for the treatment of genuine stress urinary incontinence (GSUI). A polypropylene band is applied underneath the urethra (for bladder/urethral suspension) under local anesthesia. Surgical time is about 30 minutes.

Marta Mendez MD,  OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Pelvic infection
Is a pelvic infection the same as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? Prior to being diagnosed with a pelvic infection, I was diagnosed with cervicitis which is linked to Chlamydia (which my partner had).

A: Pelvic infection and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) are the same. PID can represent any infectious process involving the upper female genital tract (uterus, tubes, ovaries). Chlamydia is a common cause of PID.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Endometriosis
I had a TAH/BSO for severe endometriosis. How long is normal to stay off HRT to shrink any remaining implants that remain? I also have pain on one part of my vagina. My gynecologist thinks it is phantom nerve pain and wants to do a nerve block. I also get cauterized every time I see him as I have lots of skin granules. Can you explain why I am having these problems? Is it normal to have skin granules?

A: After a hysterectomy, granulation tissue may form at the vaginal vault. This tissue may cause vaginal discharge, irritation and bleeding, and may need to be cauterized. Ask your gynecologist about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Urine coloration
I'm 18 years old and my vagina is itchy and my urine is bright yellow in color. I was wondering if you think it's a vaginal infection or maybe a reaction from the product I just started using called "Norform" (vaginal suppositories).

A: It may well be vulvovaginitis plus a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Bleeding heavily
My girlfriend's period is still 2 1/2 weeks away, and 3 days ago she began bleeding heavily. She hasn't ever had any problems before, and says that the blood is not like normal menstruation blood. What could it be?

A: Please, take your girlfriend to a gynecologist!

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: "Creamy" vaginal discharge
I have a creamy discharge which I can see when I look into my vagina, and I get a little bit on my underwear. When I urinate, it is slightly painful to wipe, and the whitish color of the discharge is a little brown, almost as if it was the very end of my period. I have been back on the pill (LoEstrin Fe, 28) since being off them for many months (no reason), but I was on them for about 4 years prior. I get "creamy" a lot... especially during intercourse (same partner for the past 5.5 years). I would also like to know why I frequently get creamy. This time seems different... the strange color when I wipe and put my finger in, and the slight pain. What do you think?

A: Could be a vulvovaginitis (monilia or bacterial vaginosis). Itching and/or burning, increased discharge and abnormal odor are some of the symptoms.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Candida and Urinary Tract Infections
I would like to know if there is any connection between Candida and Urinary Tract Infections. I was diagnosed with Candida and a bacterial infection and was given Fasigin and an antibiotic. Subsequently, I developed a UTI and was given Furadantin. I went to a new gynecologist because I suspected another yeast infection. She diagnosed it, but would not prescribe a treatment until she got the results of my PAP smear. A month later, still with a yeast infection, I returned to the United States for two weeks, (I recently moved to Italy) and decided to use an over-the-counter treatment for yeast infections. That worked, but then upon returning to Italy, I developed another UTI and was given a cephalosporin. I now believe I am all clear, but I would like to know if the two are related and why I keep getting them. Are there any suggestions you can make regarding daily lifestyle to prevent both from occurring? It might be worthy to note that in April 1999 I was diagnosed with a mild dysplasia (CIN 1) and underwent cryosurgery in May 1999. Since then, all 3 follow-up PAPs have been clear.

A: Some women with vaginal candida infections may have a concurrent UTI or other vaginal infections.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal Irritation
I have noticed the last few times I have had intercourse that I am very dry and have a burning irritation afterwards which continues for a some days afterwards. I always use a condom. I don't have any problem lubricating before or during intercourse, just afterwards. Do you have any idea as to what the problem could be? Is it serious? And, what I can do about it?

A: It could be an allergic vulvovaginitis due to the condom. Consult your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Dark brown discharge
I have been having dark brown discharge for the past two days. I finished my period 9 days ago. What is the reason for this and should I be worried?

A: There are some benign reasons for your "dark brown discharge". No need to worry. Go to a gynecologist ASAP.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Hymen
Could you provide as much information as you can about the hymen?

A: Go to www.pantheon.org/mythica/articles/h/hymen.html for information on the hymen.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Chronic yeast infections
I am 19 years old and I have been getting yeast infections (around once a month) for about two years. The doctor told me that sometimes when someone is my age they can start getting yeast infections, they will get them frequently, then all of a sudden they stop. Is this true?

A: With recurrent yeast vaginitis, a work-up should include a screening for diabetes. Consult your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Dark spots in my vulvar region
I am 45 years old and recently I noticed some dark spots in my vulvar region. My previous gynecologist said that she didn't know what they were, but that some people get discoloration or spots in that area. The spots are dark red or black, and sort of look like blood blisters. One is larger than the others and becomes sore from time to time, probably because of its location (irritated by intercourse). I have been happily married to the same man for 23 years and we have had no other partners. We use condoms as our choice of contraception since I cannot take the birth control pill. Also, I recently had my thyroid removed and have not had a period in a year. I was told I was not in menopause. Any suggestions?

A: It could be a benign sweat gland-tumor (hidroadenoma). Go to your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Hot flashes in a pre-teen
My daughter is almost 13 years old. She has been having periods for about two years. Recently she has begun having hot flashes. She has them at all hours of the day or night. What causes these and what can we do about them?

A: There is a wide variety of medical conditions which may mimic hot flashes. Go to your doctor as soon as you can.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Hysterectomy
I'm 22 and I've been told that I need a hysterectomy. After I had my second child I've done nothing but bleed nonstop or I completely stop bleeding for months at a time. The bleeding is very heavy and takes a lot out of me. This has now been going on for 3 years. Is a hysterectomy the only fix? If so, how is intercourse after the fact? Will I still WANT a sex life???

A: Hysterectomy isn't the only fix. Check out www.obgyn.net/ah/ah.asp

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal Irritation
I'm 22 years old. Just recently (Friday) I got my period. On Sunday I started taking birth control pills. The thing is, my outer vagina has been rather irritated. It feels extremely sore and almost dry-like. I'm not sure if it is because of the pads or because of the pills. This has never happened before and it's rather annoying.
P.S. The dryness also makes me rather itchy.

A: The most common cause of vulvitis are specific vaginal infections (e.g., yeast), genital herpes, irritative (allergic) vulvitis, nylon underpants and tight bluejeans.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: Ureaplasma
I'm 24 years old, and have 1 child. Back in 1993 I had an abnormal pap smear and was supposed to have it checked out but left Job Corps before I had a chance. In November 1995 I gave birth to our son. my pregnancy was normal, my son was born face first other than that nothing else was wrong. Starting with March 1996 I have been pregnant 10-13 times 3 of those times were twins. I was diagnosed with ureaplasma. The doctor I'm seeing told me that he has only been studying it for 2 yrs. and he doesn't know much about it. He said that the ureaplasma could be causing the miscarriages but he's not sure. He also said that it might be a STD. I've tried looking on the internet but there doesn't seem much about it. I've had it for 2 years now and taken antibiotics for it so has my husband but its not going away. What is it? Has there been a study done on it and if so how much? I really need your help so I can give some ideas to my doctor. From what he told me I'm the only second patient that has come back positive. This is driving me nuts because my husband and I want to have another child. Every time I'm pregnant I have 4 blood tests done: Quantitative, Quality, Progesterone, and Iron. If it's positive my progesterone is low so I'm given pills to insert. My doctor told me that I shouldn't worry if my progesterone is low. Is he right?

A: Ureaplasma urealyticum (mycoplasma group) is a microorganism that inhabits the mucosa of genital tract. Urealyticum have been associated with a variety of clinical conditions: low birth weight infants, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, postpartum infections and pelvic inflammatory disease. Recovery of Ureaplasma from fetal tissue of spontaneous abortuses suggests the relationship with abortion. Urealyticum (and others mycoplasmas) often have been thought of as "organisms in search of a disease because they are ubiquitous and not highly virulent".

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal pain
I'm experiencing some pain in my vaginal area. Just inside my lips it's red and sometimes itchy. I'm not experiencing any different kind of discharge. At least I haven't noticed anything that would be different from normal. I just noticed this happening around the time my boyfriend performed oral sex and (I don't know the correct terminology) he fingered me. He's fingered me a lot more than he has performed oral sex. Could this be a reaction to that? Could I be irritated or raw because of so much "action" in that area?

A: Vulvovaginitis (inflammatory/irritation) is most commonly caused by microbiologic agents, but since you don't have abnormal odor or increased discharge it could be just too much action.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Do I have a yeast infection?
This is the first time visiting this site, so I hope I have not overlooked a similar question. I am 19 years old and have never experienced a yeast infection. For the past 3 days, I have experienced occasional itching, redness, and soreness "down there". Just today, I am experiencing lower back pain. I'm worried as to what this could be. I have been doing research and failed to find something that encompasses all of my symptoms. If you could provide any help that would be appreciated as well as list the methods to cure this (unless you feel this would go away 'on its own').

A:
Some common causes of vulvovaginitis are:

1. Candida (yeast). Characteristic features are: Pruritus, dysuria, white discharge with cottage-cheese appearance and inflammation.
2. Trichomonas vaginalis. Characteristic features are: Profuse and malodorous vaginal discharge, greenish-gray in color.
3. Bacterial vaginosis. Characteristic features are: Slightly increased malodorous mucopurulent vaginal discharge, gray in color.

As for treatment, go to your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Itching bumps
I'm an 18 year old female. About a month ago I had oral sex with a guy, but he never came close to my vagina with his penis. About a week later I began to itch around the inside skin area of my vagina. That lasted for about a week, now I have tiny bumps where I was itching. The bumps are about the size of goose bumps, and they are kind of spread out. They don't itch now, and nothing else is irregular. I'm not a promiscuous person and I am very concerned. If this is a disease, wouldn't it be in my mouth rather than in my vagina? Or also in my mouth? I would like some idea as to what this could be before I see/find an obgyn.

A: Could be a disease not related directly with oral sex. Consult your doctor (gynecologist).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Little lump
I am an 18 year old college student and have a small problem. A year ago I was inserting a tampon, when I noticed a small white lump, the size of a peanut M&M on my outer vulva. It does not bother me, but I am worried that it is something more than a simple pimple. It's been there for over a year and I am just wondering if I should worry.

A: I need more information. It could be a benign lump (e.g., papilloma). Go to your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: No labia minora
This may sound like an odd question. I have never heard of this nor can I find any information about it. I hope you can tell me something and/or tell me some web site I can go to for more information. Here it goes... I had never had sex with anyone but my husband. He told me that I was different. I later found that I was different because I have no labia minora. Why? Is this common or uncommon? What does it mean? Does this condition have a name? Where can I get more information? Does this effect my sex life? I mean if it does I wouldn't know it. Please get back to me as soon as possible. I really want to know more about this. Thank you for your time.

A: Labia minora agenesis is a minor development anomaly . It could be unilateral or bilateral. Usually are asymptomatic and require no treatment. It would be useful to have a pelvic and abdominal sonogram to rule out other minor abnormalities.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Sudden decrease in breast size
I'm wondering if you would know of any reason why a woman's breasts would suddenly become smaller (by a bra size or more) without any lifestyle changes. Hypothetically, the 19 year old woman has not had a pregnancy or weight loss. Birth control pills being used for 3 years being a low estrogen pill, Orthotricyclen Cyclen. Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated. I want to make sure I've left no stone unturned as to why this might have happened in my researching this strange, hypothetical phenomenon.

A: Suddenly? Hypothetically? I really don't know.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Gardenerella Vaginalis
I was wondering if you could give me some information on Gardenerella. I have suffered with it continually for about 3 years and would like to know of any new treatments, causes, etc. I am looking forward to your reply.

A: Gardenerella Vaginalis is a microorganism formerly known as Haemophilus Vaginalis and Corynebacterium Vaginale. It is found in the vagina of nearly all women with non-specific virginities but also in women without virginities. Reports indicate that other bacteria (anaerobic) play an important role in this non-specific virginities, also called bacterial vaginosis.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Antiphospholipid syndrome
I am a thirty year old woman with antiphospholipid syndrome and a family history of adult onset diabetes. I am about 15 pounds overweight from giving birth last year. I stopped nursing 5 months ago. Since then I have had my regular, monthly 28 days cycle. In November I started my period on the 19th and it was HORRIBLE. I bled very heavy and cramped A LOT. I bled like this for 5 days then suddenly stopped. There was no tapering off as usual. Then on the 5th of December I had this sharp cramp across my stomach across my belly button that caused me to double over. I passed some lining and faint pink mucus. Then my emotions went on a wild roller coaster. I am a nervous WRECK. Jumpy, dropping things, edgy, and it's been 5 1/2 weeks and I have not had my period. I have pain on my lower right abdomen and have taken provera, to no avail. No period and I am not pregnant (but I feel like I am). My breasts hurt and I feel bloated. Please share with me any explanations for what may be going on. My emotions are so edgy, I need to get straightened out soon. I believe it is all hormone related but have no idea as to specific conditions to be considering.

A: Are you sure you are not pregnant? Go to your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: La hipertrofia de labios menores
Me llamo Jorgina, y buscando informacin sobre ginecologa por la red, porque quiero preguntar una cosa, he encontrado tu direccion electrnica y me he decidido a escribir, as que ah va mi duda: Tengo una hipertrofia en uno de mis labios internos, y en febrero tengo que ir al gineclogo por primera vez y me da bastante miedo. Aqu, en Espaa hacen un programa de sexualidad en una radio, est muy bien, y dicen que esto se opera y ya est, pero yo lo que quiero saber es un poco sobre esto y por ejemplo si me tendran que ingresar y todo eso. Bueno, gracias por adelantado, espero tu respuesta.

A: La hipertrofia de labios menores puede ser uni o bilatral. No est clara la causa. No se considera como un problema de mayor grado. Si presenta o provoca algunas molesta se dispone de tcnicas quirrgicas para aplicar (con muy buenos resultados).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Genital skin changes
I started having sex at a young age. I went through a relationship with a guy for about 3 years and we didn't have sex so I went without sex for about 4 years. Right before this 4 year gap I had gone to the gyn to be checked for vaginal warts. I came out with flying colors and had nothing wrong with me. After that 4 year period I broke up with my boyfriend, and I met my fiancee. We have sex pretty much on a regular basis. A few weeks ago I noticed some sort of weird looking skin condition. I have these skin clumps. It kind of looks like leftover skin after a blister has been popped. He says he's never had sex without a condom and I went through my 4 year period so I figure anything should have come out during then. I don't really have the money to go see a doctor again so I was trying to get some sort of insight as to how serious this may be. Please help.

A: It could be serious. Go see your doctor.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: Vaginitis?
I am an 18 year old girl in a monogamous relationship. My boyfriend and I were virgins when we slept together for the 1st time, and have been faithful the whole time. I woke up the morning of November 13th with red swollen outer lips that were covered in bumps...I called my boyfriend to see if he had anything weird going on with him (I am in school in NYC and he's in Boston so it had been awhile) and he said no. The only symptoms I had had of anything before that morning was a strange brownish discharge for about a week after my period and flu symptoms the day of the 12th of November. I called a million health places in NY and none of them took my insurance so I went back to Boston that night, (I'm from there) and went to the ER. They had no idea what was wrong with me. They said it looked like herpes but they really didn't think it was, and that I had just a little touch of a yeast infection on the inside, but other than that the inside was clear. They did a whole bunch of blood tests and sent me home with flu & herpes medications. All my tests came back negative, so I was clear of the herpes scare. The rest of the week was agony for me as the bumps decided to heal themselves, and become sores, and then scar a little in certain places, making it almost impossible to walk sometimes. My mother found a condition in a book called vaginitis, related to reactions to birth control (which I had REALLY screwed up in the month of Nov), spermicide like I said I hadn't been around a condom in a while so I rule that one out) and stress...which was a very likely factor. When I went back for Thanksgiving break, I saw a gynecologist in my city (not my usual one because she was away) and he said since it was healed (I had what looked like little chicken pox scars on a portion of the lip near the opening of the vagina) that it was very hard to tell what it actually was, but he was worried that it could somehow be herpes, but because of my history it was very very very unlikely. I was fine for the next few weeks, but I was kind of itchy sometimes. Yesterday, December 23rd, I felt a little irritation on the upper left lip, where most of my itching was coming from, and I noticed a new bump there that night. It looks just like a little pimple that you'd get anywhere on your body...but this one just happens to be down there. I started my birth control a day late this month, because it was late in the mail, so I started off by taking two. Could this be the reason for the outbreaks? If so, what is it? can I make it go away permanently? Do you have any idea what is going on?? I'm going to try to get an appointment with my Gyn for this Monday, but I would just like to settle my mind a little, and my boyfriend's too...he's worried about me. If you can give me any idea at all that would be wonderful... Please help.

A: It looks like herpes or an allergic reaction. The most common diseases characterized by vaginitis are, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis. Some symptoms are:

Candidiasis causes itching with cheesy discharge
Bacterial vaginosis causes foul-smelling discharge
Trichomonas gives irritation, yellow liquid discharge and bad odor.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Bacterial vaginosis
I have been diagnosed with having bacterial vaginosis. I'm confused about it because I've heard so many different reasons why you would get it. Can you explain it? Also, I've been heard it can cause PID if not treated. What are the chances of this happening? I'm undergoing treatment now, but I'm not sure how long I've had it. I had it as a teenager & my doctor said it can be recurrent...Is that correct? Also, if PID were present, would the doctor see signs of it during a thorough pelvic exam?

A: Although bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with sexual activity, is not considered exclusively an STD. BV is caused by the overgrowth of some bacteria (anaerobic) + Gardenerella vaginalis. Adequate treatment cures the infection, but if left untreated may increase a woman's risk of PID. For the diagnosis it is necessary to have a complete clinical examination (history, physical (including pelvic)), lab tests and in some cases laparoscopy.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: HPV
I am sending this question for a friend who is having trouble coming to terms with her recent diagnosis of HPV. Is there an oral medication for HPV? My friend seems to think that there is something. I have been doing some research for her and have only seen topical treatments. The only thing I have seen that may be oral, is interferon, but I haven't been able to find any info on that either. Also, if the external warts are gone, could there still be internal warts? I am having a tough time trying to convince her to see a doctor because she has no health insurance and cannot afford the doctor fees (she did see a PA and got external treatment). Any info you could give me would greatly help in this situation.

A: HPV is a viral disease that might be recurrent. There is no known cure for HPV. Treatment is symptomatic and it shortens the duration of symptoms. Tell your friend to get adequate treatment and control.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Beta Strep and chronic discharge
I am 28 years old & I have had a problem with chronic discharge for 4 years now. Last year I was treated for a Beta Step infection using Ampicillin, The infection finally went away. I now have the same problem back again & my new doctor doesn't seem to think that anything is wrong, he says that discharge is normal. I have a constant white-yellowish discharge with a "sour smell" It is very uncomfortable. I have been treated for yeast infections & bacterial infections and it has not been any better. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Some causes of vaginal discharge are:
1) Virginities: (trichomonas, candida (yeast), bacterial vaginosis (vb))
2) Cervicitis: (e.g., chlamydia)
3) Allergies (e.g., douches, deodorant powders, contraceptive jelly, cream or foam)
4) Excessive normal mucous.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Cervical mucous
I had a pelvic exam awhile ago and the nurse noted that my cervical mucous "looked kind of like I was ovulating" even though it was only a day or so after my period had ended. Is this something to worry about?

A: In general, normal cervical mucus during preovulatory and ovulatory phase of the cycle is watery, clear and elastic (5cms or longer). If it does not itch or have a bad odor, there's nothing to worry about.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Hymen
I am a 17 year old male with a question. My girlfriend and I are talking about having sex. She says she is still a virgin. I noticed that when I stimulate her manually that there is no restriction. My question is that does this mean there is no hymen and she is not a virgin? Also could someone's finger break the hymen and what else could contribute to breaking it?

A: The normal hymen is elastic. In adolescents a finger (for palpation of ovaries, uterus and cervix) can be inserted in the vagina without causing any laceration.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Hypothyroid & amenorrhea
I desperately want to be pregnant. However, I am not menstruating. About a year ago I quit taking the birth control pill. While I was on the birth control pill I was menstruating. I take Synthroid for my hypothyroid. (My dosage has changed several times this year. I was taking .1mg & .075 mg alternating days. now I am at .075.) My doctors seem to think that it must be my thyroid problem that is causing my amenorrhea. I also have a history of anorexia & bulimia. This problem is somewhat under control. I have gained weight and am now at a normal weight for my height. I am 5'1" and 105 lbs. At my lowest weight I was probably 85 (give or take) lbs.

In November/December I completed a cycle of Follistim & HCG (HCG is the "trigger shot") then the IUI. It was unsuccessful but I did menstruate. However I have not menstruated yet and it has been 36 days after my last period began.

(Side Note: I used to get migraine headaches along the same time as my period. I haven't had a migraine since I quit menstruating. But I did get a migraine after I menstruated this last time.) I have several questions:

1. How much of an effect could the eating disorder have had on my amenorrhea? Shouldn't it be corrected now that I am eating properly?
2. Did my eating disorder cause my thyroid problems OR could it have been my thyroid problem that caused my eating disorder?
3. Do you have any suggestions for my next step?

Less important but worth mentioning:
I have called my nurse twice in the last week. I spoke to her once. I informed her that it had been 30 days since my last period and she said that I should wait because most people do not start by that time. She said she would call me back on Monday. It is now Tuesday. Is it standard for nurses not to call back promptly or am I being a "high maintenance" patient by expecting her return call by now?

A: In females, thyroid hormone disturbances are associated with menstrual irregularities, reduction of ovulation and reduction of fertility. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy may restore reproductive function in patients with hypothyroidism. Among the physical effects of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are: loss of menstruation, gastritis, loss of sex drive, broken sleep, constipation, depression... I think that you should consult an Endocrinologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: ¿Tumor?
A mi hija de 17 aos, hubo necesidad en das pasados de extirparle un cistoma -masa qustica-, de paredes bien delimitadas, sin ecos internos y un ovario. Se nos dice que el origen es desconocido, pero que bien pudo provocarse por la frecuente ingestin de pollo, debido a que a estas aves se les acelera el crecimiento con estrgenos. La hija de una amiga ma, de edad similar sufri la misma ciruga y tambin come pollo con frecuencia.
¿Tiene Ud. algn conocimiento al respecto? ¿Habr algn otro alimento que pudiera causarlo? ¿Qu supervisin es recomendable en estos casos?
Agradecemos su orientacin.

A: Generalmente no respondemos fuera del foro, pero en su caso quiero hacer una excepcin. Un cistoma es algo benigno, no es cncer. Me agradara tener el reporte del patlogo (el que examin lo que le operaron a su hija). Sobre sus inquietudes podemos decirle lo siguiente:
1. No hemos encontrado ningn caso de tumor ovrico que se relacione con ingestin de pollos (alimentados con estrgenos). Tampoco en la revisin inicial de la literatura.
2. Lo que s hemos encontrado es casos de agrandamiento prematuro ( infantes) de glandulas mamarias en donde pudiera sospecharse la ingestin de alimentos con estrgenos. En la direccin que ponemos podr revisar el tema.

http://latina.obgyn.net/sp/articles/Setiembre/telarquia_precoz..htm

Se trata (en su hija) de un tumor ovrico benigno que no creemos tenga ninguna relacin con la ingestin de pollos estroegenizados. El gineclogo que atendi a su hija tampoco afirma que sea esa la causa. Note usted que dice "pudo provocarse". Con estos comentarios no pretendemos reemplazar a su mdico. Se trata de informacin con fines educativos.

Saludos.
PD.¿ Puede enviar el informa del patlogo?

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: Malodorous vaginal discharge
I have been sexually active since last June. Before, I experienced vaginal discharge, but it was never malodorous. However, recently it has become extremely malodorous, especially around my period. I always use condoms so I don't think it is an STD, but on the other hand, could it be because of the condom or condom lubricant? I am planning on seeing a gynecologist soon, but I was wondering what to expect. Thank you.

A: Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV) and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) produce a discharge with a foul smell that may also be uncomfortable.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Feminine itching
I have foul smelling discharge & feminine itching. I took medication for it but after I have sex with my husband it always comes back. Also, my husband and I are trying to have a baby. My husband's private parts itch. Is that normal? What do we need to do in order to cure ourselves so that someday we can become pregnant?

A: It is not normal. The cause could be moniliasis (yeast). Both of you should see a doctor (gynecologist/urologist).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Polycystic Ovaries
I am 28 years old and understand from my doctor that I have Polycystic Ovaries. This was detected in October 1999 as I had irregular periods since January 1999. I am on Ovral-G and am getting periods regularly but light. I have few questions for you:
1. Should I be worried about getting married soon and having a baby because of this problem?
2. Will the above mentioned medicine help me in getting over this problem soon?
3. I can't call my self overweight. I am 5 ft 6 inches tall and weigh about 58 Kgs. Do you think reducing my weight will also help me in addressing this problem?

Above all, this is more of a problem in my head than anywhere else. I just need some help from you so that I can relax. Thanks for all your help.

A:  1. You don't need to worry about getting married. Many advances have been made in treating polycystic ovarian disease (POD). In general, the prognosis for subsequent fertility is good. You will require a continuous evaluation and management. You must consult a Gynecologist (Endocrinology).
2. BCPs are used to decrease the ovarian production of androgens (male hormones), to provide regulation of the menstrual cycle and to prevent ovulation (if the patient doesn't want to be pregnant).
3. You are not overweight.
You need some help from your doctor (gynecologist-endocrinologist). (Please also visit OBGYN.net PCOS Pavilion for more information)

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Polycystic Ovarian Disorder
My daughter (who is now 20 years old) has what I would consider to be excessive amounts of hair on her body; particularly around her nipples on her breasts, and on her face. She started growing pubic hair at about the age of nine, and her periods started at about age eleven. Acne was a major problem for her from a very young age as well (about age nine). I have, for a long time, felt she may perhaps have a hormonal imbalance. Her periods are fairly regular, but can be heavy at times. She can be very moody.

This morning on Good Morning America, I saw a news piece about Polycystic Ovarian Disorder. It hit me at the time that perhaps this could be an issue for my daughter. What kind of tests need to be performed to determine if this is a real possibility for her? What type of doctor should she see? She constantly struggles with the facial hair issue--lots of fine, downy hair, some around her upper lip looking darker. She is frequently unhappy and seems anxious or depressed. Your information could certainly help us to go to the proper doctor and ask the right questions.

A: The tests are hormonal (androgens: male hormones), radiographic and sonograms. You should consult a gynecologist (endocrinologist).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.
(Please also visit OBGYN.net PCOS Pavilion for more information)

Q: PCOS
I am a 22-year-old, and have been married for almost 2 years now. My mom had me read an article in Woman's Day magazine. It was about PCOS. They asked some questions for me to answer to see if I might have it. Out of 10 ? I said "yes" to 5. My husband and I would like to have children some day. Do you think there is a chance of me having it? The ones I answered "yes" to are:

Do you have irregular or no periods?
Are you having trouble getting pregnant?
Are you overweight or obese?
Does it seem especially tough to lose that extra weight?
Do you have too much facial or body hair, or thinning head hair?

I am on the pill now, but about 5 months ago we were trying to get pregnant and I couldn't. My periods were very irregular and sometimes not at all. I am overweight and have been trying to lose the weight for a few years now and am having lots of trouble. I am 5ft 10in tall and weigh about 235lbs. I am on antidepressants because when I went off the pill before my hormones went crazy. Now that I am back on the pill I don't have mood swings like that anymore, except when I get pms. But my doctor still wants me to take them. When I am due for my period a week before and during I get really bad cramps. I have always had really bad cramps. I started for the first time when I was 12. My doctor told me that the pill should help with the cramps, but it doesn't at all. I still have real bad cramps. So bad that sometimes I can't even get out of bed in the morning and my husband has to bring me some medicine for the pain. Lately I have has really bad cramps but not really going much at all. What do you think I should do?

A: Polycystic ovarian disease (Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Stein-Leventhal syndrome or hyperandrogenism) is a poorly understood disease that can cause abnormal hair growth, menstrual dysfunction (irregular or heavy menses), lack of ovulation and infertility. Many advances have been made in treating (successfully) this disease. Weight loss and ovulation induction are part of the treatment. Talk with your gynecologist or get a second opinion.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.
(Please also visit OBGYN.net PCOS Pavilion for more information)

Q: Pregunta de ovarios poliqusticos
Estuve observando la pagina de Obgyn.net, y me agrado mucho ver a una mujer latina en el panel. Me impresiono mucho como ha desarrollado su carrera a traves del tiempo. La felicito sinceramente, me da mucho orgullo de ser latina tambien. Pues yo soy de nacionalidad dominicana, pero resido en Maryland, Estados Unidos desde hace 5 anos. Bueno el motivo de esta nota es en busqueda de alguna opinion profesional. Tengo 27 anos, y la situacion de salud que le expongo me preocupa bastante. Le agradeceria infinitamente cualquier consejo profesional que pueda extenderme. En abril 1999, durante un examen pelvico me diagnosticaron un quiste del ovario izquierdo de ~3cm en diametro. El doctor me recomendo esperar que menstruara para ver si desaparecia. En efecto pasado mi periodo, desaparecio, esto lo supe porque me administraron un sonograma antes y despues del quiste. En el ultimo sonograma se notaban varios quistes en ambos ovarios. El tecnico que me suministro el examen me pregunto si tenia ovarios poliquisticos. Yo no estaba enterada del termino y le pregunte a mi medico. El me dijo que esta condicion existiria si yo no viese mis periodos, que si ovulaba no se supone que eso ocurriera. Me recomendo tomarme la temperatura en los meses siguientes a ver si efectivamente estaba ovulando. Cambie por medio grado la temperatura, por lo que pense que estaba ovulando normalmente y por tanto no me preocupe mas por eso. Mis periodos hasta agosto 1999 eran bien regulares, con un flujo moderado de sangrado. En septiembre se altero grandemente. Mi flujo comenzo a tornarse bien oscuro, casi marron, y con poca cantidad. Yo pense que era algo momentaneo, y espere que me pasara hasta el mes que viene y ver si cambiaba. Lamentablemente no cambio. El flujo siguio oscuro, limitado, y textura mucosa. Alli ya comenze a preocuparme. Fui al medico, le explique que pasaba y me hizo una biopsia del utero y pruebas de sangre, segun para notar la cantidad de hormonas. En este mes (Noviembre 12) el sangrado empezo cuando se suponia (es lo unico que se ha mantenido a tiempo) sin embargo, el poco sangrado, la oscuridad y apariencia mucosa persisten. Se me ha extendido hasta el dia de hoy, Nov. 25 (mucho tiempo, no?), pero la apariencia es mas rosada y aun textura mucosa. No es sangrado como tal, no se, parece una descarga, pero color rosado. El resultado de los examenes salieron sin celulas malignas, pero el medico me dijo que me pondra en un tratamiento de pastillas anticonceptivas para controlar el nivel hormonal. Me preocupa mucho esto porque no porque no se si esta esto relacionado a infertilidad. No se si estoy entrando en etapa menopausica tan joven, o tengo un problema endocrino que se puede resolver. Tengo planes de tener hijos, me preocupa el hecho de que quizas no pueda engendrar, que sea infertil. Me podria aconsejar por favor? Me atormenta el pensamiento de que no podria nunca experimentar ser madre. Le agradezco grandemente.

A: Creo que tu mayor preocupacin es el cuadro de Ovarios Poliqusticos (SOPQ). Vamos a ese punto. Parece tratarse de un trastorno gentico con varios componentes. Puede haber otros casos en la familia.Puede presentarse una irregularidad en la cantidad y/o distribucin del pelo (hirsutismo), trastornos menstruales diversos, tendencia a la obesidad, trastornos de la glicemia (azcar), la presin arterial y falla en la produccin de ovulos. Los ovarios pueden estar aumentado y llenos de quistes pequeos (ovulos que no salieron). Ciertamente que puede producir infertilidad. Pero actualmente, con los recursos disponibles, existen tratamientos adecuados para corregir los problemas derivados del SOPQ. Debes conversar con tu gineclogo sobre el tratamiento para que tus ovarios funcionen bien, se produzcan ovulos y puedas tener hijos. Por otra parte, aunque tengas ese problema, recuerda que es la pareja la que debe asistir a la consulta. Saludos.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Plastic surgery for the labia?
I am 31 years old and I have been uncomfortable with the way my vagina looks. The inside labia (or vulva - I can never remember) actually hangs much lower than the outside portion (about 1 1/2 inches). My gyn. did tell me some can be removed but that it wasn't really necessary. Before I could tell him that I wanted to have this "extra tissue" removed, he retired and now I have a new gynecologist. Would I need to speak with a plastic surgeon about this? I'm still single and even after being with someone for a long time, I am very uncomfortable about this. Although it may not be a deformity, it is obviously not normal. Thank you for your advice.

A: You don't need plastic surgery. Just talk with your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Should a developmentally delayed woman have regular pelvic and breast exams?
I have a mentally retarded 31 year old niece who has never had a pelvic exam or a breast exam. As my sister is dead, I've been helping her father take care of her. We cannot find anyone to examine her as they say she doesn't need it as she is not sexually active. My niece is mentally retarded but still a young woman. Can she not get cancer like other women who are not sexually active do? Please provide us with an answer.

A: Yes, your niece can get cancer. As for uterine cancer, there are risk factors other than sexual reproductive. Get a complete medical exam for your niece (gynecology included).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: Dyskaryosis
My niece has been told she has Dyskaryosis and has to have laser treatment. Can you explain what this is and is it life threatening?

A: Dyskaryosis is not cancer, per se. Dyskaryosis is the alteration of the cellular nucleus (nuclear enlargement, nuclear hyperpigmentation (hypercromasia), and in some cases multiple abnormal nuclei). Dyskaryosis can be MILD, MODERATE or SEVERE. Your doctor is right, your niece needs a complete diagnosis and treatment.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Painful intercourse
Over a period of about 10 years, intercourse with my husband has gotten to be so painful that we seldom have sex anymore. I have pain on penetration as if the opening won't stretch just around the outside of the vagina which feels like a possible tear. We've looked and there's nothing there, and then 4-5 days of recovery. I had a caeserian birth, no epesiotomy, 16 years ago. Maybe I need one now? We're both miserable. My gynecologist has ruled out STDs, PID, fungal infections, etc. and tells me to use MORE lubrication. I do, but still there is no relief. Should I see another type of specialist?

A: There are organic (diseases) or psychological factors associated with pain with intercourse (dyspareunia). If organic factors are ruled out maybe you should see a Sexual Counselor.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal irritation
I'm 22 years old. Just recently I started my period. Two days later I started taking birth control pills. Since then my outer vagina has been rather irritated. It feels extremely sore and almost dry. I'm not sure if it is because of the pads or because of the pills. This has never happened before and it's rather annoying. The dryness also makes me rather itchy.

A: Itching, dryness and burning may be from an infection (usually yeast) or non-infection causes. This requires a careful evaluation. Go to your doctor (gynecologist).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Milky discharge from breasts
My 13 year old daughter started her periods about 7 months ago and at the same time she began to produce milk in her breasts. She is quite worried about this since we have always believed that a woman could only produce milk when she gives birth. She will not go to a doctor because she is very shy about it and I can't persuade her to go.

Is there something I can do to help her? Will the milk stop after a while? Is her condition rare? Should she try to stop it?

A: It is true, a woman can only produce normal milky discharge during pregnancy, postpartum or post abortion. Abnormal milky discharge (galactorrhea) can be due to functional (no disease) or organic (diseases) causes. Consult a doctor (gynecologist). She/He will evaluate your daughter (lab, X-ray, exam).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal odor
I have been experiencing pungent vaginal odor and discharge for the past couple of years, and I really thought nothing about it. Lately I am wondering if I should be concerned. I have been sexually active with two men. The first was about a year ago and the second was once and only a week ago. They both are clean physically. I just don't know why I'm experiencing this smell. It's kind of an ammonia-like odor...

A: Discharge could be due to Trichomonas V (TV) or Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). Consult your gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Feeling opposed to having a required exam
I am an applicant to the Peace Corps and part of their admission process is a comprehensive medical exam, including a pelvic exam and a pap smear. I have never had sex with a man, do not intend to have children, and am in all ways very healthy. I also have strenuous objections to submitting to this exam, both on the grounds that I prefer to keep everything intact (this is a matter of personal feminist conviction, not religion, and has nothing whatsoever to do with keeping myself for marriage) and because, with all due respect to your profession and the millions of women it helps keep healthy, gynecology comes out of a tradition which is heterosexual and patriarchal and is dedicated to keeping women healthy so that they can have sex with men and reproduce. This is obviously very important for the majority of women but has no real application to me, as I plan to do neither. If I ever felt that I was not well, I would not hesitate to consult a gynecologist if I felt it was warranted, but at this point I do not. What is gynecological procedure if a woman has an intact hymen, and is there any legal precedent for waiving a requirement like this if a woman feels that it is intrusive and compromises her personal integrity and boundaries in a way that no medical requirement is invasive and compromising to a male applicant?

A: You are free to do whatever you want with your body. That is your right.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Bacterial vaginosis
I was diagnosed last week with bacterial vaginosis but the doctor also said that she saw many inflammatory cells, more than she could explain. Any ideas as to what this could mean? She didn't say that I needed to come back, but to just take the antibiotic prescribed.

A: Bacterial vaginosis (VB) is the most common cause of vaginitis. Vulvar pruritus is rare and the discharge has fishy odor. Usually the treatment is for 5-7 days. Do what your doctor told you and "just take the antibiotic prescribed"... and get a new exam in 2 weeks.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Strep
I'm glad my mother, Roberta Speyer, the OBGYN.net Publisher, started this new section for young women.

I recently thought I had a strep throat then found out by a blood test it was Mononucleosis. I think I had it for several weeks by the time I found out and so I was kissing friends and family and sharing utensils. I feel better now several weeks later but still wonder a few things: Why did I get it but not give it to my boyfriend (age 21) or 4 brothers or sisters (age 8-18) if it is so contagious? Will I have any lasting effects in my life from having it? Should I be taking any special vitamins or minerals?

A: Sore throat with tonsilar enlargement and inflammation is one of the first symptoms of mononucleosis ("Glandular Fever"). Sometimes indistinguishable from pharyngytis caused by A streptococci or other virus.
1. The "kissing disease" (Mono) really is not so highly contagious.
2. The incubation period (time between exposure and outbreak of symptoms) may be 1-2 months in adults and 7-14 days in children and adolescents.
3. Your brothers and boyfriend may be already immune to Mononucleosis.
No, you will not have any lasting effects in your life from having it. Patients with enlarged spleen ( it protrudes from under the left ribcage) should avoid contact or vigorous sports. It is not necessary to take special vitamins or minerals.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Lump
My name is Sarah, and I have a question that's been worrying me. Not too long ago I found a small rubber like lump on my outer loin right across from my clit, on the bone there. Nothings changed about it and I'm not sure if it's normal or what. I know I should go to a Dr. but my family wouldn't be able to pay for it, so I found your site hoping there would be a place for e-mail and I was in luck, if you can help me, please do I'm worrying my self sick about it.

A: It may not be something serious but if you really don't want to worry your mother...just go to a doctor (gyn).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q:Polycystic Ovary?
My daughter will be 13 soon. The problem is she has gained a lot of weight in a matter of months. from 110 to 160. She has stretch marks around her waist and hundreds on her thighs running down the back of her legs to the back of the knee area. Her face is not fat. Her sister 25, was told she had an ovarian something when she was 22 and she could not conceive and only got her period a few times a year and gained a lot of weight at 15. She also was told she had too many male hormones, and went on hormone treatments and now has a child but she still holds the weight.

These girls have different fathers. I want to make my 13 year old a doctor appointment but do not know if the doctor will agree to tests and if so what should I suggest? My daughter does not have her period yet but she has had breasts for two years now. She was told over a year ago that she has asthma, she rarely uses her inhaler. She had allergies to pets and dust mites and went on shots for two years and last year was tested again and told she has no allergies now. She was born allergic to milk so was raised on soy formula. She drinks milk now but only in cereal as she does not like the taste. I had a midwife while pregnant with her. The midwife did not know I developed gestational diabetes with the pregnancy till after she was born. She weighed 10 1/2 pounds. I never knew there were teen obgyn's so how do I find one and what questions should I ask and what test could I suggest?
Thank-you deeply for your time.

A: Just tell the Gyn all that you have told me. Your daughter will probably have a polycystic ovary like her sister.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q:Vaginal Itching
I've been experiencing acute vaginal itching lately, and finally got up the courage to visit a doctor. she took some swipes, but basically thought that I had a yeast infection. I'm worried that I might have something aside from the yeast infection. What sort of tests should I ask for? Are there standard but effective tests that can assess whether I have an STD?

A: Candidial (yeast) vaginitis is not considered a STD, but sometimes is necessary cotreatment of the male partner. Just tell your doctor that you want to rule out STD and he will know what to do.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q:Daily Discharge
I am twenty years old and for the last five or so years I have been experiencing a daily discharge white in color and more often than not stains my underwear. In the past when I brought it to my mother's attention she said it was nothing to worry about. However I still have some concern because somewhere I read that it is normal to have discharges but I didn't think everyday. My question to you is, is this normal and can it anyway be connected to the fact that I experience a yeast infection almost every time I complete my cycle? I've never brought this to the doctors attention so I'm extremely anxious. Waiting in anticipation.

A: Candida albicans (yeast) is found in the vagina of many HEALTHY women. The presence of some fungal elements (e.g., Papanicolaou) represents colonization not "infection" with no particular clinical implication...but "infection" (with symptoms) arises with yeast proliferation. Approximately 15 % of Candida albicans are resistant to medication and sometimes the offender might be Candida tropicalis or Candida glabrata. It seems to me that you don't have a serious problem, but you should discuss this with your doctor (gyn).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Painful Sex
I am 23 years old, yesterday while having sex with my husband, it seemed to be uncomfortable. I felt inside after and felt something round and soft, about the size of a plum towards my spine. I never noticed this before. I'm concerned that it may be something, like a cyst. Would I be able to feel a cyst or is this supposed to be there? I don't want to go to a doctor unless I know it's not supposed to be there. Please help.

A: What you touched could be the bladder or the cervix, but still go to a gyn to make sure.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Double Uterus
Last year I was given an ultrasound because of some peculiarity found in my uterus. It turned out that I have a double uterus, a uterus split in half. I was told this by the women who were performing the ultrasound, but I have not yet seen a gynecologist about my situation. Can you tell me a little more about it. Can I still

? Will this effect my chances to carry a baby safely? What should be done about it? By the way I am 20 years old and in fairly good condition otherwise.

A: You need further evaluation (HSG, HS, LAPAROSCOPY) Before even thinking of a double uterus. Just go to your gyn.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q:Leukopenia.
I gave birth to my first child 8-21-97. Last summer I was diagnosed with leukopenia. After a few months I had a bone marrow biopsy. That was negative but my ANA was positive at 640. I had several complications in my pregnancy. The worst being toxemia that put me on bed rest in the hospital for two days. The doctor induced labor 3 weeks early. My daughter was 7lbs 6oz.. I saw a rheumatologist that said I had incomplete lupus. I was not satisfied with this and saw another specialist in the largest city near me. She reran the tests and now they include a + SSB antibody at 1.58. I am wondering if I should have another child. My husband and I would like to but I am very scared. I know that no one can predict the future it just seems to me that there are to many risks involved. I don't have any symptoms other than abnormal blood work. The second specialist says it's up to my OB. Who said to go for it. My FP says he wouldn't chance it. I'm very scared. I just want to make the right decision. I don't want to go through a pregnancy only to not be able to take care of the two children. Another child would be worth it but not if I wouldn't be there to participate as I am now in my daughter's life. Just looking for another opinion. Thank you for your consideration.

A: It seems to me that you are well informed. But get another opinion from a Haematologist before you make you decision. I don't think its up to your ob but its up to you and your husband.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Extra Labia Skin
Hi, My name is Ann and am 17 years old. I have noticed that on one side of my inner labia there is an extra growth of skin (making it larger then the other side) and a reddish/brown kind of stain on the skin. What is causing this, it has got me very worried and I don't feel comfortable going to a doctor. Thank You.

A: Enlargement of one or both labia minora is not a serious problem. Just avoid irritating the area and consult your gyn.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Normal?
Is it normal for the outer lips of the vagina to be a darker, almost brown color when then rest is pink? I feel stupid asking, but it just strikes me as odd, and I'm a little worried about it.

A: Yes, it is normal. Usually the outer lips of the vagina are darker then the rest of the vulva.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q:Orange Discharge
Two nights ago while I was in the bathroom I noticed this orange discharge. It's not thick and it's not urine. It doesn't happen all day. Just maybe for an hour twice a day. I have never had this before and have no idea what this might be. I'm not sexually active and my period isn't due for another week and a half. However, almost three weeks ago I had nose surgery and was taking an antibiotic, a steroid, and percocet. I stopped taking those like two weeks ago. Do you have any idea what this might be? I'd really appreciate any info you could pass my way!

A: It is most probably secondary to the surgical stress and medication. In any case you should consult an OBGYN.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q:
I am 19 years old and go to the same gyn as my mother. My Dr. told me that before she would put me on any birth control I had to tell my mother I have had sex. I don't think she can do that but I don't know what to do now. I also have a question in regards to birth control, I have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer on my mother's side of the family. I have been told to stay away from the pill and other types that would be put into to my body, is that correct?

A: There is no (legal) reason why your Mom needs to know you are sexually active. I suggest discussing possible non-hormonal methods with your gyn.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: 2 Fully Functional Uterus'
My niece recently had a sonogram to investigate the origin of some pelvic pain she has been having. The physician had suspected an ovarian cyst. There was no evidence of a cyst, however the sonogram showed that my niece was born with 2 fully functional uterus, each with a separate cervix connecting to the one common vagina. The physician indicated that she would always require 2 pap smears, but otherwise would be able to conceive and successfully complete a pregnancy in the future. My niece is only 17, so understandably she is a little scared. Her doctor did not give her much more information. Do you have any additional information, and any resources for her? Also are there any chat/support groups for girls/women with gynecological anomalies? I think it is probably more common than we know of. It would reassure her to know that other women lead normal lives and sex lives.

A: To be 100% sure of her diagnosis she might need a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy too. If it is a double uterus as he said , I agree with his comments.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: I'm a 27-year-old woman. My problem is I haven't had a period for sometime. I also experience pain during intercourse. One, could it be possible I'm experimenting early menopause, secondly what are some of the cause of painfully intercourse.

A: It's unlikely, painful intercourse is related to: psychological, anatomic and hormonal factors. Consult your OB about these components

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: What are the symptoms of vaginal strep?

A: Most of the time, none.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: There is a very strong possibility that my grandfather sexually abused me as a child. Is it possible for my doctor to tell if he made any penetration? I'm still a virgin if that makes a difference. Thanks for your help.

A: Very unlikely, how old are you?

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: I'm 27 years old (think I still qualifies for being a "young woman"). About two weeks ago I started feeling itchiness around my vulva and I noticed a lesion on the left crease and it bled a little. I also noticed some vaginal discharge that is yellowish in color and a bit thick in consistency.

Then I had my period for one week and now, right after my period, the itchiness started again. When I checked the vulva, there is some white substance like yeast. So I tried to wipe it off by tissue paper and it only caused my vulva to split open and bleed a little again. The skin on the vulva seems to be more sensitive than usual, and it looks redder than usual. I have put on some Gyne-Lotrimin to stop the itchiness but it doesn't seem to help much.

This all started after I have had oral sex with my new boyfriend. (We didn't have intercourse). He also had used his penis to touch my genital area. Is this simply yeast infection or could it be something worse, like STD? I have had trich before but have been cured completely. Is this a cause for concern? My gyn appointment isn't until a few days later but I'm afraid the itchiness is going to drive me crazy!!

A: Yes, you do qualify as a Young Woman! Vulvovaginal infections are very common. Various agents can cause them, ( trich, yeast, hemophilus, herpes.....) You should be checked up by your OB as soon as possible.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: My name is Khadijah I'm 15 years old. I plan to be an obstetrician in the future. The doctor's that deliver babies are known as an OB/GYN. Is it possible to be an obstetrician and not a gynecologist? Thank you.

A: As far as I know, you would be trained separately in South America.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: My name is Eni, I want to ask what is the difference between a young woman and a teenager? I hope you can answer it soon, thank you.

A: A teen goes from 13 to 19, a yw goes from 20 to 30 approximately. Many people don't agree with this.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: I was recently diagnosed with a uterine mass (probable polyp or fibroid). The sonohystogram indicated a polyp. I also have probable endometriomas on both ovaries. I was told I can't get pregnant. My doctor didn't get specific about what exactly my chances would be of getting pregnant. Can you give me a rough % of my chances of getting pregnant?? I would appreciate any info.

A: There's not a rough % of pregnancy rate in your case. Each patient is different. You do need to correct both your problems before trying to get pregnant. Consult your OBGYN.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: I had my first pelvic exam/pap smear when I was 16 due to problems with my period and family history of fibroids and cervical and breast cancer. It is now 4 years later, and I have not gone back for another. I continue to have problems with heavy periods (saturating a tampon within 2 hours for 6 of the 9 days) and cramping. I was abused as a child and cannot bring myself to go back for an exam since the first one was a very unpleasant experience. I cried the entire time and my doctor didn't seem to understand what the problem was, but I didn't tell her about the abuse. Please help me - I really do not know what to do. Just thinking about going makes me tense and sick to my stomach.

A: You have a very significant psychological stress. You should consult a psychologist. Your Pap smear should no be put off for so long.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Pain when using tampons
I cannot use tampons because it is painful to take them out. The doctor said I have an extra piece of skin in my vagina. Could that diagnosis be right? What is the procedure for removing this?

A: It is probably a benign vaginal septum. Clarify the diagnosis with your OB/GYN.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Normal labia?
I have a few questions about the Labia Minora. I am a virgin teenager.
1) Is it OK for them to be very dark? (Mine are purple.)
2) Is it OK if they are not very sensitive (not NEARLY as sensitive as my clitoris, and seemingly less sensitive than they were before puberty began)?
3) Is it OK if they do not reach all the way around your vaginal opening? Mine only reach about half way around and are very short. Are they going to grow anymore?

Thank you for considering my questions. I have been wondering about these things for a very long time and no one seems to have the answer.

A:
1. Your labia's color is fine.
2. There is nothing wrong with your sensitivity.
3. Don't worry about the size. They may or may not grow and that shouldn't concern you!

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Periods that don't seem to end
I would like to know your opinion on the following:
We have a 13-year-old girl who suffers from having a period all the time! We have tried every medication applicable in this field, but no avail. Further investigation has shown that she has a polycystic uterus. Laparoscopic search took place, and blood tests are normal (only the estradiol is elevated at 0.72). She appears to be a normal girl; 162 cm in height, 65 kg in weight. Currently she takes no medication because of all the hormones she has taken already. Please provide some answers for we are growing desperate.
PS: Her mother had a hysterectomy because of a polycystic uterus at the age of 37.

A: Aren't you talking about polycystic ovaries? This sounds like uterine fibroids. Consult a specialist (Adolescent Gynecology and Endocrinology).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal irritation
I am a 21-year-old female who is experiencing itching around the vaginal orifice. The itching is in the opening of the vagina. This is the second time I'm experiencing this. The first time it wasn't long after I had my period and I douched. I called my ob-gyn and asked her if I might have a yeast infection. I had read about all of the symptoms and I didn't have any besides the itching. There was no foul odor , discharge or burning. My doctor said it didn't sound like a yeast infection to her. She said that the itching may have been caused by the douching (which I haven't done since the last incident). She told me to eat yogurt, which I do every morning. All of this happened about two months ago. Since that time, I haven't douched. I don't know what I did to make this come back. I would like to receive your input on this matter. I have no burning and no discharge. Although, if I look with a mirror I see a white liquid inside my vagina. I don't think that is normal. I'm just itching and that's it. I do use Summer's Eve Feminine Wash every night when I take a shower. Do you think that has anything to do with it? Also, when I use my regular soap (Caress) it burns a little bit. The last time I had this I knew it was finally gone when I no longer had any burning when I used my regular soap. The Summer's Eve soap doesn't make it burn, only the Caress. Please give me your advice.... I would greatly appreciate it.

A: Use the soap that doesn't bother you and follow your doctor's recommendations.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Exercise induced irritation of the labia
I'm a very active 22-year-old woman. My labia minora are somewhat long, often becoming very irritated when I run or bike. I'm looking into plastic surgery to reduce their size. However, I'm concerned about loss of sensation in the vaginal region. What are the side effects to such a procedure? Is it a common procedure? Any advice you could give would be very much appreciated.

A: Labia Minora reduction is performed by amputation of a segment. There is a new technique (wedge resection of the protuberant area), usually with no complications.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Abnormal Pap Smears
My pap smears for the last two years have been coming back abnormal! I had one done last week and, of course, it was abnormal. My doctor (actually, his nurse) told me to come in and get another one done the next day, after the finding that this pap was abnormal. When I got there the next day for my appointment, the nurse told me that since my Paps had been coming back abnormal for 2 years the doctor said he would like to wait for six months before doing another one. The nurse said that I may be going though some healing process, whatever that means. About four years ago I had pre cancer cells. Now I've been feeling a lot of pain before my period which is not right! I have tumors and a cyst on my ovary they say is really small, but every time I have my period my stomach blows up and I look like I'm having a baby! I also get really sick! I have one good week our of every month! I hate being this way! I don't know what to do. No one is listening to me! WHAT DO I DO? Please help me by answering these questions. Am I crazy or should more tests be done?

A: What do you mean by "abnormal" or "pre cancer cells"? What was the treatment? Please clarify.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal discharge
I am 24 years old and have a problem with heavy vaginal discharge. This has been occurring since I was 17/18. I have been to the doctor who first prescribed various yeast infection treatments which didn't resolve the matter. Then after I complained of irritation when I was 20, I was told that I had an allergy/sensitivity to myself when I was ovulating. This might explain the irritation but not the mucous-like discharge. I have had a yeast infection and know for sure that this isn't one. Any ideas what might be the case? The only thing I can track it back to is that I had mono at the same age as this began.

A: The most frequent causes of abnormal discharge are:
1. Bacterial vaginosis
2. Trichomonas
3. Yeast
Your sexual partner should also be treated.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

Q: Persistent vaginal discharge
My daughter has had what I think is a heavy yellowish (sometimes with green tint) vaginal discharge for over a year. When I wash her laundry the underwear crotch is stiff. She says it does not itch. Being a social preteen (12 years old), she confided in her best friend who has the same thing. Is that a common occurrence for pre-menstrual girls? Both girls are quickly approaching menarche based on the appearance of their bodies.

I am concerned. Should she have a chronic infection, will it affect her reproductive health in later years? About six months ago, we went to the Nurse Practitioner at the doctor's office. My daughter was given two rounds of different antibiotics, but it did not stop the discharge. Our NP said not to worry about it. My daughter is reluctant to use a vaginal insert for yeast infections so we didn't go that route. Should we have insisted she use the single application product? Should I stop worrying?

A: Abundant mucous discharges are normal in pre-menarche, but if it looks (yellow, yellow-green) and smells abnormal, it's most likely an infection. You must consult your OB/GYN.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Abnormally long labia minora
I have a young cousin (18 years old) who has abnormally long labia minora. She heard at school that it came from the mother being in highly polluted areas? Is this true? Can it be a threat to her health? She is very uncomfortable with her condition and I'd like to help her find information on the new wedge resection technique. Could you give me more information and let me know where I could find information?

A: It isn't abnormal. It is variant of normal anatomy, usually asymptomatic. If it is bothersome and causes discomfort, it can be surgically corrected on an outpatient basis. Consult a gynecologist (Pediatric & Adolescent gynecology).

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Cervical Dysplasia
I have been diagnosed with CIN I and CIN II. Scheduled for a Leep in one month. As I was researching the net to educate myself, I came across a quite impressive web site. Have you ever heard of Beta-mannan in treating cervical dysplasia? Dr. Glickman, Jr. has used this natural remedy in curing CIN in approx. 500,000 women. I have emailed about 10 of these people and they all have normal pap's in approximately 90 days without any surgical procedure and still continue to have normal paps. Some of these women had CIN III. I do not intend to cancel my leep appointment. I feel that this is truly important but my questions to you are, Have you ever read any of his health reports or heard of this product? It sounds to good to be true.

A: I haven't heard anything about it. You should keep your leep appointment.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Constantly itching
I think I have a problem. I am constantly itching down around where I pee from. I itch so bad that I make it irritated and it starts to peel like I have a scab. I am afraid to go to the doctor and find out it is something bad. Can you give me any advice on what it may be before I go so that I will have something in mind to tell her or ask her about?

A: If you don't see a doctor you'll never know what's wrong. It can be anything from a yeast infection to a urinary infection.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Asymmetrical vaginal lips
I have searched everywhere for information, but I have not been able to find what I need. I think something may be wrong with the lips surrounding my vagina. At least one of them seems abnormally large. In fact, it seems to hang slightly and it occasionally gets in the way when I try to wipe myself after urinating. I guess this is just the way I am since I had a totally normal pelvic exam and nothing was ever mentioned by the doctor (I was too embarrassed to ask if I was abnormal). Is this abnormal? Could it be genetic? Is there anything I can do to have it corrected or should I just forget about it? I am a virgin and I am extremely self-conscious about this "deformity" and how my future husband could react.

A: It's not abnormal. If it doesn't bother you that much, leave as it is. If it does, it can be surgically corrected.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Chronic bouts with BV
I have been experiencing chronic bouts with BV, all of which I have been diagnosed and treated for. My doctors (I have two) both say that it's nothing to worry about, but I am...help!!!!

A: BV may be transmitted sexually. Treatment of the sexual partner should be considered.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Chronic yeast infection
I am a 26 year old woman and my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. It seems to me like I've had a yeast infection between periods for the last couple of months. This has happened before between cycles about four months ago. Is this abnormal? Should I just continue the yeast infection treatments every month and hope for the best? I say 'it seems to me' because I'm very itchy and tear during intercourse easily. Thank you in advance for your reply.

A: It's not normal. You and your husband should probably have a complete check-up.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Shaving "down there"
I am 14 and my question is: Everyone says that if I shaved my area and keep hair from growing that it help keep infections from happening. Is this true or not? Does it help? If I do shave myself will it help me? They also say it will help during sex that I will not get anything inside of me.

A: It's unlikely that shaving your genital area will be of any benefit to your health.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Frequent urination and excessive thirst
I'm a thirty year old female. I have been urinating more frequently than usual (at least 3-4 times per hour). It is somewhat irritating, but not painful. I've also been extremely thirsty and experiencing terrible headaches. Do you know what this could be possibly be?
PS. I don't drink, do drugs, or smoke. I have been pretty healthy all my life (if that helps any). My grandmother is the only one in the family with High Blood Pressure and Sugar Diabetes (my mother's mom). Thank you so much.

A: Your symptoms are suggestive of diabetes . You should see a doctor (endocrinologist) to get a complete check-up.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: What is Hyperkeratosis?
My sister (age 43) recently had her pap smear return as hyperkeratosis. Her doctor has asked her to return in 3 months for a repeat pap. I have searched the internet and have found many articles on this subject but nothing that answers the questions, "What is hyperkeratosis? How did my sister get hyperkeratosis? Is this a pre-cancerous condition?" Your simple explanation would be greatly appreciated.

A: Hyperkeratosis is a lesion marked by a circumscribed overgrowth of one of the cervical uterine ephytelim layer. All hyperkeratosis lesions should be biopsied. Consult a gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Vaginal bump
I am writing this for my girlfriend. She is a virgin. Recently, she discovered a bump on the inside of her vagina. It's on the front wall of her vagina, like, farther up past her pelvic bone a little. She says she has noticed it before, but never paid attention to it. She thinks that it is bigger now. From what she has told me (I haven't felt for myself), it seems to be in the area where most women's "G-spots" are located. So, I don't know what it is, and she is really scared. I was just wondering if you know what this is. I know you probably need more information or something, but that is really all I can tell you. Her period is supposed to start around the 10th of this month. She said there is no discharge or anything. She said it didn't hurt when she touched it, or it didn't feel good. If you can help, please do. She is too scared to ask, she is afraid of what she will hear. I hate to see her worry, so I am looking forward to hearing from you!! Thank you for your time, and your response.

A: Of course, I need more information, but it could be the so called benign Gartner's duct cyst of the vagina. This cyst is usually asymptomatic.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Small lump "down under"
I'm a fifteen year old girl. A couple days ago, I started noticing some pain when I wiped myself after using the bathroom. I took a look around tonight, and I noticed a small lump, slightly larger than a BB, just above and to the right of my clitoris. It hurts when I press down on it, rub toilet paper against it, or touch it in any way. I squeezed it lightly, and something looking like pus came out through one of my hair-pores that was almost directly over the lump. What could this be?

A: It could be an infected benign mucous cyst. Consult a gynecologist for a complete exam.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Un fuerte ardor en el rea externa de la vagina
Siento un fuerte ardor y picazn en el rea externa de la vagina. A qu se podra deber esto, si practico buenos hbitos higinicos.

A: Probablemente se trata de una vulvovaginitis especfica (monilias) o de tipo alrgico. Debes consultar con tu gin.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Q: Strange Vaginal Odor
Just today I was at work and I went to the bathroom. While I was going, I realized that my vagina smelled a little funny. I'm not sure like what, but it smelled different. I have never had this problem before. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. I thought maybe it was a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection, but it does not hurt when I urinate...do you have any ideas?

A: Could be one of them, or both. See a Gynecologist.

P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

 

A:
If you have been taking the pill for 2 years without cramps and now are having cramps, the cramps are not related to the pill. The same holds for the acne. It is not unusual to skip a period or two while on LoEstrin because of the low dose of estrogen. All of the pills have an anti-acne effect. It is due to the estrogen. Only one of the companies has studied and provided data to the FDA on that so they are the only company that can say that their pill prevents acne. The others are all collecting that data for the FDA now.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
Serious stress can cause lactation. A hysterectomy would probably qualify as serious stress. Call your surgeon and discuss it with him/her.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
I would suggest that you get a consultation with an Adolescent Gynecology specialist. The best way to find one would be to call the OB-GYN Dept. at the local medical school and ask them where the nearest one is located. PID is an infection of the fallopian tubes. It is caused by either Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. It is a sexually transmitted disease. It can cause sterility and or recurrent episodes throughout life. Fluid coming from the vagina doesn't really mean much of anything.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
It sure sounds possible from the symptoms that you describe. If you want to get pregnant, it sure sounds like you will need help. 3 years of trying with no pregnancy, is infertility. It would be best for you to see an expert in "Reproductive Endocrinology". They are experts in this kind of problem.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

Please also visit OBGYN.netPCOS Pavilion for more information on PCOS

A:
There are many things on ultrasound that can be confused with ovaries. A week off estrogen followed by an FSH (blood test) would tell the answer. If FSH is low or normal, there is something producing estrogen. If it is high, there is no ovary. An ovary can grow back only if part of one was left. That usually happens in difficult surgeries for endometriosis or severe pelvic infection. It would be possible for a woman to have three ovaries, but that would be exquisitely rare.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
The diagnosis of Endometrial hyperplasia can only be made on biopsy. Ultrasound can measure the thickness of the endometrial stripe. This has nothing to do with Hyperplasia and could be perfectly normal. The only real scientific data we have about the ultrasound thickness of the endometrial stripe is that if it is less than 5 mm in a POSTmenopausal woman, it is highly unlikely that she has endometrial cancer. If it is greater than that, there is no correlation with anything normal or abnormal. Any woman over 35 with abnormal bleeding (you apparently qualify from what you said), must have an endometrial biopsy done. Most Gynecologists do this with a very small plastic device called a "Pipelle". It is done in the office and while it may cause some discomfort or cramping is not usually very painful.

If you have hyperplasia, treatment with progestational agents is usually protective and will prevent the progression to endometrial cancer. Also, there is simple hyperplasia and then there is complex hyperplasia with or without atypia. Complex hyperplasia with atypia is usually considered to be an indication for hysterectomy, but not always. Either before or after the biopsy and definitely before any treatment, I would recommend that you see a Gynecologist who has a better understanding of hyperplasia. Progesterone has a tendency to cause depression. If after the biopsy you should need progesterone, you should ask about starting on an antidepressant medication.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
It sure can be, if there is no odor and no itching.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
It certainly could be normal. If an odor and/or an itch develops, it could be a sign of an infection.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
The continuous feeling of the need to go when there is no urine in the bladder is called urgency and is usually due to bladder spasms. If on the other hand there is urine there and in large amounts, this could be diabetes insipidus (totally different from diabetes mellitus the usual kind) D.I. could be brought on by excessive fluid intake. In either case, it would be a good thing to see a Urogyncologist for evaluation and treatment. The period type problems can all be treated by taking the OCP's. Having previously taken the OCP's should not have any effect.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
According to my book of drug interactions polyuria (the need to void frequently) which you say you have now that you are off the drug can be caused by the drug while you are taking the drug. It should go away with the discontinuance of the drug. It also can cause anorexia (loss of appetite) but there is no mention made of weight gain. I also find no evidence that it causes any menstrual irregularities of any kind. Anything that it would have caused would have gone away within the at least 5 months since you quit taking it. You should see your Doctor about these problems.

R. Daniel Braun, MD, OBGYN.net Co-Chair Young Woman Editorial Advisory Board
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

My doctor said that the vagina should be pink and flexible. He said the opening is beginning to close and when we do have sex it will be almost like when I lost my virginity. He gave us a Vagisil brand natural lubricant to use and said the danger in going so long without intercourse (which hasn't hurt our marriage) is that there is the possibility of tearing the vaginal lining. Apparently, the lining is becoming quite thin and he suggested that we begin having intercourse. My priest told me to pray about this and discuss this with my husband, which I have. It may be another three to six months before we are able to be married in the Catholic Church and we truly want to do things the right way. We've been married 10 years, are empty-nesters and I work from home. Is there anything you can add to what my D.O. told me about my vaginal health? I want to remain physically healthy, but my conscience is telling me not to until we're married. I didn't get a lecture from our Priest, he said I should pray about it and let God guide my decision and seek additional medical information prior to us making this decision.

A:
I'm not totally clear about your question, but you perhaps need a bit more estrogen in your system, which will improve your vaginal lubrication and keep things from drying up. You could either increase your patches, or another option is something called an Estring. This is a round rubber ring that goes into your vagina and secretes a small amount of estrogen locally to the vaginal tissues. You leave it there for 3 months at a time. Vaginal cream would do the same thing, but is more messy. Increasing the estrogen levels in your vagina will make intercourse less uncomfortable, and reverse some of the vaginal changes you already have been experiencing.
As far as having sex before marriage, that is between you and your partner, and something you need to decide for yourself. You need to be comfortable with whatever decision you make. Here are some web links that will provide you with lots of information: Vulvodynia and MenopausePat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
No, there is not usually a correlation here. In other words, the abortion doesn't cause the infection. Also in question is what you define as 'abnormal'.  Some pap smears show 'reactive changes' following trauma, and even intercourse. Sometimes there can be signs of an infection (such as gardnerella or yeast). But if you are talking about pre-cancerous changes such as low grade or high grade lesions, no, the abortion wouldn't cause that. A well done, sterile abortion won't cause an infection. However, sometimes there are vaginal infections present at the time that might contribute to an abnormal pap smear. Hope this link is helpful: cervical dysplasiaPat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
Some women do find they are allergic to condoms, or to the spermicide in the condoms. The usual reaction is burning in the vaginal area after condom use. A bladder infection can cause burning when you urinate, and is usually more external, or can cause low abdominal cramping. Drinking lots of fluids can help flush the bacteria out of your system. If you have lots of sex and don't urinate often, you can get 'honeymoon cystitis'. This occurs because intercourse forces bacteria up through the urethra, and can cause a bladder infection. When you urinate is your urine dark orange (very concentrated) or pale yellow (diluted). If it is bright orange, you need more water to dilute it down. Sometimes this decreases the burning.

The major way to check on whether or not you have a bladder infection, is to have a health care provider do a urine specimen and dip it for bacteria. Try drinking lots of fluids and cranberry juice, and also going to the bathroom before and after sex, and see if it makes any difference. Some women if they don't orgasm have pelvic aching from the congestion an blood flow. Another option, of course, is the wide variety of vaginal infections. They can cause burning and cramping also.

You can try different condoms. Perhaps you are reacting to a certain color, or preservative used in the condom. So, try something plain. So, lots of possible causes exist for your pain. Hope this was helpful! Here is a web site that deals with these two specific conditions: UTI

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
I think you need to work towards avoiding the constipation, and the best way to do this is change your diet. Be sure to get lots of fiber and fruit in your diet, drink lots of water, and try to get some form of exercise every day. Usually folks are constipated because they don't do these things. Some folks find flax seeds help them become more regular, and just a TB every day can help loosen things up. I think if you are concerned about vaginal injury, you need to discuss this with your health care provider. The vagina and rectum are very close to each other, so perhaps there was some trauma, which will heal. It seems to me that if you deal with the constipation, the other problems will take care of themselves.

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
It is doubtful having a thin endometrial lining will affect your ability to conceive and have a child. You didn't cite your age, nor when you want to start trying to have children. Your progesterone levels might be low, and your provider is trying to build up those levels. Supplemental progesterone might do this also. I think this is something to discuss in more detail with your provider, and ask about your fertility related concerns. The pills are just regulating things, and perhaps this will get you back on track.

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
It is difficult to answer your question with a quick solution. An excellent book that includes idea about water retention and bloating is Before the Change by Ann Louise Gittleman. She has some excellent nutritional changes that can be made which help with bloating and water retention. Here is a summary of her recommendations. 

You didn't give me your age, but if you are in perimenopause, this book is for you. It is probable your hormones are out of balance, and the intention of her book is to give you some guidelines to help you get back in balance. If you take a diuretic that isn't dealing with the specific problem, but should help. Some individuals find Vitamin B6 helps with water retention. If your providers aren't helping you with this problem, perhaps you need to see a second opinion. I would also be sure your kidneys and blood chemistries are normal, as perhaps there is something to do with the way you process fluids. Be sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, as this helps to keep your body healthy, and you need the water, even though you might feel like you have too much.

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
I suspect, without seeing this bump, that it is an mucus infected gland, sort of like a pimple. I would wash it very carefully, several time a day, and keep the area very clean. If it persists longer than a month, then you need to see your health care provider to have it evaluated. If it is large and very uncomfortable, then perhaps you should see someone sooner, as it might be infected and you might need an antibiotic. Very small pea shaped bumps usually go away within a month or so. The fact that you are not sexually active eliminates the major causes of such bumps. But, you can have an infection from skin organisms also. I doubt it is anything serious that needs immediate attention, unless you feel it is getting larger and even more uncomfortable.

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.

A:
The only way to determine what the unusual discharge is to have it evaluated by your health care provider when you actually are having the discharge. Keep a careful journal of when you notice the discharge, and see if there is anything related. A very common discharge with an odor is bacterial vaginosis, which has a characteristic fishy odor. Some women notice this more around their menstrual cycle, either before or afterwards. This is best diagnosed by your health care provider, and appropriate treatment recommended. Here is a link you might find informative: http://www.obgyn.net/women/conditions/conditions.asp. Follow the link under vaginal infections.

Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, MS, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor
P.S. Remember that this is for educational purposes only.