5 Symptoms You Should Tell Your Gynecologist About

Stomach pain

April 20, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Dana Jacoby, M.D.

Many women are in the habit of seeing their gynecologist annually for a checkup and necessary screening tests. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call on your doctor in between visits if you notice any vaginal symptoms. 

“Women shouldn’t wait to see their gynecologist if they are experiencing concerning symptoms,” says obstetrics and gynecology specialist Dana Jacoby, M.D. “Your symptoms could be easily treated, but even a mild infection could become a problem down the road if not taken care of.” 

Dr. Jacoby shares five common symptoms that women shouldn’t ignore. 

Pelvic Pain and Discomfort

Mild cramping and discomfort during your menstrual cycle is normal, but if you are experiencing excessive pain, alert your gynecologist. 

“The presence of fibroids or endometriosis can significantly increase levels of discomfort, and your doctor can help you discover and target the issue,” Dr. Jacoby says. 

“Pain can also be an indication of ovarian cancers or ovarian cysts – while sometimes normal, ovarian cysts may require surgery and infrequently can become malignant.”

Vaginal Itching or Burning

If you are experiencing constant vaginal itching or burning, visit your gynecologist as soon as possible. These symptoms can be an indication of yeast infections, bacterial infections or some sexually transmitted diseases. 

“Sometimes these symptoms can be related to vulvar inflammation, caused from a topical exposure to an irritant, like a panty liner or a wipe,” adds Dr. Jacoby. 

Changes in Your Menstrual Cycle 

An irregular period can be an indication of a more significant health concern. If your cycle has become less than 21 days, greater than 35 days, or you’ve skipped two cycles, you should visit your gynecologist. Noticeably heavier or prolonged bleeding should also be investigated. 

Menopause, pregnancy and fibroids all can significantly impact the regularity of your cycle. 

Vaginal Odor

If you notice a particularly unpleasant vaginal odor, tell your gynecologist—even if the conversation makes you uncomfortable. “You could have a bacterial growth or vaginal infection that needs a prescription to cure,” Dr. Jacoby says.

Vaginal Bleeding

For women who have started a new birth control or who are nearing menopause, it’s normal to experience heavier periods. “But see your doctor if you are experiencing unexpected bleeding—especially after menopause—to understand the cause,” says Dr. Jacoby.

“It’s important to note that if you experience any of these symptoms, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Patients often Google search their symptoms and it can lead them down a path of panic,” shares Dr. Jacoby. “If you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s always a safe bet to connect with your doctor.”

Next Steps & Resources:


The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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