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10 things you shouldn't feel embarrassed to tell your gynaecologist

The experts address your burning questions about sex, STDs, contraceptive pills and more.

10 things you shouldn't feel embarrassed to tell your gynaecologist

PHOTOGRAPH: 123rf.com

Afraid to voice all the questions you have about your vagina, period or sex life to your gynaecologist? We've asked Dr Lee Keen Whye from the KW Lee Clinic & Surgery For Women to answer them for you.

 

1. What does it mean when I’m never in the mood for sex?

Mood is generally a mental state. Stress, anxiety, depression or preoccupation with work can result in a loss of mood for sex. Medical help may be needed to rule out any illnesses.

 

2. I have stains on my panties sometimes. Am I normal?

Yes, finding stains or some discharge on your panties at the end of the day is normal. They can be due to a variety of reasons including perspiration.

 

Read more: 15 weird vagina problems and how to deal with them

 

3. Should I be worried if I smell funny down there?

If there is a foul smelling odour, then try taking a shower and changing your panties. If the odour persists, see your doctor.

 

4. My vagina is itchy. Do I have an STD?

The most common cause of itch in the vagina is a fungal discharge. The other common cause is a parasitic infection called trichromoniasis. History taking, clinic and laboratory examination will be able to tell whether the infection is spontaneous or sexually transmitted.

 

Read more: 10 reasons for that rash on your vagina

 

5. Why are my nipples so tender all the time?

Nipples can be tender premenstrual, in puberty and early stage of pregnancy. If they are tender all the time, you should seek medical advice.

 

6. There are so many birth control options. Which one is the best?

The best birth control option is the one most suitable for the couple. The choice will also depend on the compliance of the couple and whether they want it temporarily or permanently. Lifestyle plays a part too. A young woman may find using the oral pill for six months to a year before pregnancy suitable, for instance. Others may prefer an intrauterine device or IUD.

 

7. Doesn’t inserting an IUD hurt?

The discomfort or uterine cramp is usually mild and tolerable. It also depends how relaxed the patient is. Occasionally some form of pain relief or sedation is needed.

 

8. I’ve heard the pill causes breast cancer. Is this true?

The pill is generally safe and does not cause breast cancer. Otherwise it would be barred. However, individuals with breast cancer or a strong family history of it should avoid the pill because it may increase their chances or contracting the disease due to existing genetic or hormonal receptors.

 

Read more: 8 myths about breast cancer you need to stop believing 

 

9. Why can’t I have sex without it hurting?

Sex should be pleasurable and not hurt. Common causes of “pain” during intercourse include not enough foreplay or stimulation, endometriosis, vaginal infection and vaginismus (involuntary spasm or tightening of the vaginal muscles).

 

10. I’ve never had an orgasm. What’s wrong with me?

Most women need abot 20 minutes of arousal time to reach the orgasmic platform when the clitoris is most sensitive and the body is primed for stimulation. Skipping the whole sexual-response cycle makes it harder to have an orgasm.

 

This article was originally published in Singapore Women's Weekly.

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