As a woman, you know your body and you know when something’s wrong, but when should you see a doctor about it? With 20 years’ experience at Florida Hospital, Steven D. McCarus, MD, FACOG, is here to answer that question.
Women’s Health and Intuition
“Your women’s intuition should always be trusted when it comes to your health,” explains Dr. McCarus. “If you think something’s wrong, then you’re probably right and there is. Even if you’ve already been to see a doctor that told you that everything was alright, and you still believe that something is wrong, get a second opinion.”
“It’s important that you have a good relationship with a board-certified physician that you trust to listen to you and to perform the tests that you require. You can’t rely on Dr. Google. The amount of information on the internet is staggering and can be helpful but it can also be misconstrued,” says Dr. McCarus. “It’s not a bad place to start to check your symptoms out, but only a certified professional can give you a proper diagnosis and present you with a treatment plan. If you think something’s wrong, go see a doctor; 99 percent of the everything comes out alright if it’s caught early enough.”
Screenings and When to See a Doctor
You should have started from the time you were a young woman, but it’s not too late to begin the following simple, routine screenings.
- Self-exams of your breasts should be done monthly. If you notice any changes in your breasts, then you should see a doctor right away.
- The same is true if you’re having any discharge from your nipples. This can occur for several different reasons and most are not dangerous if caught early.
- A bloody discharge from your nipples is also an indication that something has gone wrong and can usually be treated quite easily, though its still important that it’s caught early.
- Pain that doesn’t go away or isn’t associated with your period is another sign to go see a doctor right away.
- Congratulations! You’re pregnant. Getting to the doctor as early as possible is a great way to get on a plan to have a healthy baby, safely.
- If you’re pregnant and something doesn’t seem right to you, go see your obstetrician right away.
Urology and Gynecology
- In general, women should have at least one pelvic exam per year that includes a wellness check and a Pap smear. It’s important to find a gynecologist you trust who can care for you through every age and stage of your reproductive health.
- Pelvic organ prolapse is a common condition seen most often in women who have had multiple children and can affect the uterus, bladder, and rectum. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment for this disorder depending on its severity. Any symptoms you experience should be brought to your medical provider’s attention as soon as possible.
- Endometriosis is a condition that affects 6–to–10 percent of women and is marked by symptoms of extreme pain during menstruation among others. Other symptoms can include pain during intercourse, during a bowel movement or while urinating, and excessive menstrual bleeding. If you believe that you may have endometriosis, it’s important to see a doctor right away, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Endometriosis can cause infertility. Without being diagnosed it can lead to a great deal of frustration and confusion.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge is often caused by a yeast or bacterial infection and should be brought to your doctor’s attention as soon as possible for treatment.
Start a Relationship with a Physician
If you feel that something isn’t right in your body, we’ll help you find the doctor that’s right for you and can care for you for years to come. To find a physician partner like this, please visit Florida Hospital for Women or call 407-303-4HER.