Is this normal?

A gynecologist treats patients with female reproductive organs. The visit may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to a woman’s overall health. During any visit, speak openly and honestly of health concerns, lifestyle and sexual health.

“Every woman has asked themselves, “Is this normal?”. It is my job to provide an answer to those questions,” said JRMC Gynecologist & Obstetrician, Dr. Bailey Runkles.

Following are nine common questions that a gynecologist is asked.

  1. Is it normal to have hair on my breasts? It is common to find hair on and around the areola, as well as small bumps or Montgomery glands. Montgomery glands are lubricating, sebaceous glands around the nipple.
  1. The right one is smaller than the left. Women’s breasts develop during puberty, which may cause one or the other breast to grow faster.
  1. Why do I leak when I sneeze? Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can all contribute to urinary incontinence and frequent or sudden urges to urinate.
  1. What do I need to know about HPV? Human papillomavirus primarily causes cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in women. HPV may not always display symptoms, which is why Pap tests are recommended to women once they turn 21.
  1. Is birth control going to make me gain weight? Certain birth control types may have increased chances of weight gain. Consult a gynecologist to find out what type will work best.
  1. When should I see a gynecologist? A young woman should schedule her first visit to a gynecologist when she is 13 to 15 years-of-age. Puberty is a common time to begin seeing a gynecologist. A gynecologist can help explain best care practices, birth control and menstrual hygiene.
  1. Why does it smell down there? A woman’s genitals should not smell fishy, yeasty or foul. If this does happen, talk to a gynecologist to rule out an infection.
  1. Do I really need a Pap test? Pap tests and HPV tests may cause discomfort, but they can flag early signs of cervical changes. If detected early, chances of successful treatment are high.

Pap tests and HPV tests are preventative procedures. A small brush is used during a Pap test to collect cervical cells. The cells are sent to pathology to detect any abnormal cells. If left untreated, abnormal cells may develop into cancer and early treatment is most effective.

  1. Is discharge normal? Mucous secretions are a good thing when it comes to the vagina. This is how the vagina cleans itself. Another tip: wear shorts, but not undergarments, when sleeping.

For pap tests, women’s health, hot flashes and contraception, schedule direct: (701) 952-4878.


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