The gender health gap is real, and one sad result is that women are often reluctant to ‘bother’ their doctor with symptoms that they aren’t sure are definitely a problem. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated this, as of course we all want to avoid any unnecessary trips out. Not to mention overburdening the health service.
But there are some things that are absolutely worth a trip to the clinic. We’ve compiled a list of women’s health symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.
Now, if you’ve been on a diet then of course shedding a few of those extra pounds is a good thing – worthy of celebration, not a trip to the GP. But if you’re losing weight and you’re not sure why, this can be a danger sign and you should book to see your doctor ASAP.
Sometimes we lose weight without meaning to, simply because we’ve been eating a bit less or exercising more. But unexplained weight loss can also be a symptom of something more serious, so do get it checked out.
If you feel like your stomach is looking swollen, or you are experiencing a bloated, full feeling after eating, it could be worth paying the doctor a visit.
Keep an eye on it. If it’s just happening every now and again it could well just be something you’re eating. But if it’s a regular thing and is happening even after quite small meals, then it might be a sign that something’s not right.
Sudden changes to your urinary/bowel movements
Everyone experiences the occasional urgent need to run for the nearest toilet. But what if you find you are suddenly feeling this urgency every time you need to go to the toilet? Or you might be suffering from incontinence without any obvious reason (such as recent childbirth). In either case, you should book an appointment with your GP.
If you’re experiencing persistent pelvic pain, and particularly if the onset was sudden, it is important to get it checked out by a medical professional.
While pain can be a normal precursor to menstruation, you know what is normal for you, and if this doesn’t feel right do contact a doctor.
Any of the above plus a family history of cancer
If you’ve been suffering from one of the symptoms above but aren’t quite sure if it warrants a doctor’s appointment, explore your family’s medical history. Some cancers, particularly breast and ovarian cancers, have a strong genetic link. If a family member has had it, the chances of your getting it are increased.
In fact, if you aren’t suffering symptoms but have a family history of cancer, it is worth getting a screening. You can check if you have the mutation that could lead to cancer in later life.
None of these symptoms is necessarily anything to worry about, but it is important to get them checked out, if only to put your mind at rest.
For more information or to book an appointment, please contact us at SureScan Women’s Health Clinic.