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Genital Problems in Women

See complete list of charts. Vaginal irritation and discharge are common problems for many women. Follow this chart for help in understanding and self-treating many of these problems. SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS SELF-CARE

1. Do you have a vaginal discharge that is normal in color, consistency and smell, but has the amount increased?

his is most li!ely related to normal hormone changes or use of oral contraceptives.

See your doctor if the condition worsens or bothers you.

". Do you have a discharge that is white and curd-li!e, or are you e#periencing vaginal or labial redness, itching and irritation?

$ou may have a yeast infection or %&'D(D(&S(S. F)'*&+ ('F,% (-'S and (..( & (-' from feminine hygiene sprays can also cause a rash.

See your doctor if this is the first time you/ve had these symptoms. $east infections may be treated with over-the-counter medicines. 0ear cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing to allow the area to breathe. Fungal infections may be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.

1. Do you have a greenish yellow discharge with an unpleasant odor?

*o to 2uestion 3.4

5. &re you e#periencing

$ou may have 6,+V(% ('F+&77& -.$

URGENT See your doctor right

abdominal pain or pain during se#?

D(S,&S, 86(D9, a serious infection around your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, or a se#ually transmitted infection such as .(%:-7-'(&S(S. $our discharge may be from ;&% ,.(&+ V&*('-S(S. his swelling might be from an ('F,% (-' in a mucous gland or an &;S%,SS or infection in the labia.

away.

See your doctor. URGENT See your doctor right away.

43. Do you have a tender swelling of the vaginal opening or swelling of one labia?

<. Do you have a sore or raw area on the outside or inside of the vagina?

:,.6,S infections and other S,=)&++$ .&'S7( ,D ('F,% (-'S often start with a sore.

See your doctor.

>. Do you have pain with intercourse?

*o to 2uestion 1?.44

@. Does your vagina seem dry, or are you e#periencing vaginal itching and irritation?

6ainful intercourse may be a sign of ('F,% (-' or :-.7-', D,F(%(,'%$.

See your doctor. :e or she can determine the cause of your symptoms and suggest the best treatment for you. Vaginal dryness can be relieved with vaginal lubricants.

A. &re you an#ious about having se#?

6ainful intercourse can be due to V&*('(S7)S, an involuntary spasm of the muscles around the vagina.

See your doctor if you thin! you may have vaginismus. reatment is available. %ertain e#ercises, including the contraction and rela#ation of pelvic muscles, may help

improve muscle control.

441?. Do you have pain with urination?

$ou may have a bladder infection, or %$S ( (S.

See your doctor. ;ladder infections are treated with antibiotics. Drin!ing cranberry Buice may help prevent bladder infections.

11. Do you lea! urine when you cough, laugh or lift an obBect?

his may be a symptom of S .,SS ('%-' (','%,, a common condition after giving birth.

Discuss the problem with your doctor. $ou can strengthen your bladder with Cegel e#ercises. ,mpty your bladder freDuently to help prevent urine lea!s. 6rotective shields or adult diapers may also help. Surgery may also be an option.

For more information, please tal! to your doctor. (f you thin! the problem is serious, call your doctor right away. This tool has been reviewed by doctors and is for general educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. The information in this tool should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor with questions about your individual condition(s) and/or circumstances. ource! American Academy of "amily #hysicians. "amily $ealth % &edical 'uide. (allas! )ord #ublishing* +,,-. See complete list of charts.