Most women tend to ignore their health, which causes health issues in the long run. As a woman, you take care of your family, work, and home, and it is equally important to place yourself on the health pedestal first.
You might ignore signs like vaginal discharge or fatigue. But if ignored for too long, it can cause dire consequences. You should keep a tab on your health and get your check-up done after every three months as that is the right way to stay healthy. There are many symptoms that a woman ignores. However, while some may be mild and go away with time, some may be red flags that you should never ignore.
Symptoms That Women Should Never Ignore
1. Abnormal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is a regular occurrence and happens between periods or during hormonal changes in the body. White discharge that is odour-free won’t cause any issue. However, certain discharges may indicate an infection. An abnormal discharge may be yellow or green with a foul smell.
Yeast infection or bacterial infection may cause abnormal discharge. Brown or bloody discharge also indicates a sign of infection in the body. If you notice a discharge that has a foul smell or looks abnormal, it is important to visit your doctor for diagnoses and treatment. Though it is a common symptom, it should not be ignored if it happens too often.
2. Abdominal Bloating
For most women, abdominal bloating is the most common thing. It happens before periods and after periods, and women don’t even pay attention to bloating. But if you constantly feel bloated or have tummy distention, and the tummy is visibly bigger, it is a cause for concern.
Some women who face this problem can’t even fit into their trousers or jeans. Abdominal bloating may be a possible sign of ovarian cancer. If you experience severe bloating with loss of appetite, you should immediately visit your doctor for a check-up. Also, keep a tab on changes in bowel habits. Gastric bloat does not last long, so check for this indication when you see any possible change in the tummy size.
3. Shortness of Breath
In women, the signs of heart diseases are silent and often go unnoticed. A heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in women. If you experience shortness of breath too often, it may be a possible sign of heart disease and if it is accompanied by chest pain or shoulder pain, it can be a red flag.
If walking for fifteen minutes takes a toll on your breath, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. Jaw pain, nausea, and cold sweats are possible signs of heart problems. Don’t ignore if you feel tired after climbing stairs or running, as you will need a complete check-up in this case. A possible ECG can help detect the issues related to the heart and is the first test your doctor might suggest.
4. Heavy Periods
When it comes to monthly menstrual cycle, you know what is normal and abnormal. If you experience painful and heavy periods, it is time to visit your doctor. Fibroids or endometriosis can cause heavy and painful periods at times. If you don’t know the reason, you might suffer more.
Though these are not life-threatening, they may affect your quality of living. If you suffer from any of the above two conditions, you might feel irritated or experience mood swings. When you seek early medical help, it will help you deal with the problem in a better way.
5. Vaginal Bleeding
Bleeding between your period cycles or bleeding after your menopause is a sign of concern. At times, women may experience abnormal pain or discomfort along with bleeding. Although abnormal bleeding may occur due to many reasons, the most common reasons are cervical and uterine cancer.
A condition Endometrial hyperplasia, in which the uterine line grows thick is also one possible reason for vaginal bleeding. When you experience any such signs, you need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will suggest some tests, which will let you know the reason for vaginal bleeding.
Further Reading: What Causes Vaginal Swelling and How Is It Treated?
6. Pain During Sex
Most women experience pain during sexual intercourse, and there are many reasons for this. One possible reason is endometriosis, which could lead to infertility in women. In endometriosis, the tissue grows outside the uterus lining, which causes pain and discomfort.
With painful intercourse, you may also experience pelvic pain and painful periods. Anxiety and stress may also cause the condition of painful sex. Your doctor may suggest hormone therapy, which is the best line of treatment for the condition.
7. Urinary Leakage
More than 40% of women suffer from the problem of urinary leakage after childbirth and menopause. The prevalence of the problem increases with age. Incontinence happens when the bladder muscles tighten, and the sphincter is not strong enough to pinch the urethra shut.
The condition causes a strong urge to urinate that you may not be able to control. Laughing and sneezing can also cause urinary leakage. Simple treatments, which include pelvic floor exercises can treat the problem. Your doctor may also recommend some medications that may help to calm your overactive bladder. Kegel exercise is the best exercise to stop urinary leakage.
8. Leg Pain with Swelling
What seems to be a normal calf and leg swelling could trigger many problems in the future. If you notice calf tenderness accompanied by swelling, you need to visit the doctor. These symptoms may indicate a possible blood clot in the area.
It is a dangerous condition because when the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, it could be fatal for you. Most women ignore leg swelling as a sign of tiredness. But if your condition is a possible blood clot, you will need to have blood thinners. Immobility or patients with a history of blood clots are most susceptible to the condition.
9. Skin Changes
Do you notice a change in your mole or a freckle? A mole may change its size, colour, or shape at times. Skin changes like these may be a possible sign of melanoma that is a deadly skin cancer form. Skin examination should be a part of your daily routine.
If a mole changes its shape or is painful to touch, you must visit your doctor. If you want to ensure the best possible care then it is highly recommended to consider visiting one of the best gynaecologists with expertise and experience to properly diagnose your conditions and offer treatments. Your gynaecologist may suggest a possible skin cancer screening that will detect the cause of the problem. At times, simple changes may be genetic. But once you know the reason, you can start with early treatment.
10. Nipple Discharge
Most women overlook breast health, but it is important to pay attention to lumps or changes in the breast size or shape. Nipple discharge is also a sign you need to watch out for. Clear or bloody discharge may be a possible breast cancer sign. Nipple discharge is common in reproductive years. However, after menopause, if you notice any discharge, you need to go for a complete check-up.
Other possible causes of nipple discharge are – breast infections, abscess, birth control pills, excess breast stimulation, or fibroids. Some fibroids may be non-cancerous, but you will know if you get tested. Make breast screening an important part of your healthcare routine.
Taking care of your body is a holistic way of living a healthy life. If you don’t pay attention to all the above signs, it may cause health issues in the future. Small red flags can alert you about your health. It is important to listen to your intuition if you think something is abnormal or you’re not feeling well.
You know your body best, so you can sense when there is trouble. Remember that when you seek early care and treatment, you can resolve the problem at the start. Waiting for the symptoms to intensify may do more harm than good. A routine check-up should be on your priority list after every three or six months. You can take care of your loved ones only if you’re healthy.
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