FAQ on Women’s Care and Reproductive Health

During your gynecology checkup, do not rush to leave the doctor’s office! Do not hesitate to ask a specialist your questions about women’s health. This will help to solve possible problems in time. Here are the most frequent questions and answers about the reproductive health of women.

Top 10 questions and answers about female reproductive health

FAQ on Women's Care and Reproductive HealthWhat is laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a method of performing diagnostic and surgical operations of the internal organs, through the introduction of a miniature video camera and instruments through small incisions in the abdominal cavity.

What is hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is also a method of diagnostic and surgical operations. A miniature video camera (hysteroscope) and instruments are inserted into the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix.

Why do I experience pain during sex? The gynecologist said I have no pathologies.

The reasons can be various: the presence of inflammatory diseases of the external genital and pelvic organs, gynecological pathology of non-inflammatory genesis, and others. If the doctor has excluded gynecological pathology, most likely it is primary vaginism. Here you will need the help of specialists such as a psychologist, sexologist, and even a psychiatrist.

I have symptoms of cystitis after sex with my husband. Why is this happening? Can I somehow fix the situation?

This happens when there is a hidden sexual infection in a woman or a man. Both partners should be examined: a smear from the urethra in men; for women – a smear from the urethra, cervical canal and vagina. As a rule, such complaints disappear after treatment. However, if the symptoms of cystitis do not disappear after treatment, it is necessary to undergo further examination. Symptoms of cystitis can also be caused by the presence of caries in the oral cavity or long-term use of glucocorticoid drugs in the form of an aerosol.

When can you start an intimate life after delivery?

You can start having sex 6-8 weeks after labor. This largely depends on the course of labor and the presence of any complications in the postpartum period. In some women, the recovery process is faster, in others – slower (especially if the birth was difficult and there are stitches in the birth canal and perineum. Therefore, one month after birth, a woman should consult a doctor.

Will douching help prevent infections after unprotected sex? And what to do if it happened?

Douching can prevent bacterial infections after unprotected intercourse if treatment is started on time. But it cannot prevent viral infections. If a woman had unprotected sexual intercourse, she should go to the toilet (bacteria are flushed out of the urethra with urine). Use antibacterial suppositories, take antiviral medications and immunity stimulants. Besides, you should consult your doctor at the nearest time. The doctor will give further recommendations.

How reliable is interrupted sexual intercourse and how to calculate a safe period to avoid pregnancy?

The main disadvantage of these methods is low contraceptive effectiveness. The main reason for the ineffectiveness of interrupted sexual intercourse is associated with the possible presence of the pre-seminal fluid and insufficient self-control of men. A calendar method is also not reliable since spermatozoa can live 5-12 days in cervical mucus.

Is prolonged abstinence harmful to women’s health?

Regular sex life has a positive effect on women’s health, including reproductive function. Prolonged abstinence leads to venous stasis in the pelvis and an imbalance of sex hormones. In turn, this may lead to menstrual disorders, weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Sex is an alternative to fitness.

Can I have sex during my period?

It is possible if the woman and her partner have NO inflammatory diseases of the urogenital system. Many bacteria and viruses, including HIV, syphilis and hepatitis, are excreted with the body fluids. During menstruation, the cervix is ajar, which is the risk of ascending genital infection. In addition, blood is a breeding ground for the reproduction of bacteria. Bathing, lying or sitting in the bath (especially in hot water) during your period is undesirable (risk of ascending infection). This can cause bleeding. Taking a shower on such days is the best option.

How to take care of feminine hygiene? Should I use soap, special means for intimate hygiene, or just water?

Hygiene procedures should be performed at least twice a day, in the morning and in the evening before bedtime, with warm water. You can use soap or intimate hygiene products. Arm movements should be directed from front to back – to prevent the risk of bacteria from the intestine on the surface of the genitals. Do not wash the vagina from the inside! During menstruation, hygiene procedures should be carried out more often after each change of sanitary napkin (since the blood is an excellent breeding ground for the reproduction of bacteria. Every woman should have an individual towel for intimate hygiene.

We are planning a pregnancy. The relatives of my husband are suffering from hereditary diseases. Can these diseases be transmitted to our future child? Where can we get a qualified consultation?

The probability of having a child with hereditary diseases increases dramatically in pairs, where both parents are carriers of pathological chromosomes. In this case, the parents themselves may not suffer from these diseases. Such couples are recommended to undergo a cytogenetic examination in a medical genetic consultation with the determination of the progeny prognosis and get recommendations for a planned pregnancy from a geneticist.

What is a normal menstrual cycle? How many days should you bleed during your period?

The menstrual cycle is the period from the “starting” day to the next menstruation. The norm is considered 28 days, but in fact, the number of days may differ. It can last from 21 to 37 days. Regularity is important here. If your cycle lasts 21 days, then 30, then 24 – you should consult a doctor.

What is the best birth control option?

Today, hormonal oral contraceptives are considered the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. They have less side effects compared to other methods. For example, the intrauterine and hormone-containing devices are as effective as birth control pills but their use increases the risk of inflammation of the uterus and appendages, intrauterine pregnancy. Besides, young nulliparous women are not recommended to use intrauterine devices.

How to know for sure if you are pregnant?

The most accurate methods are a pregnancy test, an analysis of hCG (determination of the chorionic gonadotropin released in the blood during pregnancy), and also an ultrasound scan. All other methods and signs (nausea, breast augmentation, changes in taste preferences, measurement of basal temperature) are not considered reliable. These symptoms can be attributed to many other states and be completely unrelated to conception.

I can’t get pregnant. Am I infertile?

Marriage is said to be “fruitless” if there is no conception during the year of regular sexual life without protection. You need to consult a doctor. Provide your doctor with a pelvic ultrasound, test results for tubal patency, and a spermogram of your husband. If the reason does not show up or cannot undergo correction, then it makes sense to refer to modern reproductive technologies – for example, in vitro or ICSI.

What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most common ART procedure used in the case of tubal infertility, endometriosis or unsuccessful attempts to stimulate ovulation in natural cycles, in cases of the desire to preserve their genetic material. The IVF procedure consists of several stages: stimulation of multifollicular growth (many follicles grow and develop simultaneously in one cycle), puncture of follicles and removal of oocytes, fertilization of oocytes in the embryology laboratory and/or cryopreservation of oocytes. After 2-5 days, the resulting embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus and/or cryopreservation of embryos is performed.

What are the signs you need to consult your gynecologist immediately?

You need to contact your gynecologist right away with any of the following symptoms. Remember: the sooner you ask for help, the sooner you get rid of the problem. 1. You live a sexual life, and you have a delay of menstruation. 2. You do not live a sexual life and you have no menstruation 3 months in a row. 3. You had unprotected intercourse with a partner you do not trust. 4. You experience pain during sex. 5. You feel an itch, a burning sensation in intimate places or vaginal discharge of unknown etiology. 6. You have very poor, heavy or painful periods. 7. You have pain in the lower abdomen very often. 8. You experience pain when urinating. 9. You have the formation on the genitals, which is very similar to warts. 10. You want to conceive, have unprotected sex and cannot get pregnant.

How should I prepare for a gynecological exam?

Do not go for an examination until you prepare yourself to it. The following steps are required to get the most accurate results. 1. Visit a gynecologist two weeks after the onset of your period – during this period, you will get the most accurate result. 2. Do not have sex one day before the examination – otherwise, the result may be inaccurate. 3. Do not take medicines, do not use antifungal gels and creams for intimate hygiene 72 hours before the examination. 4. If you get antibiotics, visit your gynecologist two weeks after the last drug intake: such drugs can change the microflora of the vagina. 5. A professional examination includes an examination of the breast, a smear fence on the flora and an inspection on the chair. Almost all clinics will offer you a disposable gynecological kit – a clean bed sheet or diaper and socks. 6. Before visiting your doctor, do not douche and do not use intimate deodorants. Just wash yourself with water and soap, this will be enough.