With the pandemic, more and more doctors are turning towards telehealth instead of seeing their patients in their offices. Telehealth is a great option, especially if the medical issue is not that serious, but it might not be the best way to consult a doctor for serious illnesses.
We know that every woman should go for regular check-ups and get pap smears done to maintain their reproductive health. Before the pandemic dropping by at the gynecologist’s office for such examinations were easy, but now that might be a bit difficult due to the current situation.
The reasons are the social distancing rules that we all have to follow to not get infected with Covid-19 and also due to the fact that most people are avoiding going to hospitals due to fear of contracting the infection. Hospitals nowadays are nothing like what they used to be, not many people can be seen there apart from those that have to visit due to serious reasons like delivery, and of course, Covid-19.
Due to the extreme fear of hospitals, many people are ignoring their medical issues, which they would not have done earlier. A lot of people are letting their illnesses progress to stages at which they get difficult to treat. Therefore even during the Covid-19 situation, there are some OB-GYN issues that women should never ignore and consult a doctor as soon as possible because delay in diagnosis and treatment can cause it to progress and cause severe complications later on.
The following issues need immediate medical attention and therefore, should be discussed in the doctor’s office:
Persistent pain in the pelvic area
If someone is experiencing sudden pain in the pelvic area, even after taking over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and enough rest, it does not seem to go away and is coming in the way of doing daily activities they need to see a doctor without any delay.
Abnormal and heavy vaginal bleeding
Heavy vaginal bleeding refers to when someone is soaking through either a pad or a tampon every hour, which lasts for more than a day. Heavy vaginal bleeding should never be ignored, as it might mean that there is a serious underlying issue that is triggering it. If along with the heavy bleeding, someone is also experiencing weakness, fatigue, and light-headedness, that is when the matter should be addressed immediately by a doctor.
Pain in the pelvic area accompanied by fever
If a woman is experiencing sudden pain in the pelvic area along with fever, that might mean that they have a sexually transmitted disease. Along with fever, a sudden change in the texture and smell of the vaginal discharge can be traced back to the last time they had unprotected sexual intercourse with someone, and signals towards a serious issue.
Bleeding and pain during early pregnancy
Bleeding anytime during pregnancy is a great cause of concern, but bleeding during the early months of pregnancy since it can result in miscarriages is a serious matter. If a woman has not done an ultrasound yet and is experiencing persistent pain or bleeding should get checked by a gynecologist as soon as possible.
Bleeding after menopause
Menopause is when a woman ceases to be fertile, and as a result, there are no periods that happens between the ages 45 to 58. A woman is said to be menopausal when they have not had periods for a year. Bleeding after menopause can point towards certain cancers like uterine cancer; therefore, any sort of bleeding after menopause should not be ignored.
Those women who are victims of domestic violence and are experiencing it during the pandemic should contact their obstetrician or gynecologist for help.
Those people that are seeking help for their yearly check-ups or those that are dealing with medical conditions that have been going on for more than the last six months can wait till the pandemic is over for getting in-office consultations. However, those issues that need to be addressed after the results of tests come out need to be consulted through tele-health. Some of the issues that can be discussed via tele-health are:
- PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Decreased sex drive
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Pre conceptual counseling
- Options of birth control
A mass in the breasts
Women who have a family history of ovarian and breast cancer and are over the age of 40 if they notice a mass or a lump in their breasts should immediately visit a doctor to rule out breast cancer.
Not visiting the hospital for minor medical issues is a good thing as we should avoid going outside unnecessarily; however, for serious issues going to the doctor for in-person consultation is the best thing to do in order to prevent the matter from getting serious.