8 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Stop Doing

You are a grown woman, so you are generally pretty good at planning your annual gynecology appointments and staying up to date. But that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement. Here are eight things your gynecologist really (really) wants you to stop.
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1. Buy products you don't need

"Stop using feminine hygiene products," says Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, obstetrician and gynecologist in California. "Your vagina has a sensitive mucous membrane with a perfect microbial balance, and if you disturb this, you increase the risk of infection." You heard the doctor - keep this special soap away.
2. Avoid sex before the day of ovulation or fertilization

Are you trying to understand? Do not start sexual intercourse until the big day (whether it is the day you ovulate or the day of insemination for couples undergoing fertility treatment). "Studies show that frequent ejaculation leads to better quality sperm and that means a healthier pregnancy," says reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh. "I advocate frequent ejaculation for heterosexual couples who try to conceive to ensure that they clean the tubes every few days." Noted.
3. Douching

This is a big no-no, says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, gynecologist and women's health professional. "Don't treat your vagina like this - let it do its natural thing." Yes, unless there is a medical or health problem that needs to be addressed. Your vagina does an excellent job of balancing the pH and cleaning itself. It is basically the physical equivalent of your self-cleaning oven.
4. Save all of your concerns for your annual visit

"Stop waiting for your annual visit to let me know that you hate your birth control, or that the agent we discussed on your last visit didn't work, or that you had other health concerns or symptoms throughout the year ignored it, "says Dr. Gilberg-Lenz. As with all good relationships, communicating with your gynecologist is key. "Don't sit on things that worry you, even if they seem insignificant." Especially when it comes to pain or discomfort - call or make an appointment while this is happening, she advises.
5. Pull out (because ... come on)

Excuse me, but you really can't (and shouldn't) use the "contraceptive" method of contraception. "Pre-ejaculate fluid can contain sperm that can cause pregnancy, and it can also contain organisms that cause sexually transmitted infections," says Dr. Shepherd. (But you already knew that, didn't you?)
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6. Worry about your unshaven legs

Trust - your doctor definitely doesn't care.
7. Be embarrassed to express yourself

Look, we understand - talking about your sex life or body fluids can be uncomfortable. But this is definitely the time to address any topic (as terrifying as it feels to speak it out loud). "Don't be afraid to talk about pain or discomfort during sex and loss of urine - these are probably the two most important hidden problems I encounter," says Dr. Gilberg-Lenz. Why bother? Because your gynecologist can help. "If the answer is ever" I can't do anything, "look elsewhere," she warns. You can find a provider here.
8. Cancel because it's your time of the month
"In most cases, the amount of blood cannot obstruct the cells collected on a Pap smear," explains Dr. Shepherd. If the bleeding is very heavy, this can be a problem, but you can't automatically cancel your appointment because Aunt Flo is in town. Call your practice first to explain the situation, and then answer it from there.
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