We took the time to catch up with Dr Neil Geraghty of Ashfield surgery to ask him about female health, and to ask the questions that some might be too embarrassed to talk about. Remember, Doctors and healthcare professionals deal with intimate subjects almost every day and so whilst you may find the subject tricky to discuss, they would rather understand and treat embarrassing conditions.
Questions about female health and maintaining a healthy vagina
Question – Dr Geraghty, how will a person know if they have a bacterial infection?
Dr Geraghty – It depends on the infection but symptoms can be a change in discharge colour, an unpleasant odour, itchiness or irritation.
Question – What do I do, I have heavy periods?
Dr Geraghty – It is important to see the Doctor so they can assess whether treatment can be started to prevent the heavy bleeding or period pains or whether further investigation is needed.
Question – Is a smear test painful? I have heard awful stories.
Dr Geraghty – A smear test should not be painful. It is important to stay relaxed before and during the procedure to try and prevent discomfort.
Question – I think I have noticed a lump on my vagina, I am getting worried, but I feel too anxious to speak to anyone. What shall I do?
Dr Geraghty – I would strongly encourage this woman to seek help. Doctors and nurses are professionals, so they are used to assessing and discussing such issues. The information taken from you and documented on your medical records will be kept confidential.
Any other comments? –
Dr Geraghty –
“Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise contributes to a healthy vagina.’ Dr Geraghty
Things to remember
• Vaginal discharge is normal as long as there is no change in colour or smell.
• Do not over wash your vagina as it can change the acid balance of the vagina which can lead to infections.
• If you have any abnormal symptoms, it is important to speak to a medical professional