Too Embarrassed to ask your OB/GYN? We’re back with MORE answers! (part 2)

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We’re back answering more awkward questions! If you’re afraid to talk to your Ob/GYN because you’re too embarrassed, you’re not alone. In our last video, we talked about a normal vaginal appearance, stress incontinence, and sexual pain. So now, we jump to more awkward questions.

Don’t have time to read this blog post? Watch it here instead!

Why do I have an odor or discharge?

Dr. Rich Farnam:

So this is probably the number one cause for visits to the gynecology office. Now sometimes it’s in the guise of an annual exam and a “by the way,” but the vagina itself is an organ system that will have normal bacteria that grows there, sometimes if the pH balance gets off other organisms that are not supposed to be there can grow. And this is the same as any organ system in your body. The gut has normal bacteria. So E. coli normal bacteria in the gut. If those same bacteria get into the bladder – urinary tract infection. So there are normal bacteria there. The two most common reasons for a discharge or an odor would be bacterial vaginosis, which is caused by a bacteria called Gardnerella, among others. But that would be one that can grow in there if your normal lactobacillus is not having the appropriate growth or the pH gets off. And the other one would be, everybody’s heard about a yeast infection. So not so much odor on that one, more of a discharge, more of itching. 

Darcie  Camacho: 

Is there a way to prevent it? 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

So, essentially, you just want to maintain a normal, healthy, vaginal flora. So, one of the worst ways to affect that is by douching. So some people have been taught maybe by their parents or family or friend or whatever that you gotta keep clean and do that. What it actually does is it actually washes out your good protective bacteria and allows for bad bacteria to grow. So that wouldn’t really be an option, that’s not something you want to do, probiotics can be helpful so there’s like, you know, women’s health formula probiotics are available over the counter, some of those probiotics are just in yogurt for example, so that would also be a nice, healthy way to do that. So in general, just maintaining a healthy immune system; getting good sleep, avoiding excesses in alcohol, smoking, those kind of things, anything that could, you know, affect your body’s overall health and wellbeing can predispose to something like that. 

Darcie  Camacho: 

Gloria keeps saying, “It keeps coming back.” 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

So, rarely we will have a recurrence, so this can happen either for bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. So, in these circumstances sometimes resistant organisms that aren’t treated by the normal medications that we use (antifungals and antibiotics), or sometimes we just have to use something called a preventative strategy. So, we will treat the condition, but then we’ll continue a weekly dose of that medicine for three months. And there are other strategies as well. Those are the basic principles we use to treat that. One thing we should mention is there are certainly other causes of infections. So there are sexually transmitted infections, even cancer, so whereas we’re telling you not to be embarrassed and, you know, go ahead and call your doctor, if there is something that’s a recurrence, it could be a sign of an underlying condition like the ones I mentioned or even diabetes, HIV, things like that. So, it’s something that, if it’s not going away, we really need to take a closer look and find out what else could be going on. 

Alright, so let’s bring it home. And the last question?

Darcie  Camacho:

Why are my periods so painful? 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

So this is actually a super common question. So, painful periods – medical term – dysmenorrhea Okay, so, primary dysmenorrhea just means they’re just painful and there’s not another cause. So, up to 90% of women can have painful periods. So, super common, I would say that one of the most common reasons is endometriosis. So this is a condition where you have endometrial tissue that is normally inside the uterus and comes out as the period. Actually, kind of, when periods get really heavy, can actually back out and go back through the tubes in the pelvis, implant, and then cause pain in all of the sites that it implants; on the uterus, on the ovaries, on the ligaments, on the sidewall, bowel, bladder. 

So, actually, that is such a big topic that it’s something we have to devote an entire video segment too. So, tune in next time as we take a deep dive into endometriosis. That was quite a whopper, all those questions from your friends, so, what about you? What has your experience been? The research coordinator in our urogynecology office. What, you know, this is probably a big ask, so what got your interest to come and help us out today? 

Darcie  Camacho:

Well, I was very, very interested in first, women’s health, and second of all, after I met Dr. Farnam, the 6 floors at Las Palomas, all of his patients had nothing but good things to say about him. He has little to zero complications of any. People come from out-of-town to get hysterectomies and whatever done with him that they need, so he’s just phenomenal. And I got the opportunity to work with him as a research coordinator and just, it’s super interesting to learn about what goes into medicine. And just working with him, I mean, the things that we see on the screen, the robot that he uses, it’s amazing. So, aside from that and working in the ER, it’s women’s health and Dr. Farnam’s great! 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Oh, well thank you. So it is, it’s a lot of work, though, right? To do a research study? 

Darcie  Camacho:

It really is! 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

You gotta put in a lot of work to change the world, but that’s what we’re doing, so.

Darcie  Camacho:

It’s amazing.

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Thanks for watching. I hope you found this helpful. Please understand that the names were changed to protect the innocent. We would never disclose protected health information. If you find yourself with more questions than answers, drop them in the comment section below. Also, if you want to tune into more valuable content, please hit subscribe. If you found it valuable, please like and share. Thanks again. 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Hi, I’m Dr. Rich

Three, two, one, I don’t know. I’m just f^%ing trailing off this.

Darcie  Camacho:

You’re all:

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

It’s just like – Cambell’s Chunky soup!

So, fortunately, we are going to do another blog. Oh, that f^%ing sucked. 

Darcie  Camacho:

No, it was good! 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

What am I going to say?

Ruben: 

So it’s kind of like acid reflux for lady parts down there. 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Okay. 

Ruben: 

Is that kind of what it is? 

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Good lord, I wouldn’t say that! 

Jonathan: 

Do you possibly want to do a retake of that saying

Dr. Rich Farnam: 

Yeah, I thought it sucked. 

B%$^.