Tests & Procedures



Recognizing Gynecologic Problems

Gynecological signs and symptoms that may require medical attention

Vaginal bleeding and discharge are a normal part of your menstrual cycle prior to menopause. However, if you notice anything different or unusual, consult your health care provider before attempting to treat the problem yourself.

Symptoms may result from mild infections that are easy to treat. But, if they are not treated properly, they can lead to more serious conditions, including infertility or kidney damage. Vaginal symptoms may also be a sign of more serious problems, from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to cancers of the reproductive tract.

Gynecological symptoms may resemble other medical conditions or urological problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

Consult your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Frequent and urgent need to urinate, or a burning sensation during urination
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, particularly during or after intercourse
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis that differs from menstrual cramps, or persistent abdominal bloating
  • Itching, burning, swelling, redness, or soreness in the vaginal area
  • Sores or lumps in the genital area
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant or unusual odor, or an unusual color
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse

Recognizing symptoms early and seeing a health care provider right away increase the likelihood of successful treatment.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Gynecological Health

Last reviewed: 1/5/2013