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- Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:39 pm
Hi there. For the past year or more I have been getting some yellowish vaginal discharge a few days before my period starts as well as a few days after it's done. The rest of the month it's usually clear and at no time does it have a foul odor. Also, it seems like the more stressed I am throughout the month, the more frequently this occurs. My period and such responds SO much to my stress levels. Although my period is back to being fairly normal, I went six months without having my period right after my father passed away. Is it normal to have a yellowish discharge? Again, there is no odor ... and sometimes it's completely clear.
I turned 21 years old a few months ago and have heard that once you turn 21 you should see a gynecologist if you're not sexually active. I am not sexually active but since I turned 21, my mom has been pressuring me to go see a gynecologist. I completely understand the importance of this, but the problem is, I'm TERRIFIED to go and see one for the first time. The situation to me sounds so emberassing and completely awful and I'm so worried they might find something wrong. I have myself so freaked out about this and I know I need to go to the gynecologist, so how do I get more comfortable with the idea? I want to be healthy but I'm so scared they'll find something wrong and I'm terribly embarassed. How do I get over this fear? Thank you so very much for your time!
| Debbie Miller, RN
- Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:22 pm
I certainly understand your fears but I hope to put your mind at ease here.
First, vaginal discharge varies from woman to woman and this can be perfectly normal, especially in the absence of pain, itching or foul odor and around your period. I would not be alarmed, especially since you are not sexually active.
Secondly, the exam. It is important to have an exam at your age, not because we would expect any problem, but more to establish a baseline of your health. It is difficult to say what is abnormal for you if we don't know what is normal. Getting a complete history of your periods and vital signs, breasts and uterus can give your health care provider important information for our future. It also gives you a chance to discuss sexual matters, birth control, future pregnancy plans, etc. with your provider. It is important for you to see a doctor, nurse practitioner or certified nurse midwife you can trust and it's good to establish yourself with someone before you actually need their help.
If you know that you would prefer a female (or male) provider, you can choose accordingly. You can also have a "meet and greet" appointment where you don't actually receive any services except to talk with the doctor or nurse to see if it feels like a good fit for you - in other words, if you are able to talk freely and feel comfortable with them. In that appointment you can let the provider know your fears and concerns. If they are not addressed to your satisfaction, choose another provider for your care. There is usually no charge for such an appointment. Just tell the scheduler that is what you want to do. They might then help you to be more relaxed and they can prepare you psychologically for the actual exam.
Please know that your anxiety is normal and understandable. The doctors and nurses know this and should be understanding and patient with you. Sometimes you can talk to a friend and get a referral to someone they are happy with. This may not be the best way to choose a doctor in every case but if you can find someone who is understanding and easy to interact with, it will make your first gynecological exam a more positive experience.
Also, you should be aware that pain should not be part of this. Some people feel a little discomfort, especially if they tense their muscles in fear. Relaxation is a key here. Remember that taking charge of your health this way will pay great dividends in the future. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.