1. If the flow of periods decreases, does that indicate decreased fertility?
Ans: The flow of periods can get reduced due to various causes. Ranging from excessive weight loss, age, hormonal issues- PCOS or thyroid-related disorders, or the presence of a thin uterine lining, the cause for light periods can vary in each woman. Since some causes of light periods can lead to irregular ovulation or a thin endometrial lining of the uterus which may not be suitable to hold and nourish an embryo, it can lead to reduced fertility. Since each case is different, women with light periods are recommended to consult their gynaecologist to know the exact cause and steps required to be taken to correct it, if any says Dr Vimee Bindra - Fertility Enhancing Surgery Specialist: Endometriosis Excision Surgery Specialist & Co-Founder “ENDOCRUSADERS”
2. Why do we get pimples during our periods?
Ans: There is a fluctuation of hormones that occur throughout the menstrual cycle in all women. The change in the level of these hormones immediately before and during the periods is such that it makes acne appear. A drop in the levels of estrogen and progesterone immediately before periods causes the sebaceous glands- oil glands, to secrete more sebum, an oily substance. This leads to clogged skin pores and creates a conducive environment for some bacteria to grow leading to popping up of pimples at this time. Since each skin type is different, the appearance of acne may vary in all women. A good skincare routine can help one minimize such a problem.
3. Can any home remedy naturally delay periods?
Though there is no scientific evidence or research available on this.
Though in practice many natural remedies/traditional methods have been listed from time to time which can help one delay periods.
4. Can the vagina become loose from having too much sex?
Ans: Vagina is elastic and accommodating. It stretches and lubricates during sex, but gets back to shape after sex. Too much sex does not make it lose. The only time one can notice a difference in the vagina after sex is the first time when hymen a thin layer covering the vaginal opening breaks. This too may not be the case always as hymen breaks due to indulgence in exercise or sports at much younger ages in most cases.
5. Should we be worried if we have cracked nipples, or hair around nipples or one boob is slightly bigger than other? When should we be worried about abnormalities in breasts?
Ans: Breasts show some physiological changes during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause but apart from these one should look for changes and report them to the gynaecologist in case of any suspicion.
One should report to the doctor if:
• One notices lumps in the breast
• If the skin around the breast changes and becomes itchy, scaly, or develops a painful rash
• One notices an abnormal discharge from the breast. A bloody, green, or clear discharge affecting especially just one breast and accompanied by other symptoms should be reported.
• One notices any sudden change in nipples such as pain, or inversion of nipples. Hair around nipples is not a cause of worry, as hair follicles are present in the areola around breasts and at times hair may grow normally from them.
Breast asymmetry is common and can be noticed in more than half of all women, but if one notices a marked change suddenly or one’s breasts look or feel different then they should report to their doctor and get a check-up done.
6. Does specialised intimate washes work? Should you use soap for cleaning vagina?
Ans: When it comes to cleaning the intimate areas, one should understand that vagina is the inner canal inside the body whereas the outer parts around the vagina is vulva. One doesn’t have to clean inside the vaginal canal, it maintains an acidic pH which prevents infections inside it and self-cleanses itself. Cleaning inside the vaginal canal with any product including water can lead to irritation and infection. What one has to clean is vulva, the outer part. Cleaning of the vulva should be done every day with warm water and mild soap. One should wash it from front to back to prevent any infection from the anal canal from entering the vagina. Also, any strongly scented soaps or wash products are not necessary and can lead to irritation and are thus not recommended.
7. Can your breasts leak milk even when you are not pregnant? Is that a cause of worry?
Ans: Yes, it is possible for women who aren’t pregnant or who have never been pregnant to leak milk from breasts. This condition is called galactorrhea and can occur due to various causes ranging from hormonal imbalance to medication side effects or other health conditions. Though some causes such as regular stimulation of breasts may not be a reason for worry other causes can be more serious and include tumours, damage in breast tissue, underlying problems in the liver or kidney, and usage of medication. It can thus be a cause of worry unless the reason for such a problem is known. One should thus visit a gynaecologist to get any possible serious causes ruled out.
8. Does squeezing breasts make them bigger?
Ans: No, squeezing breasts doesn’t make them grow. Massaging them can help improve the circulation of breasts and can thus keep them healthy.
9. Can home remedies or any food help when your periods are late?
Ans: Irregular period is a common complaint and there are some natural ways which have proven effective for many women though there is no scientific data available.
Irregular periods however can be due to some serious underlying cause also, thus it is advised that one meets their gynaecologist before relying on any such methods.
10. What types of vaginal discharge are normal, and when should you worry?
Ans: Vaginal discharge is most often a regular occurrence, however, there are some cases when the discharge can be abnormal and one should worry about it.
White discharge- A white discharge at the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle is normal however if one notices itching or the discharge is thick with a cottage cheese kind of appearance then it can be indicative of a yeast infection and may require treatment and should thus be reported.
Clear and watery- Such a discharge is normal and may increase at times. One should not worry about it.
Clear and stretchy- This type of discharge is normal too and indicates more mucous in the discharge. This can be regularly seen around one’s ovulation period.
Brown or bloody discharge- A brown discharge noticed at the end of periods is normal but should be reported if noticed otherwise. In case brown or bloody discharge is seen apart from periods it can be indicative of underlying cancer or abnormal growth such as fibroids. Regular pelvic examination and pap test are thus recommended for early detection of any such serious underlying condition.
Yellow or green- A thick yellow or green discharge is not normal and is a sign of sexually transmitted infection. This should be reported as soon as observed.
Besides if one notices any other symptoms such as itching, discomfort in urination, or any foul or unusual smell of the discharge then one should report about
it to the gynaecologist.