Each decade of life brings changes in gynecological health . But we don’t always know exactly what they imply: sometimes we think that what we know is enough and other times we are embarrassed to ask the doctor.

Besides, who wants a doctor when they can go to the “internet doctor”? Because between 50% and 70% of patients in the world , especially women, seek information on the Internet. And they are not users with little training: they have a high cultural level, but their confidence in the “cybernetic specialist” is such that, when they go to the doctor, 80% do not look for information, they just want confirmation of what they have read.

It is true that women speak more openly about their health problems and are better informed , but these data are worrying if we take into account that sexual relations start earlier and earlier and some basic issues still raise doubts. 

-Common questions at age 20:

1. Is it normal for my period to hurt?

The first periods can hurt, because the ovaries have not yet ovulated. But, once they work 100%, it is normal to notice swelling and slight abdominal pain. 

2. When should I start going to the gynecologist’s office?

Shortly after the period appears or, at least, after the first sexual relationship. At that point, there are two essential questions: which contraceptive method is right for you and how can you prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

3. What does a regular check include? Is it painful?

If you are sexually active, they will do a cytology and, if you have any abdominal or chest discomfort, they will perform an ultrasound. If you have started taking hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, they will also ask you for a blood test to check your cholesterol and glucose levels. 

4. Is a condom enough to prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted disease?

It reduces the risk of you getting it, but it does not eliminate it 100%, because some diseases are transmitted by contact with the skin (such as papilloma virus) and the condom does not completely cover the entire genital area. However, it is the most effective way to protect yourself from the AIDS virus.

5. Which contraceptive is right for me?

If you do not have a stable partner, it is best to use condoms. When your relationship stabilizes, you can opt for the pill, but taking into account that, from the age of 35, the risks of thrombophlebitis or heart problems increase considerably. The IUD (intrauterine device) is another good alternative at this age.

6. What is the IUD and how does it work?

It is a plastic spiral, in the shape of a T, that is placed inside the uterus. You can choose a copper IUD, covered with this material, which prevents the egg from nesting, or a hormonal IUD. They are 90% effective and none affect fertility. 

7. What if I don’t want to use the pill or the IUD?

You can opt for the vaginal ring, a translucent and flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina for three weeks, until the period arrives; or the diaphragm, a kind of rubber cap that is placed in the vagina covering the opening of the cervix and that you must impregnate with spermicide before sexual intercourse.

8. How does the morning after pill work?

Most contain levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate among their components. They act in three ways, depending on the time of the menstrual cycle: they stop ovulation, make it difficult for sperm to reach the uterus, or prevent the egg from nesting. Its effectiveness is almost 100% during the first 12 hours after an unprotected relationship

-Common questions at age 30:

9. Should I prepare if I want to get pregnant?

Yes, without a doubt: the health of your pregnancy and that of your baby begin before fertilization. Go to a preconception consultation at least three months before, where they will check you and check if you are vaccinated against rubella. It is essential that you take folic acid, a group B vitamin, which prevents serious defects in the fetus.

10. How much time should pass before I worry if I don’t get pregnant?

If you have not reached 35 years of age, you can still wait a year: your fertility has not declined yet and you must take into account that, with each sexual relationship, the chance of becoming pregnant is one in four. 

11. Why does an abortion occur?

They occur in up to 20% of natural pregnancies, in the first 12 weeks (50% after fertility treatment) and half are due to a serious problem in the embryo’s chromosomes that causes the body to interrupt the process. Other causes can be diabetes, hypothyroidism, lack of progesterone, immune problems, fibroids, malformations of the uterus, or a cervix that dilates prematurely. 

-Common questions at age 40:

12. Can I still be a mother?

It is difficult, but not impossible, although you will probably have to go to a fertility center. The chances of pregnancy decrease rapidly from the age of 35 and the risk of miscarriage increases, but also diabetes and hypertension, serious diseases that affect your health and your fertility.

13. From what age can I do without contraceptives?

After the age of 40, the risk of pregnancy decreases, but not totally, so don’t trust yourself. You should continue using them (condom, diaphragm or IUD, because at this age the pill is contraindicated due to its cardiovascular risk) until you enter menopause (when your period disappears for a year). Although they are infrequent, a spontaneous pregnancy can occur with 50 years.

14. Should I have mammograms?

Many doctors and some autonomous communities (Valencia, Navarra and Castilla-La Mancha) recommend them from the age of 45, although as a general rule they are performed between the ages of 50 and 69, ages in which most cases are concentrated. of breast cancer. 

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