The menstrual cycle is not the same for every woman. On average, menstrual flow occurs every 28-32 days and lasts about 4 days. Even if there are some variations of timing and duration, your period can still be considered normal.
Please see this Guide to Perimenopause from WebMD or to see what our doctors have written on this topic, see Dr. Salerno’s article Vaginal Dryness or Dr. Crawford’s article The Weighty Issue.
Hormone replacement therapy is not for everybody. Your ovaries will continue to age, with or without hormone therapy. However, some women experience severe hot flushes and lack of sleep because of the natural aging process.
The effect of hysterectomy on sexual function is a controversial subject. It was thought in the past that women who had a complete hysterectomy (removing the uterus and cervix) experience more sexual dysfunction than women who don’t.
There is no screening test that will tell you if you have ovarian cancer or not. Doctors use CA 125 to help in diagnosis and in monitoring the treatment of women with ovarian cancer. It helps in evaluating the likelihood that a suspicious ovarian cyst is cancer or not. Only when the cyst or ovary is removed and examined, you can be sure it is cancer or not
PCOS refers to a condition which hormones (androgens/estrogen) are overproduced by the ovaries. In this condition, ovulation occurs sporadically. The excess and not well organized hormones can cause a lack of a menstrual cycle, excess hair growth, obesity, acne, and insulin resistance. As a result, women with PCOS are at a high risk of developing diabetes.
Your discharge is normal. Every woman is different; some have more discharge than others. You will notice that your discharge changes in appearance about 2 weeks after your cycle. As long as your discharge doesn’t smell, is not irritating or itchy, you do not need to do anything about it.
It is not necessary to douche at all. Douching can lead to changes in the environment of the vagina which can lead to infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Also, if you already have an infection in the vagina, douching can spread this infection into your uterus and pelvic cavity.
There are a variety of reasons why you may be irritated. It is best to consult your physician in these cases. For more information of symptoms and options, please refer to this Fact Sheet from the Illinois Department of Dr. Salerno’s article of Vaginal Dryness.
Dr. Salerno wrote about the Addition Benefits of Birth Control
Frequently asked questions answered by the Mayo Clinic about birth control.
Cervical Shield is an alternative to condoms and spermicide that can be obtained with a prescription.