As busy mums, we put ourselves and our needs last on a daily basis.
It is not uncommon to ignore some body changes and aches when they occur. For a woman, ignoring body pains and changes could be dangerous to our health. At the top of the list, here are 10 body pains and changes which no woman should ever ignore.
1. Pelvic Pain
Every woman needs to know that your pelvic area should never hurt. Whether it is just a dull and vague pain down there or a sharp excruciating pain that does not go away, your pelvis should not hurt. Pelvic pain may be a symptom of endometriosis or masses. If you notice any kind of pain, have it checked by your gynaecologist.
While most women do not experience pain when they get their monthly periods, some have extreme discomfort during that period. Pain during periods varies but if you experience very sharp pains or pain that interferes with your daily life, it is advisable to have it checked. Extreme pain during periods could indicate an underlying issue such as endometriosis or fibroids.
3. Unusual Vaginal Discharge
Every woman experienced vaginal discharge and the colour and consistency of the discharge may change within their monthly cycle. However, every woman should know that a normal discharge does not smell and it looks whitish or almost colourless. Where vaginal discharge is smelly and changes colour to green, yellow or greyish, there should be cause for alarm. It is advisable that you note changes in your discharge and have it checked because such changes may signal a condition like an STI, which needs to be treated immediately.
4. Lumps and Swellings
Women are always asked to check their breasts on a regular basis. In Australia, it is as simple as going to your healthcare provider for the simple procedure to be carried out. If you notice changes in skin colour or texture around your breast area, have it checked immediately. Lumps and swelling on the breast should also be checked as they could be symptoms of cancer. If diagnosed at an early stage, it can be removed before it spreads further.
5. Swollen Leg
A swollen leg is another symptom which women, especially expectant ones, should never ignore. A swollen leg may be an indication that you have a blood clot. Doctors find that this affects women during pregnancy and after delivery. During pregnancy, such clots may cause a shortage of blood supply to the baby. Swollen legs could also indicate liver or kidney disease.
6. Unexplained Weight Loss
Most women would like to lose weight and stay in shape. In Australia, it is not uncommon to find women signing up for gym membership or dieting just to shed a few pounds. If you notice that you are losing weight at a fast rate and you are not working out or dieting, you need to check with your doctor. Extreme weight loss, especially if it is accompanied by loss of appetite, could signal depression, or pancreatic cancer.
7. Shortness of Breath
Having shortness of breath can be ignored by most women especially if it happens just once in a blue moon. However, if you experience regular shortness of breath, and it is accompanied by fatigue, you could be suffering from heart disease. Other symptoms include dizziness and nausea.
8. Constant Fatigue
While being fatigued is normal during pregnancy and after delivery, experiencing prolonged and constant fatigue may be a symptom of an underlying or impending condition like heart attack. It could also mean you have diabetes, anaemia or asthma.
9. Vaginal Bleeding
If you are in your menopause stage, you should never experience vaginal bleeding of any kind. Vaginal bleeding during menopause could indicate a hormonal imbalance or a serious issue like endometrial cancer. Vaginal bleeding at this stage may also be a symptom of uterine cancer which should be checked immediately.
Bloating and gas are symptoms of menstruation and they are normal during that time of the month. Bloating can also be linked to a change in diet and it should go away soon. However, constant bloating and gas could indicate something serious such as ovarian cancer.
If you experience these symptoms, make sure that you consult with your doctor. While some of them may not signal a life-threatening condition, some may pose danger to your health.
If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. We have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice.
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.