From the airport to the golf course, when guys find out that Cindy M. Basinski, MD, is a gynecologist they’ve got questions for her—and they’re not asking for a friend. Why the personal probing? “I think they’re not getting enough information from their partner to understand what’s happening. So who else would they turn to? Their guy friend? A female co-worker?” explains Basinski, an ob/gyn and urogynecologist in private practice in Newburgh, IN. Bottom line: Your man’s worried about you and he’s trying to help--but he’s also trying to maintain a connection.
“While women are more emotional, men are very physically driven,” explains Basinski. “When that physical connection isn’t happening, that’s when I get men asking me questions.” Check out four of most common things your husband or boyfriend is asking this lady doctor--and what she wants you to know about what’s going on down there.
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Why is my wife/girlfriend having a lot of pain during sex?
“All women at some point in life have episodes of sex that are uncomfortable,” says Basinski. The question is: are these isolated events or a regular occurrence? For regular concerns, talk to your doctor about timing: is this happening between periods? During periods? Right before your period? Also let her know if there are any factors that make the pain worse, like certain sexual positions. These are all clues that can help your gyno get to the bottom of why you might be feeling this pain, which could be anything from stress or hormonal changes to endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
We don’t have sex anymore because she’s having these periods where she’s bleeding all the time. What’s going on?
Abnormal uterine bleeding happens to about 20% of women--not that abnormal, huh? But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. You actually should start taking notes. “It would be awesome if someone with abnormal uterine bleeding came into my office and said, ‘My periods come every X weeks, they’re lasting Y days and on the first Z days I’m going through a tampon or pad every hour or two. And I’m also passing clots,’” says Basinski, who is working with NovaSure on their We Hate Heavy Periods campaign. Your doc wants all the details so they can figure out exactly what’s going on. Any time your period is negatively affecting your life, you should mention it to your MD. But even if you’re “managing,” definitely speak up if you’re changing a pad or tampon more than every two hours during your period or bleeding for more than 7 days a month.
Why is my wife/girlfriend so emotional around her period?
Who are you calling emotional?! Just kidding. Sort of. We’re all entitled to our feelings. “Certainly in some parts of our cycle women are more emotional or irritable,” says Basinski. “It can be hormonally-based.” But if your emotions are impacting your work, life or ability to function normally, it’s time to consult a doctor. It’s also important to find out if you may have another health concern (like clinical depression) that you need medical treatment for. If you really are just on edge during that time of the month, de-stressing strategies (deep breathing, counting to ten before responding to people) can help. If your cycle makes you stay in bed and miss your kid’s soccer game, though, that is a conversation you need to have with your gyno.
I’ve noticed that she has some discharge. What’s that about?
I think some guys are wondering if their partner has a sexually transmitted infection—or even if they gave their partner one,” admits Basinski. The truth is every woman has vaginal discharge and vaginal odor that is normal for them and can even change throughout their lifetime, but there are some red flags that you want to look out for. “Is the odor offensive to you or someone else? Is there itching, burning or pain that goes along with it? Those are signs of health concerns that you’ll want to talk to your gynecologist about.