Here’s When You Need to Call Your OBGYN During the Pandemic

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Many of us are quarantined and grappling with how much discomfort in our nether regions require us to leave the house and risk the spread of coronavirus. By not going to medical offices, we are helping health workers conserve their protective equipment (ie. face masks, gloves, and gowns) as much as possible and lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19. These days, since we are all being encouraged to cancel our annual OBGYN check-ups for the time being (unless we’re pregnant) here are some warning signs of lady part complications that demand either a prescription or immediate medical attention. Letting a gynecological issue linger too long without getting checked can also be a matter of  life or death in some cases.

First off, if you’re pregnant, and wondering how COVID-19 will affect your prenatal and postpartum care, call your doctor to formulate a plan for your visits and talk through any potential changes to your labor and delivery plans. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, talking with your health care team over the phone or through an online video call is also possible in some cases. Telemedicine is a great way for you to get the care you need during this pandemic. According to their website, if you have a visit scheduled, your care team’s office may call you ahead of time. They may tell you about telemedicine or make sure you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 if you are going into the office. You also can call them before your visits if you do not hear from them.

If you’re not pregnant, here are some other emergency situations that require medical attention.  

Some of the most frequent emergency room worthy complications in the gynecological world include complications from ovarian fibroids and cysts. Ovarian cysts are usually detected because the person experiences severe acute lower abdominal pain which can cause nausea and vomiting. Such patients should be managed in a hospital and severe cases require emergency surgery, usually a laparotomy. Other potentially worrisome conditions include pelvic inflammatory diseases, severe vaginal bleeding and complications due to sexual violence or rape.

Having bloody or burning pee isn’t something you want to sweep under the rug either. It usually signals a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can lead to deadly complications if it spreads to your kidneys. 

The only way to cure a UTI is with antibiotics. According to the Mayo Clinic, UTIs happen when harmful bacteria collects in the urethra, bladder, ureters (the duct that connects the kidneys and bladder), or kidneys. Other symptoms of a UTI include a strong sense of needing to urinate and pain while urinating, soreness in the lower abdomen, back, or sides, or a strong odor or cloudy appearance in the urine. If left unchecked, the bacteria can enter the ureters and spread to the kidneys. If this happens you will experience chills, fever, back pain and sometimes nausea or vomiting. Kidney infections are serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you need a urine sample and antibiotics, so contact your OBGYN right away. 

While coronavirus has taken the world’s hospitals hostage at the moment, gynecological emergencies are disease conditions of the female reproductive system that threaten the life of all women. It can also affect her sexual function and the perpetuation of her fertility.  Don’t be afraid to call your OBGYN and explain to them your symptoms so you can be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Your lady parts take precedent in times of pandemic as well.