Don't ignore the little changes in your body.
It could be an indication of an underlying health issue, warns gynaecologist Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj.
The recent pandemic has taken a toll on women across the globe.
Homemakers and working women are so busy multi-tasking, prioritising their families and balancing work and additional responsibilities, they seldom take time out to focus on their own health.
Some of the simple yet threatening symptoms are written off as normal or are ignored till they become sinister.
The pandemic has taught us to make health a priority.
Listen to the subtle signs of what your body is trying to tell you.
Do not ignore the following signs and symptoms and visit a doctor if you notice any of the following changes:
1. Changes in breast
Make sure to identify any changes in your breast, normal breast tissue has a bumpy texture throughout and feel almost identical to your other breast.
Do not ignore any lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of your breast and get it examined by your doctor.
Bloating after eating or drinking too much and around monthly cycle is common for women.
However, you must see a doctor if you notice yourself feeling bloated more often than not, or if you have difficulty eating or feel full quickly after eating.
It could be a warning sign of ovarian cancer.
3. Constant fatigue
Frequent fatigue that does not get better after one- or two-night’s sleep is a cause of concern as it interferes with your personal or professional life.
It may be a sign of some cancers, chronic Anemia, hypothyroidism, Vitamin D and Vitamin E deficiency so you need to see a doctor to identify the underlying cause.
4. Sudden weight loss
Weight loss that occurs without trying or with no explained reason needs to be looked after carefully.
Unexplained loss of 5 kg or more weight may be the first sign of cancer.
Don't ignore the signs and symptoms when your body is speaking to you.
5. Nipple discharge
Discharge from your nipples is a serious issue and you must pay attention to your breast for any signs of discharge -- especially bloody or clear discharge -- can be a sign of breast cancer.
Don't delay getting checked by your doctor if you notice any traces of abnormal fluid oozing from your nipples.
6. Sexual discomfort
Some amount of discomfort during sex may occur occasionally.
However, excruciating pain, is something to pay attention to.
Pelvic congestion syndrome, is a condition in which varicose veins develop around the ovaries, and result in painful sex.
Sometimes pelvic pain can be because of severe endometriosis and pelvic tumour.
If you experience painful sex frequently talk to your doctor about what can be causing this pain, and ways to make sex more comfortable.
7. Frequent urination
Frequent urination could be due something simple, like a urinary tract infection and can be easily treated by antibiotics.
When it continues for long, it’s time to see a doctor -- especially when it is accompanied by blood in your urine, a burning sensation while you pee, or pain above your bladder.
8. Blood in stools
Blood in stools is a sign of several things.
If the stool is black, it indicates bleeding in the intestines.
However, maroon or bloody stools are a sign of several health issues, haemorrhoids being the most common.
Other diseases could include irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, ulcers and infection in the digestive tract.
9. Abnormal hair growth
Abnormal hair growth on face or chest is not only a cause of concern for women aesthetically, but it could be an indication of an underlying health issue.
Irregular periods when accompanied with sudden hair growth and adult acne can be indicative of Polycystic Ovary Disorder, which is a very common health issue among women.
10. Pain in chest
Chest pain is often ignored as heartburn, in worst cases as even indigestion.
However, chest pains shouldn't be ignored. More so when they are accompanied by shortness of breath, pain in the left arm and shoulder, hot flashes, it could be an indicator of cardiac diseases.
Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj is a gynecologist, obstetrician and IVF Expert at Nurture IVF Centre, Delhi.