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Recognizing Urinary or Gynecologic Problems

Knowing what's normal

During your teen years, sometimes problems can happen with the health of your reproductive system or urinary tract. Talk with a parent or your healthcare provider about all of the normal changes to expect in your body during this time. That way, you’ll know if there are any abnormal changes. Then they can be checked right away. 

When should you talk with a healthcare provider?

Here are some things to contact your healthcare provider about:

  • Changes in vaginal bleeding and discharge. Bleeding and other fluids (discharge) are a normal part of your menstrual cycle. But if you notice any changes, talk with your healthcare provider.
  • Irregular periods. These are common in the first few years after your first period. But if you have a sudden change in your cycle, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need some tests.
  • Abnormal discharge or itching. These may be caused by mild infections that are easy to treat. But if not treated, they may lead to more serious problems. In some cases, an infection can lead to infertility. These symptoms may also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). An STI needs treatment.

Also talk with your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Frequent and urgent need to pee, or a burning feeling when you pee
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after sex
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis that differs from menstrual cramps
  • Itching, burning, swelling, redness, or soreness in the vaginal area
  • Sores or lumps in the genital area
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant or unusual odor or color
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during sex

Paying attention helps

When you notice symptoms early and see a healthcare provider right away, it helps raise the chance of a successful treatment.