Children's Health and Wellness

Recognizing Urologic or Gynecologic Problems

Signs and symptoms that may need medical attention

There are many different gynecological problems that could happen during adolescence. Mothers should be sure to talk with their daughters about all of the normal changes that will be happening in the body during this time of physical maturation and development. In this way, any abnormal changes can be examined right away. Be sure to discuss the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding and discharge are a normal part of your menstrual cycle. However, if you notice anything different or unusual, talk with your healthcare provider before attempting to treat the problem yourself.

  • Irregular periods are common in the first few years following menarche. This is not alarming. However, if you have a sudden change in the regularity of your cycle speak to your healthcare provider to discuss the need for further evaluation. 

  • Some symptoms, such as unusual discharge or itching, may result from mild infections that are easy to treat. But, if these infections are not treated properly, they may lead to more serious conditions. These include infertility. Vaginal symptoms may also be a sign of more serious problems, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Bleeding between periods

    • Frequent and urgent need to urinate, or a burning sensation during urination

    • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, particularly during or after intercourse

    • 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 of an unusual color

    • Increased vaginal discharge

    • Pain or discomfort during intercourse

Recognizing symptoms early and seeing a healthcare provider right away increase the likelihood of successful treatment.

Online Source: Menstruation in Girls and Adolescents, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Online Source: Sexually Transmitted Disease, CDC
Online Source: Urinary Tract Infections in Adults, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2016
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