When below-the-belt symptoms crop up, your first impulse is probably to slip into a pair of pajamas and curl up on the couch. Holing away for a night or two with menstrual pain is fine, but what if your symptoms last for weeks or even months? When it comes to gynecological issues, many women adopt a grin and bear it mentality. Often they're simply too embarrassed to tell anyone—even their doctors—about their problems. But left untreated, some can lead to more serious illnesses.
Vaginal bleeding and discharge are a normal part of your menstrual cycle prior to menopause. However, if you notice anything different or unusual, consult your health care provider before attempting to treat the problem yourself.
Symptoms may result from mild infections that are easy to treat. But, if they are not treated properly, they can lead to more serious conditions, including infertility or kidney damage. Vaginal symptoms may also be a sign of more serious problems, from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to cancers of the reproductive tract.