If you are a woman and you find yourself in one of these situations, you should book an appointment with your local women's health care clinic as soon as possible.
Your menstruation cramps have become unbearably painful
Many women experience painful cramps when they menstruate. However, in most cases, the pain caused by these cramps can be alleviated by taking over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or by applying heat (in the form of a hot water bottle) to the pelvic region.
If your own attempts to relieve the pain caused by your menstrual cramps are no longer working and you are in unbearable pain for several days each month (i.e. if the pain is debilitating and affects your ability to work, study or exercise), then it is worth visiting a women's health clinic.
The reason for this is as follows; extreme menstrual pain is often caused by an underlying issue.
For example, this type of pain can be a symptom of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (a disease that causes inflammation of the reproductive organs) or endometriosis (a condition that results in the tissue that lines the uterine walls growing in other body parts).
As such, it is important to have a doctor examine you so that you can not only find a way to relieve the pain, but also to ensure that any underlying conditions are identified and treated.
If you go to a women's health care clinic, they will probably take a blood sample to check your hormone levels. Additionally, they may use ultrasound technology to visually inspect your reproductive organs, and may also perform an examination of your pelvic region.
You have found a new lump in one of your breasts
Breast lumps are often benign. In most cases, these lumps are caused by scar tissue, fibroadenomas (harmless tissue masses) or non-malignant cysts.
However, if you have recently found a new lump in one of your breasts, then you should arrange to see a doctor at the local women's health care clinic as soon as you can.
The reason for this is as follows; it is possible that the lump could be either cancerous or precancerous.
If this is the case, then getting the condition diagnosed promptly is essential, as this will reduce the chances of you having to undergo very aggressive and invasive cancer treatment procedures in order to get rid of this disease.
For example, if precancerous cells are found in the lump, then it is possible that you may be able to rectify this problem, simply by having the lump itself removed and undergoing a very short course of radiation therapy.
However, if you postpone treatment and the cancer worsens, you may end up having to undergo a mastectomy (where the entire breast is removed) and have multiple rounds of both chemotherapy and radiation.