Many doctors' offices are limiting their office hours for anything other than emergency care or diagnosing and treating people for COVID-19. Lauren Streicher, MD, OB/GYN at Northwestern University, encourages patients
experiencing gynecologic issues during COVID restrictions to contact their health care provider. Many clinicians can connect by phone or video, give
recommendations and call in prescriptions. However, if medical care for non-urgent issues is not readily available, she suggests women prepare to care for their common health issues at home.
Streicher offers tips to help women prepare their own at-home feminine health toolkit to address common issues and help stay healthy:
Prescriptions: If possible, get a 3-month supply of prescriptions such as birth
Safe sex: Stock up on condoms and keep emergency contraception on hand. In the U.S., there are two FDA-approved over-the-counter forms of emergency contraception, and the sooner you take emergency contraception, the more effectively it works.
UTI: If possible, have antibiotics on hand if you get a UTI. Additionally, studies show that if you increase your daily fluid intake of water to 2-3 liters on a regular basis, you can flush out bad bacteria. An oral vaginal probiotic like Pro-B may keep yeast and bacteria balanced every day by increasing
vaginal lactobacilli and preventing the colonization of vaginal E.coli finding its way into the urinary tract.
Vaginal discharge and odor: Know how to determine if it is yeast or bacterial vaginosis so you know which product to use. For example, keep pH-balancing RepHresh Gel on hand for after sex and menstruation.
Painful sex: Stock up on Replens Moisturizer to help eliminate vaginal dryness and painful sex, especially for women who are breastfeeding, in cancer treatment or in menopause.
Vitamins: Stock up on vitamin D because it facilitates the absorption of calcium that can decrease bone loss and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. They are easy to take, especially gummy vitamins.