Regular visits to the doctor is an important part of healthy living. Today’s guest blogger and online community director, Kaity Nakagoshi, shares with us a fun and helpful post on being open and communicative with your doctor regarding your womanly health.
Let’s face it. Over the years, women have mastered the art of avoiding routine OBGYN appointments like the plague. There are two main exceptions to this though: 1) if you suspect you might be, or are currently pregnant, and 2) if a prescription expired and needs doctor approval for refill. Otherwise, throwing on an exposing smock and sitting in a cold room on an examination table is not our idea of a grand old time.
Resistance is not the only factor that prevents women from scheduling routine visits with their OBGYN. In many cases, mothers neglect their own health for the sake of the health of their children. Although this is perfectly understandable, it is still not a valid excuse, especially when you consider the number of health issues that can affect women, many of which are hereditary and unavoidable.
Just like mothers, single women are guilty of putting their internal health on the back burner as well, due to demanding careers or financial problems. All too often, the female population tends to focus too much on fitness and calorie consumption, and not enough on overall well-being.
The Silent Treatment
When a woman finally musters up the courage to schedule an OBGYN appointment, there are two presumable thoughts going through her head:
“Please let everything be ok…”
“I just want to get this over with!”
While it is perfectly normal to get a little anxious during a routine OBGYN visit, that is no reason to avoid speaking up or asking questions. We are expressive and talkative by nature, but put us in a gynecologist’s examination room and all of a sudden we’re speechless. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your current OBGYN, then it is imperative that you find one that you will be able to talk openly with. Once you establish a relationship with the OBGYN of your choice, it becomes much easier to ask those questions lingering in the back of your mind.
One of the worst things you can possibly do during an OBGYN visit is assume that because your doctor is an expert in the field, they will be able to identify and diagnose any and all of your concerns. False. Doctors are not mind readers, so it is your responsibility as the patient to take advantage of every minute with your doctor. Address all of your concerns and ask all of your questions. If you think you might forget once you’re in the exam room, don’t be afraid to write them down!
Some examples of possible OBGYN questions:
- How do I determine which method of birth control is best for me?
- What are the side effects of using a certain birth controls?
- What does abnormal discharge actually mean?
- What does it mean if I notice changes in my sex drive?
- How much should I worry about blood clots?
- Are there any warning signs of serious diseases? Prevention methods?
- Who can I call if I have a question after I leave here today?
- If/when I get pregnant, will you deliver my baby?
Just as we’ve always been told, there are no “dumb” questions. Granted, it is not the most comfortable of situations or topics, but this is your health we are talking about. That’s important stuff right there! If you get in the habit of scheduling OBGYN appointments ahead of time (and not cancelling them!), and having open discussions with your doctor, then before you know it you’ll be a pro at the gyno.
About the Author
This guest post was written by Kaity Nakagoshi, the Online Community Director for a physician services company in Florida. Kaity graduated from the University of South Florida and enjoys writing, tweeting, online shopping, and golf. Some of her favorite healthy things are hot yoga, iced green tea with a drizzle of agave, and homemade flourless banana muffins.
Do you have any questions you ask your OBGYN that Kaity didn’t cover here?