8 Questions You Should Always Ask Before A Visit To The Gynecologist
Can I See A Female Doctor?
A lot of women prefer to see female doctors, particularly for this kind of appointment. There are a few major reasons for it. On one hand, some women might simply be more comfortable with a female doctor in the room. Gynecologist appointments can be a bit awkward, and sometimes it can be nice to talk with someone who you find less intimidating or more relatable for that reason.
Other women simply prefer to see female doctors because they have circumstances that make being alone with a man unpleasant for them. This is completely fine. Even if you just want the comfort of knowing that your doctor understands what you are going through and will let you gossip through the more awkward parts of the procedure, that is completely fine too. You deserve to feel safe at the doctor. If you are looking for a female doctor, always ask in advance to make sure you get one.
Will Your Doctor Work With You Through A Pregnancy?
A lot of women assume that their gynecologist will help to guide them through their pregnancy, but that isn’t always the case. Some offices point patients to specific doctors for pregnancy help. Being pregnant can make you feel incredibly vulnerable, so it makes sense that you are looking to form a bond with your doctor. Continuously visiting the same doctor through the process can help you to feel more comfortable as the baby develops.
If you aren’t worried about this, that is totally fine. Some women are fine with any doctor because they know that they are trained medical professionals. However, if you feel strongly that the person who sees you through your pregnancy should also be the one who knows your full medical history, it might be good to ask upfront so you get paired with the right doctor.
Does The Office Accept All Patients With Female Body Parts?
In 2021, it is more important than ever to make sure that your gynecologist has ideals that match your own. Online, you can find incredibly disappointing stories about the kind of treatment experienced by trans individuals at the doctor’s office. Trans men often have the same need for reproductive health that women do, and should absolutely be visiting a gynecologist annually.
Though we all deserve the right to safe and judgment-free medical care, that really isn’t always what we get. Instead, many find themselves grappling with doctors who bring their own opinions and might not be able to provide effective medical care. Trans men can always benefit from contacting the office in advance to make sure that the doctors are ready to treat them for their personal and emotional safety.
Does Your Doctor Deliver Babies?
Even though gynecologists are considered the masters of fertility and pregnancy knowledge, not all of them actually deliver babies. In fact, your office might have a dedicated individual on staff to handle deliveries specifically or work with an outside network to pair you with a birthing specialist. It is important to know this in advance since that can be a fairly emotional time.
Knowing if your doctor delivers babies isn’t just about knowing who will handle the delivery. Many women prefer to have met the doctor responsible for bringing their child into the world. Even a meeting closer to the birthing session can provide you with more comfort. It is a chance to get questions out of the way. Sometimes it is nice to know who will be delivering your baby, so ask who will be responsible when the big day comes.
Does The Office Object To Any Kinds of Health Services?
Once again, we can all agree that doctor’s offices should be judgment-free, but that isn’t always the case. In truth, many women have reported terrible encounters with doctors when they decided to use certain kinds of birth control or considered abortion as an option. Every woman has the right to take control of her own body in the way that she chooses, but ending up at a doctor’s office when they have different values can make that difficult.
A few key considerations to ask about your office is whether or not they offer or support abortions, are open to prescribing different kinds of birth control like IUDs, and whether or not they are comfortable with hormone therapies. Though you might assume that a doctor will do the job regardless, sad stories have emerged about women who have been shamed by their doctors for asking about certain types of medical care, so make sure that they are an office that supports women in advance.
Can The Office Help With Infertility Concerns?
Most gynecologists are incredibly well-versed on infertility concerns, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they manage them. An office will likely offer you some basic options and personal steps that can be taken no matter what, but some families require a little more care before they can grow. When this happens, it can take different procedures and sometimes might require a specialist.
There are offices currently that are able to provide help in these areas and also provide basic services too. However, you shouldn’t assume that all of your infertility treatments will come from any office because some simply do not offer them. If you suspect that infertility might be a problem for you, it might be best to ask about their capacity in advance so you will know how likely it is that you will be referred to a specialist.
A lot of women assume that their gynecologist is who they will visit for infertility issues, and while the average office might be able to test you, they might not handle much else. In many instances, women end up being transferred to other kinds of clinics. Still, your doctor might be able to handle it. This is why it is important to ask.
When Was Your Last Period?
This is one question that every single woman who is still menstruating should ask themselves before their appointment. The doctors will ask and having the right answer can be fairly important for their evaluation. Don’t blame yourself if you sometimes lose track. A lot of us do if we don’t have an actual reason to monitor it. However, knowing the answer to this can help you to get better care.
You might think that this question is largely based around pregnancy, but it actually isn’t. In truth, doctors will ask you this for a wide range of reasons. They can learn quite a lot about your health with your answers. Not only does this help them to understand your cycle and your body more, but it can help them during their evaluation as well.
How Experienced Is Your Office With Specialized Conditions?
Once again, this is something that you might feel a bit odd asking. It is easy to assume that your doctors will automatically be qualified to treat any condition, and while they may very well be trained on them, there is still the chance that they aren’t specialized. Doctors tend to be good upfront about what they do and do not cover, so asking will never hurt, especially if you have specific concerns.
You might not know what to ask for, particularly if you have no history of medical conditions. However, there are some conditions that are fairly common and should be considered. Many women suffer from endometriosis, a particularly painful condition, and a lot of them don’t know that they have it. Ask your provider if they offer treatments for specialized conditions.
It might also be helpful to know how well-versed they are on special circumstances surrounding the birthing process. Some women experience difficulties, and having to switch doctors can be a bit intimidating. Ask your doctors what their process is surrounding abnormal pregnancies. Is it something they can work with you on in-house, or will you be sent somewhere else? It is always nice to know that you are in good hands.
When you visit the gynecologist, you might have a few things on your mind. It’s okay to feel a little awkward going in. A lot of us do. Even those of us who are naturally comfortable people can admit that there is something strange about holding a conversation with someone under these circumstances. Don’t feel bad if you feel a little weird. These doctors are professionals and they have seen it all. When you head in for your next visit, remember to take proactive steps to get the most out of your healthcare experience.