A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

6 questions to ask your gynecologist

Image of patient asking questions to her gynecologist

It’s probably not your favorite appointment, but your annual gynecologic exam can be key to staying on top of your health and identifying potential problems before they escalate.

It’s probably not your favorite appointment, but your annual gynecologic exam can be key to staying on top of your health and identifying potential problems before they escalate. Make the most of your time with your doctor with these questions to ask your gynecologist:

  1. What could be causing my irregular periods?

It’s not unusual for menstrual cycles to fluctuate a few days each way – not every woman’s cycle runs like clockwork. But if you’re experiencing irregular spotting, extremely heavy or painful periods, or unpredictable cycles, there could be a more serious problem at hand. Share your symptoms with your gynecologist so he or she can create the best action plan for you.

  1. How should I do a breast self-exam?

While not all breast cancer cases can be detected from a breast self-exam (BSE), it doesn’t hurt to know how to do it. If you’re a little fuzzy on the best method, there’s no better place to learn than from your doctor. He or she can share the most up-to-date recommendations for breast cancer screenings and BSE, as well as discuss your lifestyle and family history risk factors.

  1. Are there treatments for my urinary incontinence?

No matter your age, urinary incontinence isn’t something you just have to live with. Sometimes all you need is to condition your pelvic floor and other times, various medications and/or minimally invasive surgical options might help. Speaking with a doctor trained in the specialized field of urogynecology can help you better understand your symptoms and the treatment options available. There are plenty of options to try, and this is one issue that can greatly affect your quality of life – so don’t be too embarrassed to ask!

  1. What do I need to know about menopause?

Menopause is different for everyone. While certain symptoms, like hot flashes and irritability, are infamously associated with menopause, there’s no one-size-fits-all path. Your symptoms and challenges may be different than those your mother, sister, or friend experienced. It’s essential to talk candidly with your gynecologist about any changes in your body, even if you think it’s nothing. Most menopausal symptoms can be alleviated with the right treatments.

  1. Is there a better birth control option for me?

Whether you’re concerned about side effects from your current birth control plan or are thinking about starting a family in the near future, ask your gynecologist whether you should change up your birth control or swap for a better option. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the solution that works best for you and your stage of life.

  1. What preventative care screenings do I need?

This may be one of the most important questions you ask your gynecologist. Staying on top of recommended screenings and procedures throughout your lifecycle can help you prevent disease and feel your best. In addition to your annual well-woman exam, mammogram, and blood tests, your doctor may have specific screenings he or she recommends for you based on your risk factors, symptoms, and family history.

Keep a list of questions to ask your gynecologist in a notebook or on your phone, and bring to your appointment to ensure you’re maximizing the care you receive. To request an appointment with our doctors and women’s health team, reach out to us online or call 920-885-6090 today.

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