The Best Questions Women Should Ask Their Doctor

September 12, 2020

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Not every woman is at ease when going to the doctors and understands what questions to ask. When it comes to going in to see your doctor and asking questions, it’s always best to be well-informed about any treatments, medicines or tests that your doctor recommends so that you can get the most out of your healthcare. To do this, that means asking some questions.

When you ask the right questions, it means that you are more informed about your health and you can work together with your doctor to be in a better position to make the right decisions for you. It’s also a good idea to write down any questions that you may have so that you don’t forget to ask them when you do visit your doctor’s office. The next time you visit your doctor, be sure to ask some of these common questions to be in a better position to understand your health needs.

What is the name of the condition? Is it called anything else?

If you have recently been diagnosed with a particular health problem or concern, your doctor may quickly tell you what the health problem is called which you may forget by the time you’re leaving the doctor’s office. If your doctor has diagnosed the condition, be sure to understand the name correctly and you can also ask your doctor to write it down for you. This gives you a better chance to fully understand your health problems and allows you to research that particular condition if you choose to do so. Of course, it’s always best to ask any questions about the condition to your doctor directly instead of Googling information about health concerns. There is a lot of misinformation online so if you can get the right information that is accurate and up-to-date from your doctor, that is always the best practice.

When do I need a mammogram, cancer test, or pap smear?

As we age, there are many different tests and screenings we should be undertaking at various milestones throughout our life. At certain ages, there will be specific screenings and tests that you should be performing regularly. If you are unsure of what tests you need to be taking, always have a chat with your doctor about what you should be checking on. Some basic screenings such as high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and high cholesterol are fairly common tests and are completed through basic testing in the practice or with a blood test. Other tests such as mammograms and pap smears may need to be conducted by a nurse or an outside practice.

Do I need this treatment?

If you have been diagnosed with a particular health concern and your doctor has suggested a treatment plan for you, you have every right to ask them if you need that treatment. Depending on the condition and depending on the severity of the condition, there may be some other treatment options that are simpler or safer for you to utilise. Having a thorough understanding of the condition, the treatment options available to you and what the side effects of each treatment are will help you to understand the situation better and allow yourself to make a choice that you feel is right for you.

Should I be tested for sexually transmitted diseases?

Younger women may perform routine sexually transmitted disease testing but as we age, it may not feel like this is a very necessary thing to do. But, older women who are starting relationships may not think about protection. It’s still important at any age to use protection regardless of your sexual orientation. It’s a good idea to have a chat with your doctor about sexually transmitted diseases and what kinds of protection you will need.

Do I need to be aware of any particular side effects?

It’s common for a doctor to pass on a prescription to you and advise you that it is the best treatment option and send you on your way. But, it is also a good idea to understand what the potential side effects are so that you can be aware of them and see your doctor again if any side effects are too problematic. This is especially true if you are trying new medications or if you are taking other medications and you need to be aware of any potential side effects with the medication that you are currently taking. If need be, ask your doctor to write down potential side effects so you can look out for them. 

Should I get my hormones checked?

Your hormones play various roles throughout your life. From sex drive, energy levels and fat storage to feeling sleepy or just feeling like something isn’t quite right, your hormones can play a part. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in your 20s or your 70s, it’s always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor about your hormone levels and to let them know of any early signs of trouble that you may be experiencing. High estrogen levels and/or low progesterone levels can all be picked up on through testing and this will help your doctor to provide you with the proper treatment plan to feel at your best. 

No matter what you are going through, if you have any concerns or you are unsure of any particular treatment plans or medications that your doctor is asking you to take, always voice your concerns and ask them for more information. Your doctor is there to provide you with the right information so that you can make the best decisions for your health. If you’re uncomfortable with taking up your doctor’s time, you can also request a longer appointment time so that you can spend extra time with your doctor to go over any concerns you may have.