Doctors can’t address what you don’t tell them. If you want the most out your gynae, here are questions you must ask…
1. Should I be tested for sexually transmitted diseases?
Besides being on the lookout for symptoms of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, pelvic infection and more, you also want to find out your HIV status.
2. What about a different contraceptive?
Just because a contraceptive’s worked for you in the past doesn’t mean it’s still the best choice, Rabin notes. If you’ve used condoms only, for instance, you can ask about going on the pill or another hormonal method for contraceptive backup.
3. Should I have a prescription for the “morning-after pill”?
In cases of rape (date, spousal or other), while the ideal is for a woman to go to an emergency room for help and to call the police, not every woman in fact does, and either way, knowing you have the means to prevent a resultant pregnancy can eliminate at least one worry
4. What can I do about incontinence?
One thing we know young women are not bringing up is incontinence. Up to 20 percent of women experience urinary incontinence at some point in their teens, 20s and 30s. But only about half of women of any age with the problem raise the issue with their doctors.
Childbirth and the weakening of the urethra’s sphincter muscles can result to incontinence.
5. Why are my periods irregular?
This could be a symptom of anorexia or polycystic ovary syndrome, but also because the lack of oestrogen could be impairing your ability to store up the bone mass that will be crucial later in life, or you could even be losing bone already.” Don’t panic — most of these symptoms usually mean nothing — but do ask.
6. What can I do about sexual problems?
Anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs can chill sexual response, and some women report decreased libido from oral contraceptives. Discomfort or pain during intercourse can lead to sexual problems, and the underlying cause can range from serious medical issues such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease to something as simple as a yeast infection.
7. I was abused or assaulted (sexually or otherwise) in the past — what effect does that have on my health?
There could well be lasting physical effects to take into account, but more insidious are the psychological scars that manifest themselves as physical ills.
8. What were my test results?
Sure, most doctors have a protocol in place to notify patients of positive test results. They also have protocols to keep appointments from getting mixed up, charts from getting misfiled, etc., and you know how foolproof those aren’t. Ask what the policy about patient notification is.
Find out more about women’s health on