Friday, 4 July 2014

Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About Prolapse

Speaking to a health professional about the symptoms of your prolapse can be difficult. We are taught not to discuss bodily functions, sex, or our genitals, and it can be hard to overcome this even with a doctor. It can be particularly difficult have that first conversation where you disclose your symptoms.
The American Association of Urogynaecologists has created a really useful document to guide you through that first conversation: Tips for Talking with Your Doctor.
It has two parts.
On the first page, there is a questionnaire for you to fill in and take to your doctor's appointment. It covers most of the questions your doctor is likely to ask if you tell them you are experiencing symptoms that could be caused by a prolapse.
On the second page, there is a list of questions that you might like to ask your doctor in an initial meeting, to help you get a clear diagnosis, and a pathway towards further medical care.
It is really important to go into medical appointments as prepared as you can be, to make sure that your concerns are heard. If you are getting a friend or family member to act as an advocate, they might be able to help you fill in the questionnaire, or ask questions during the appointment.
Doctors, you may like to get your female patients to fill in the questionnaire on the first page in order to help you screen for women who are experiencing prolapse or other pelvic floor dysfunction. This is a great way to begin a conversation with your patients about a topic they might be desperate to discuss, but that they feel unable to talk about with you.

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