We all know how it goes. When you’re home (or maybe at work, or on a trip), you have a million things that you want to remember to ask your ob/gyn at your next visit. You book the appointment, and you might even go so far as to write down some of your questions. But in the flurry of getting to the appointment, getting undressed, and answering all the routine intake stuff, somehow your question gets lost in the mix.
Adding to the confusion, many people have a hard time getting to see any provider — let alone a specialist like an obstetrician — within a short period of time. Unless we’re pregnant or there’s something urgent going on, many of us only visit our obs for an annual exam.
However, it’s important to have ongoing communication with your doctor, and to know that there’s someone you can trust if you have questions. And if they’re going to be checking on your, ahem, private parts, you shouldn’t be shy about your questions. Here are 30 questions to ask your gyn at your next appointment.
Everyone’s period is different, and there’s a wide range of “normal” out there. But most people are afraid to ask what they should expect. After all, more than half of people who menstruate have been shamed about their periods. As a result, many people would rather deal with the discomfort than to ask questions.
Your period is an important benchmark of your overall health as well as your reproductive health. And if you’re living in dread of “that time of the month,” your mental health is likely to take a hit, too. Use these questions to start a conversation with your doctor:
For many of us, the crash course we got in high school was embarrassing enough that we gave up on asking questions about sex. But sexual health is a big part of life — and that includes what they don’t cover in sex ed. In addition to knowing the basics on STIs (sexually transmitted infections) you should also feel comfortable sharing details about your sex life with your doctor.
Whether you see your doctor regularly or just once in a while, the annual check-up is a great chance to ask anything that’s been on your mind. Your doctor won’t mind if you take the reins and ask about your health, and it’s pretty hard to overshare with a gyno.
After you have a baby, you might feel like everything is out of whack for some time. And while that’s true, it’s important that you tell your medical provider right away if you don’t feel right. Whether your symptoms are physical or emotional, communicating with your doctor can prevent either from worsening.
There’s a good chance that your doctor will also have some questions for you. While most ob-gyns have a set list of questions that they ask all of their patients, it will feel more like a conversation than an interrogation. Based on what you say, your doctor might ask some or all of the following questions:
If your doctor doesn’t ask these questions, don’t be nervous about bringing them up on your own. The more questions you ask and the more you share, the better they’ll be able to help you.
If you’re still feeling a little embarrassed about asking your doctor questions, be honest with them. Tell them “I’m afraid to ask, but I have some questions.” No matter how “out there” you think it sounds, your doctor likely won’t be fazed in the slightest. They’ll be able to reassure you and put you at ease (and maybe tell you a wild story or two).
You can also ask for an email address or another way to reach out to your doctor. That way, you can send over your questions in advance. You also have a way to follow up in case you forget anything.
While doctor’s appointments aren’t always comfortable, you should always feel comfortable speaking up. Asking your doctor questions about your health is important to developing a healthy, trusting relationship.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Lisa Parsons, DO.
While we hope you’ve found this helpful, we can’t give you any medical advice without knowing your situation. Please reach out to a healthcare provider if you have specific questions or concerns. Nothing on this site is intended to diagnose or treat any illness, and no statement is intended or should be construed as medical advice. Please utilize your best judgement and the support of your doctor when making any decisions about your health.