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Talking to Your Doctor About Menstrual Disorders

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with menstrual disorders. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • What could be causing my heavy bleeding?
  • What kinds of tests should I have?
  • How serious is my condition?
  • Where can I get more information?
  • Am I at risk for anemia?
  • Do I need to be concerned about infertility?
  • How can I reduce my risk of toxic shock syndrome?
  • Are there any other complications I should be concerned about?
  • What treatments are available for heavy bleeding?
  • Are there medicines that can help me? If so,
    • What benefits can I expect?
    • What side effects can I expect?
  • Are there any surgeries that can help heavy bleeding? If so:
    • What benefits can I expect?
    • What risks may be involved?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that may help?
  • Is there anything else I can do to reduce the bleeding?
  • Why have I not been having menstrual periods?
  • What kinds of tests should I have?
  • How serious is my condition?
  • Where can I get more information?
  • Am I at risk for bone loss and osteoporosis?
  • Do I need to be concerned about infertility?
  • Are there any other complications I should be concerned about?
  • What treatments are available for this condition?
  • Are there medicines that can help me? If so:
    • What benefits can I expect?
    • What side effects can I expect?
  • Is there anything else I can do to make my periods regular?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that may help?
  • What are the chances of my condition improving?
  • What should I do if this problem returns?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my condition?
  • Do I need to do anything about my diet, exercise routine, weight, stress, or other habits?

References

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org. Accessed February 28, 2006.

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