Need a routine checkup or have a specific concern? Either way, your board-certified OB GYN visit is a great chance to do something good for your health. Your OB GYN is an advocate for your well-being. And you can be too. By taking a little time to prepare for your visit, you can help your doctor provide you with quality care.
Use these four tips to get the most out of your next OB GYN visit.
Find a true partner for your health
You have a unique history, health needs, and personality. Likewise, OB GYNS have different backgrounds, areas of interest, or certifications. So, you may find a better fit with one doctor over another. If you have a specific health condition, you may want an OB GYN who specializes in your area of concern.
A few factors to consider include:
- Is the OB GYN board certified?
- What health conditions do you have?
- Who do your friends or family see?
- How convenient is the location to work or home?
- Are you more comfortable with a specific gender?
- Does the OB GYN accept your insurance?
- If you’re planning to have a baby, does the OB GYN deliver at your hospital?
Be specific about your needs
Did you know your OB GYN’s office may schedule your visit differently based on your needs? Routine checkups may take less time. A visit for a complex issue may need more. So, when you call to schedule your visit, be specific.
Your OB GYN wants to have time to listen and address your concerns. That’s why it’s important to let the office know all of your needs upfront.
Be completely honest
One of the best ways to help you get the right care is to give your OB GYN accurate information. Your OB GYN is a trusted partner for your health. Don’t be afraid to bring up even the most sensitive of topics. Or don’t pass over a symptom because you think it isn’t a big deal. If it’s bothering you, bring it up.
“Consider your OB GYN your confidant. Everything you say to us is kept private,” says Jeanne Sheffield, M.D., Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We can better care for you if you trust us with all your issues and concerns. We are your partner in your healthcare and want the best for you.”
Know the next step
You had a great visit. Now what? Before you leave, make sure you know what’s next. If you’re unsure about a new medication or recommended test, don’t hesitate to ask.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, some follow-up steps might be:
- Changing health habits, like tobacco or alcohol use
- Scheduling additional screenings, like a mammogram
- Setting health goals
- Starting a new medication
- Taking steps for family planning
- Making a follow-up appointment
Overall, your OB GYN wants you to feel comfortable and genuinely cares for your health. By partnering with him or her, you’ll be able to get the most out of every visit.