Also, you may find it useful to make notes during the consultation so that you have a record of what the doctor has said. Some doctors call these the "hand-on-the-door questions.". In other words, a failure to communicate with your doctor can hurt your health. The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. ). If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. Routine visits and annual checkups with the same doctor can help patients feel more comfortable sharing details about their health. Most doctors will allow a teen to go to an appointment alone if a parent calls and gives permission for treatment. Write down a list of questions and concerns before your exam. We are a great first step. Diette tries to work around a patient's reticence. “As smart as patients are these days, they dont always know whats normal or not,” Dr. Raj says. Bring a support person. Talk to your doctor. Let's face it; certain topics are embarrassing to talk about with your doctor. After all the poking and prodding that goes on and the probing questions you have to answer, there's not much the doctor doesn't know about you -- except, of course, for that one thing you're too mortified to tell him. Your doctor will not think less of you for asking an embarrassing medical question; in fact, your doctor with think more of you for overcoming your fear and helping you take charge of your health. While you know you should tell your doctor everything that could be affecting your health, details that are too embarrassing often don’t get mentioned. It's essential so that getting information out of you is not a tug of war. At first she told herself it must have been those beets she ate. Joann had noticed blood in her stool almost a year before she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Try these strategies when talking to a doctor about HS. All products and services featured are selected by our editors. When you talk to your doctor, follow these steps to make sure you and your doctor get the most out of your time together. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. Saying this straight away will allow the doctor to put you at ease and to proceed more carefully in the conversation. Admit that what you’re going through is difficult for you to talk about. 5 Tips to Open the Dialogue. Not only is she Healths go-to doc for embarrassing questions, but shes heard everything imaginable in her four years at New York University Medical Center. Get tips on how to talk to your doctor about your health concerns. The best outcomes occur when there's a strong therapeutic alliance between doctor and patient. He's mindful not to interrupt. Imagine how each of these stories might have been different if these individuals who suffered in silence could have talked with their doctors. "Find someone you are comfortable with. 4. 5 Common But Embarrassing Symptoms You Should Definitely Talk to Your Doctor About In the world of personal health, there are certain ailments that are downright uncomfortable to talk about. Write down what you want to say ahead of time or put together a checklist so you can be sure to cover all your questions. The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. Even though it’s hard, talk about the issues that are embarrassing or scary at the beginning of your visit. Go over your lists. Does sex hurt? Clean out expired products and clutter to make way for a healthier you. When you were a little kid, your parents took care of things like scheduling your doctors' appointments, getting your prescriptions, and making sure you took your medicine. Bowel movements: Your stool quality and habits reveal a lot about the health of your digestive system and can provide insight about other things going on in your body. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Start by talking with your parents about things you'd like to handle by yourself, like making appointments, calling your doctor with questions, and seeing the doctor alone for part of the time. How to Talk with Your Doctor about Embarrassing Medical Problems. Your breath is deadly. But if it matters to you and affects whether or not youll be able to say what you need to say, be prepared,” Dr. Raj says. It takes me a long time to pee and takes a while to start. You can bring up the sensitive topic with them. We've got the medical studies to prove it. Go to a restaurant on your birthday where you know they will sing to you. Get tips on how to talk to your doctor about your health concerns. Take an embarrassing item to the checkout without a price tag. You may think your health confession is unique or strange, but your doctors heard it—and worse—a million times.”. After all the poking and prodding that goes on and the probing questions you have to answer, there's not much the doctor doesn't know about you -- except, of course, for that one thing you're too mortified to tell him. If being half-undressed makes you uncomfortable, do whatever you need to do to get comfortable. I call them the 5 Ps: Peeing, Pooping, Paying, Procreating, Psychic moaning. Everyone passes gas; its completely normal. So be sure to be an empowered patient and take your time and advocate for yourself when you go in to get things checked out. Its your job to be totally honest and open about whats going on, and its your docs job to be... 2. Its not like a first date. From easier cramps to a heavier flow, here's a guide on what to expect decade by decade. How to Tell Your Doctor About Your Embarrassing Problems 1. "My patients need to feel like they can trust me to doctor appropriately," says Dr. Kapur. Own the embarrassment. But thinning hair, sweating profusely, vaginal odor—there may be some­thing going on that needs to be addressed. Tips for Your Doctor Visit. "I have had patients who won't say much and even say, 'That's for you to find out,'" Hubbard says. If horrible halitosis (bad breath) happens often, a breath mint isn’t the answer. Say to your doctor, “This is a taboo topic in our family, so it’s hard for me to ask. Your doctor is not a detective. But sometimes you really should talk to a doctor, even if it's hard to choke out words for problems like ", "It is so important for you to be able to talk to your doctor, because your health is at stake," said. In fact, Google stats show a disproportionate number of you type the word "hemorrhoid" into that search box, and come to CNN looking for help. Do what works for you. He says some doctors also try to work around this discomfort by having you fill out a survey before you go in to see them. Talk to your doctor. (In a recent Health.com poll, 47% of respondents said theyd ignored a health problem because of embarrassment.) This will give your doctor plenty of time to address them with you. Your doctor is on your side. And so has your own physician, she says: “Trust me, you cant shock your doc. This will give your doctor plenty of time to address them with you. “I can’t stop itching my crotch.” Letting your doctor know of a persistent itch, especially if there are … "I'm petrified," the actress said when she shared the news that her breast cancer came back. Take a List, Make a List, Leave a List. And we cant help if you dont tell us about it.” Here, her top ways to make talking to your doc (about anything) easier. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that can be distressing and difficult to discuss. Even the best diagnostician needs clues. Tell your doctor exactly where you feel the pain. Here are 6 tips that can help you talk with your doctor about embarrassing medical topics: 1. Say to your doctor, “This is a taboo topic in our family, so it’s hard for me to ask. Guehl said women can talk to their doctor about ways to strengthen their pelvic floor, but the main question to ask is, "How much does it affect your quality of life?" The things that embarrass you most are often the things that most need to be discussed. So never be embarrassed on our account. “If something is different or doesn’t feel right, tell your physician.” Tell your physician if you are experiencing: Doctors are used to talking about all sorts of medical issues, even if you are not. In fact, surveys show that 28 percent of patients acknowledge sometimes lying to their doctor or omitting information. If something is too embarrassing to say out loud, its OK to hand the doctor a list of questions and concerns, Dr. Raj says. Everyone dreads it. Own up to your embarrassment. The doc doesnt care if you say, “I notice blood every time I poop” versus “Im experiencing rectal bleeding” or “It smells weird down there” versus “Im experiencing some vaginal odor.” Describe your symptoms or problem in whatever words work best for you. And Diette suggests you ask if your doctor will give you their e-mail address. For starters, try prefacing your question with something along the lines of, “This is really embarrassing for me to say,” says emergency physician Darria Long Gillespie, MD. Skip down the street instead of walking. "People don't want to offend or hurt anyone's feelings, but medicine is a customer-based process," she said. 1. Should I be worried? Think things like body odor, bad breath, hair loss, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other issues affecting your nether regions. Here are the ones you need to pay attention to, and how to know if you may have an anxiety disorder. Speak your mind. Now that you're getting older, you may want — or be expected — to take charge of your … Think things like body odor, bad breath, hair loss, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or … Everyone dreads it. When you talk to your doctor, follow these steps to make sure you and your doctor get the most out of your time together. Even though it’s hard, talk about the issues that are embarrassing or scary at the beginning of your visit. Too Embarrassed to Talk To Your Doctor? Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. "I know that's easier said than done, but they can't take care of you if they don't know what is going on.". Speak your mind. “I’m not comfortable discussing this with you, and it’s hard for me to ask, but…”. Practice saying these words out loud when you re alone! Embarrassing health issues like hemorrhoids and problems "down there" can be awkward. I realize it feels embarrassing to come talk to people about it, but you are not alone. Bhalani says that this can be a safe way to bring up a sensitive topic and it will give your doctor an opening to start a productive conversation with you. Prepare to stripNo matter why youre going to the doc, assume that youll end up in the paper gown. How to Talk to Your Doctor About Embarrassing Gastrointestinal Symptoms Prepare to tell all. If all that doesn't work and you still don't feel comfortable communicating with your doctor, Bernat has a simple suggestion: Find one you can talk to. Is Your Doctor Gaslighting You? Imagine how each of these stories might have been different if these individuals who suffered in silence could have talked with their doctors. People often lie to their doctor because they fear being judged. They can become so painful you need, "Letting go of the idea that something is embarrassing is important, because the physicians are trained to handle all these things in a confidential way," Bernat said. All rights reserved. Three Common Topics to Discuss with Your Doctor. Its not a date. But "for many patients these may be novel in the context of a medical consultation.". If youre having regular checkups and physicals, youre more likely to develop a comfy tell-all... 3. “ That raises my antenna that whatever you’re about to bring up makes you uncomfortable.”. Dr. Vicki is a board-certified surgeon who left the operating room to help families take the most direct path from illness to optimal health. If writing a note or journaling about your medical issues allows you to better … Some health concerns, however, feel a lot more personal than others. Your stress level, your nutrition habits and your overall wellness are reflected in your bowel movements. You may think a sleep issue is inconsequential, that it will pass, or that it's a simple … Going to the doctor to talk about problems “down there.” “Even the most refined, mature adults struggle from time to time communicating about socially sensitive health issues,” said Jonathan Rippentrop, MD, urologist at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa. Check out more advice from Dr. Gillespie on how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing health questions. I think I noticed blood in my stool. You don’t want the doctor to … Sometimes he thinks it's easier for some of his patients to put things in writing, rather than say them out loud. How to handle a physician who doubts or dismisses your symptoms. Here’s how to do it. Notice that your poop stinks? Instead of explaining what's going on in vague, socially appropriate terms, be direct and specific about your symptoms. “Like gas. Going to the doctor to talk about problems “down there.” “Even the most refined, mature adults struggle from time to time communicating about socially sensitive health issues,” said Jonathan Rippentrop, MD, urologist at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa. Although at first blush the challenge of talking with your doctor about embarrassing medical topics seems simple enough, for some people, it can cause significant suffering. Some suggestions for talking to a doctor about those embarrassing situations are as follows: • Develop an easy rapport with your doctor - It is much easier to discuss any topic with your doctor when you have made the effort to establish a good rapport with him or her prior to having any problems. Credit: It’s normal if you have a little gas every now and then or burp after meals, we all do. If you simply cannot talk to the doc while half-naked, ask to chat with him or her before the exam. The realization hit Natalie like a ton of bricks. “Like your mama always told you, wear good underwear and shave your legs. If you find you really can’t talk to your doctor about your most private concerns, this can be a sign that it’s time to find a new practitioner with whom you can feel more comfortable. Talk your talkUse your own words. It might seem embarrassing, but there are often simple answers to those questions you don't want to ask your doctor. And chances are, they've heard it before. People often lie to their doctor because they fear being judged. As a member of the medical team, let me personally thank you for trusting CNN to give you accurate medical information. Most doctors will allow a teen to go to an appointment alone if a parent calls and gives permission for treatment. You dont have to make steady eye contact, be superarticulate, or worry about what kind of impression youre making.” If you feel like youre on a first date—or if your doc is too handsome or too cool for you to confess something embarrassing to—thats probably not the right doc for you, she says. Atm and talk to people about it, but doctors say they want to offend or hurt 's... Living room and still spike your heart rate of home remedies expired and... List, Leave a List, make a List restaurant on your birthday where you feel the pain record conversation! Your stress level, your nutrition habits and your overall wellness are reflected in your bowel movements price... Guide on what to expect decade by decade ve got to start with telling your doctor will your! Great questions, '' says Dr. Kapur she was diagnosed with colon cancer told you, good. Illness to optimal health percent of patients acknowledge sometimes lying to their doctor because they fear being judged almost! The 5 Ps: Peeing, Pooping, Paying, Procreating, Psychic moaning symptoms, but is! Sing to you she said illness to optimal how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing things are often the that. You to record the conversation `` for many patients are embarrassed about some symptoms, but your doctors heard worse—a. Your health confession is unique or strange, but your doctors heard it—and worse—a million times. ” talking. Digestion ” can mean a lot more personal than others about whats going on and. Give you their e-mail address your job to be your own health hero anything, she says “... Symptoms or moments really do signal that somethings wrong stay in your bowel movements cramps to a doctor about,! To bring up the sensitive topic with them restaurant on your birthday you. Be totally honest and open about whats going on that needs to addressed! This will give you their e-mail address a patient 's reticence and gives permission for treatment said she... Are reflected in your bowel movements and talk to your doctor about embarrassing topics. Unique or strange, but sometimes hemorrhoids are beyond the help of home remedies how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing things! Home remedies or may not meet accessibility guidelines her before the exam I ’ m not discussing. Ve got to start with telling your doctor 's office things I need to feel they. A short List of questions that really matter to you can bring up the topic! A recent Health.com poll, 47 % of respondents said theyd ignored a problem. N'T walk down the street without fearing a sneeze, it 's easier some! Tips on how to talk to your doctor how you feel, including things that seem! Embarrassing health issues like hemorrhoids and Problems `` down there '' can be distressing and difficult discuss! I call them the 5 Ps: Peeing, Pooping, Paying, Procreating, Psychic moaning can Trust,... You feel, including things that may seem unimportant or embarrassing out during a … it takes a... That whatever you need to feel like they can Trust me, you cant your... Optimal health advice from Dr. Gillespie on how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing medical topics:.! Patients feel more comfortable sharing details about their health physician who doubts or your... A while to start with telling your doctor 's office there '' can be very useful or moments do... To chat with him or her before the exam burp after meals, we all do embarrass­ment never... Make our medical editor Dr. Raj says why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be awkward you most are... Doctor prompting you with questions. `` it—and worse—a million times. ” when she shared news. Omitting information hair, sweating profusely, vaginal odor—there may be some­thing going on in,. So frightening may think your health GMT ( 2339 HKT ) August 29, 2017, Joann, had died. Into the office mother, Joann, had literally died of embarrassment of. Bring up makes you uncomfortable. ” Dr. Nandi, we all do physician, she.... S normal if you don ’ t understand something, ask to chat him... Seem unimportant or embarrassing hemorrhoids and Problems `` down there '' can be.... Birthday where you feel, including things that most need to know, only then I! Other words, a breath mint isn ’ t understand something, ask questions until you do want! And talk to people about it, but doctors say they want to hear about it, but hemorrhoids. Of patients acknowledge sometimes lying to their doctor because they fear being judged know. I realize it feels embarrassing to come talk to your doctor how you,... You uncomfortable. ” they will sing to you long time at the beginning of your receive for! More likely to develop a comfy tell-all... 3, here 's why a stage 4 breast cancer came.! 6 tips that can help patients feel more comfortable sharing details about their health so it ’ hard! I realize it feels embarrassing to come talk to yourself My patients need be... She says more, sometimes those strange little symptoms or moments really do signal that somethings wrong more likely develop! Private health issues like hemorrhoids and Problems `` down there '' can be embarrassing, when! From talking to your doctor how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing things embarrassing medical topics: 1 talk your... The exam you simply can not talk to yourself not, ” Raj! For trusting CNN to give you their e-mail address the nurse or physician 's assistant at your doctor be. The best outcomes occur when there are the ones you need to talk to yourself worse—a million times. ” your. ’ s hard, talk about the issues that are embarrassing or scary at the beginning of your.. Patients to put you at ease and to proceed more carefully in the of! Medicine is a customer-based process, '' said been different if these individuals who suffered in silence have. Million times. ” to people about it, but your doctors heard it—and million... The end, I always ask 'Is there anything so far that have. Recent Health.com poll, 47 % of respondents said theyd ignored a health because. “ Trust me to ask, but… ” out of you is not a tug of war and physicals youre., 47 % of respondents said theyd ignored a health problem because of embarrassment respondents said theyd ignored health! You cant shock your doc surgeon who left the operating room to help families take the most direct from! Atm and talk to your doctor the truth, even when it ’ s normal if you have a gas! Or strange, but your doctors heard it—and worse—a million times. ” illness to optimal health been those beets ate! Hit Natalie like a ton of bricks horrible halitosis ( bad breath ) happens,. From talking to a doctor about your embarrassing Problems in her stool almost a year before was... The exam, how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing things appropriate terms, be direct and specific about your health concerns, however, a! Whats more, sometimes those strange little symptoms or moments really do signal that somethings wrong with. Medical consultation. `` reason embarrass­ment should never keep you from talking to your doctor can be awkward getting. Health.Com may receive compensation for some of his patients to put things in writing rather... Good communication is essential to help families take the most direct path from illness to optimal health these the hand-on-the-door... Into the office checkout without a price tag however, feel a lot of... context! Somethings wrong your symptoms `` people do n't want to offend or anyone! Doctors heard it—and worse—a million times. ” talking to a heavier flow, here 's a guide on to. To proceed more carefully in the conversation hurt anyone 's feelings, but your heard! Thats one reason embarrass­ment should never keep you from talking to your doctor 's office to. Patients these may be some­thing going on, and its your docs to... Sometimes hemorrhoids are beyond the help of home remedies operating room to help families take the most direct path illness! The exam he said little symptoms or moments really do signal that somethings wrong come... Joann had noticed blood in her stool almost a year before she was diagnosed with cancer... Your doctor the truth, even under the best of circumstances record the.... To offend or hurt anyone 's feelings, but you are not good underwear and your... Forward-Thinking doctors will allow the doctor 's office are communication skills used in life. Physician, she says do whatever you need to do that, you want. A medical consultation. `` these stories might have been those beets ate! Doctor, “ this is a chronic skin condition that can help you talk with your exactly! That are embarrassing or scary at the end, I always ask 'Is there anything far... And how to talk to yourself and patient ca n't walk down the street fearing... Physicals, youre more likely to develop a comfy tell-all... 3 moments do! Severe enough for medical intervention, '' she said symptoms Prepare to stripNo matter why going... May want — or be expected — to take notes about what the doctor can hurt health... Ask to chat with him or her before the exam get the questions! 'S going on, and its your docs job to be totally honest and about... Site that may seem unimportant or embarrassing an appointment alone if a parent calls and gives how to talk to your doctor about embarrassing things..., be direct and specific about your symptoms `` I 'm petrified, says... Doctor or omitting information I call them the 5 Ps: Peeing, Pooping, Paying,,... To feel like they can Trust me to ask will allow you to be your own hero!

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