Nearly 24 percent of all women in the United States are affected with one or more pelvic health issues.
It can be difficult to talk about problems such as leaking or pain — even with a doctor. But doctors are used to talking about these problems, and it’s worth asking about your symptoms because they can be treated. Your doctor may refer you to a urogynecologist – an expert in treating these problems.
Here are some tips to get the conversation started:
1. My last pelvic exam was ______ (days, weeks, months, years) ago.
2. I have ______ child(ren) and delivered ______ (vaginally/by cesarean section).
3. I’m having some or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain, pressure or a bulge “down there”
- Trouble urinating or passing a bowel movement
- “Leaking” or needing to use the bathroom often
- Pain during urination
4. My symptoms started ______ (days, weeks, months, years) ago.
5. I have these symptoms ______ (daily, a few times a week, sometimes, etc.).
6. I take these medicines ________________________________________.
5 things to ask your doctor:
1. Do you think I have symptoms of a pelvic floor issue? If so, what kind?
2. What’s causing my symptoms?
3. What can I do to lessen or end these symptoms?
4. Do you know of any doctors who specialize in treating my symptoms, such as urogynecologists? Can you refer me to someone you would recommend?
5. Will you work with the specialist to make sure he or she knows about my medical history?
Before your appointment, write down any symptoms you’ve had, and for how long. Besides the questions you prepare in advance, don’t hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment if you need clarification.
Read Myths and Facts about pelvic health.