If you’re like me, the moment you’re sitting in the Gynecologist’s office, you realize there are a million places you’d rather be. For me personally, I would rather be outside on a hot, humid day changing my 9 month old’s fourth blow out diaper of the day with my 2 older kids whining than sitting patiently in air conditioned 68 degrees quietly by myself waiting for my Annual. We’ve all been there.
So why do we go? I have been thinking about what motivates me to seek out a doctor. My health, the desire to be well, is rooted in the need to be there for my family. I don’t need to live my best life but I want to be there for my kids, every day. In one sense, that is my best life. So I go, and sit, and have my annual exam and IUD check.
As of 2018, it is estimated that 50.8% of the 327 million people are women. 78% of women are over the age of 18 and likely to receive care during their lifetime. That is nearly 130 million women we’re talking about here. They are mothers, sisters, aunts, and cousins in every city and town and we are all in this together. Women’s health is critical to the fabric of our communities.
Here’s some ideas I have for helping make the Annual exam a better experience.
- Ask questions! Come prepared with your questions. Write them down or make yourself a note in your phone. Even if you think it might be a little thing, please bring it up to your physician. You’ll get more out of the visit and not leave just in time to remember those 4 things you were worried about last week.
- Bring a support person. A hand to hold or even a second set of eyes and ears can be immensely helpful. As a private person myself, I often feel I don’t want anyone to even know when I go to the doctor. I find that when decisions need to be made or you may be receiving a new diagnosis, the community that surrounds us has this amazing way of supporting and lifting us up. Just ask them, your loved ones want to be there for you.
- Take that deep breath and try to relax. Your doctor wants what is best for you. They understand you are placing this enormous trust in them and their care. That is huge. Work together with your healthcare team and it truly takes care of a great deal of the bumps in the road that is our healthcare journey.
Autumn Bridger, DO is the CEO and co-founder of comenityMED, LLC, a company focused on pursuing patient comfort in Women’s Health. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our Resilient Professional Foot Supports at www.comenitymed.com.