Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is as normal as the common cold, as normal as getting cramps before or during your period, as normal as morning nausea during pregnancy.
In other words, vaginal dryness should never be cause for embarrassment. It’s a health issue which afflicts many women of all ages for a variety of reasons. (In fact, if your doctor’s reaction makes you feel embarrassed when you mention intimate health matters, it’s probably time to seek out a physician with a better approach to patient relations.)
Prepare for your visit
Before visiting the doctor, pay attention to your vaginal dryness symptoms. Many women are used to tuning out their body’s signs, treating pain and other concerns like background noise. You may find it helpful to write down your experiences as they occur. How frequently are you conscious of vaginal dryness? Do you experience pain as you go about your day or only during sexual penetration? What about itching? Are you experiencing painful urination or other UTI (urinary tract infection) symptoms?
Provide complete information
Be specific in describing your vaginal dryness. Include information such as how long you have experienced the problem, and whether it occurs regularly or only some of the time. Let your doctor know if your vaginal dryness is causing pain – either during intercourse or at other times. It is especially important to let your doctor know if vaginal dryness seems to be contributing to other concerns such as urinary tract infections.
Unless your doctor is already very familiar with your health background, provide major facts pertaining to your health history. For instance, make sure you let your physician know whether you: have given birth recently; have gone through menopause, or recently underwent treatment for cancer. Inform your gynecologist about any medications you are taking since some drugs may interfere with normal vaginal lubrication.
Use descriptive language when discussing your symptoms. Don’t underplay the severity of pain or itching you experience. You might want to rate the level of pain/itching you feel on a scale of 1 to 10.
Be prepared to answer follow-up questions
Your healthcare provider may want to ask you a few questions to help them understand how your personal health situation may interact with your vaginal dryness. These questions may relate to other physical symptoms that might indicate your vaginal dryness is one symptom of another health concern. Or the questions may relate to your overall sexual arousal, and/or your sexual relationship(s).
Answer your doctor’s questions, providing brief but complete answers to help them pinpoint whether there may be an underlying physical or emotional issue.
Interacting with your doctor
Ideally, you and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. If your doctor suggests a possible diagnosis, ask him or her to outline the pros and cons of different treatment options. If your doctor speaks to you using medical jargon you don’t understand, ask for an explanation in layperson’s language. Feel free to suggest courses of action you have read about, including Membrasin® with SBA24™.
In your interactions with your gynecologist, remember that you have the right to receive, as well as give, respect. As a recent article in US News reports, “Women's symptoms can be misdiagnosed or dismissed by their doctors” due to gender stereotypes and the fact that most medical research centers on men. An article in The New York Times notes, gender bias may be compounded by other factors: “In the United States, if you’re not wealthy, not white and not heterosexual, you may be receiving less than optimal health care.”
If you don’t already have one, find a gynecologist who treats all your concerns, including vaginal dryness, with respect. If your doctor isn’t already familiar with Membrasin®, suggest that they visit our website.