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4 Questions to ask your gynecologist

No one likes heading to the gynecologist for an annual exam. Before you rush through your visit, tight-lipped and waiting for it to be over, consider the resource you have in your gynecologist.

Here are some questions you should ask your gynecologist while you have her attention.

If you’re a mom or you’re trying to get pregnant, your gynecologist is a huge resource. Take advantage of the time you spend in stirrups. Instead of making small talk, come prepared with questions about your health. Bring a small notebook if that helps you remember everything you want to ask. Don’t forget to take notes or ask your doctor for paperwork to bring home.

How can I improve my sex life?

Childbirth, nursing and stress can do a number on your sex life. If you’re not happy with how sex is going post baby, talk to your gynecologist. She should be able to provide insight and rule out any medical problems. She may be able to prescribe medication, such as a topical cream or gel that can help with your comfort and arousal during sex. Sex shouldn’t be painful after you’ve recovered from childbirth, but breastfeeding hormones can cause vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. Don’t be afraid to ask your gynecologist about what steps you can take to improve sex whether you’ve had a child or you’re trying to get pregnant.

Why do I have to pee all the time?

If you’re a mom, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about pee. Between potty training, kids who always have to go in the car and your own bladder, urination can become a topic you’re seriously sick of thinking about. When you visit the gynecologist, be sure to bring up any bladder concerns you have. Frequent urination and leakage aren’t something you should resign yourself to, even if you’ve recently given birth. Your gynecologist will be able to offer you diagnostic tests, medication, helpful advice and alternative therapies to help you with your bladder issues.

Is this pain normal?

Pain isn’t something you should ignore. If you’re experiencing back or pelvic pain — during sex or otherwise — bring it up with your gynecologist. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s especially important to rule out any issues in your pelvic region. Even if you’ve been pregnant, that isn’t generally the reason behind your pain. Give your gynecologist a heads up so she can investigate further. She may need a urine sample or recommend an ultrasound to check on your reproductive organs and bladder. Even simple issues like benign ovarian cysts can cause pain during sex and bowel movements. Help your doctor get you some relief.

What kind of birth control should I use?

Birth control options can be tricky after childbirth if you’re still breastfeeding. Ask your gynecologist to share the pros and cons of a variety of birth control options. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to settle for the first option or brand your doctor recommends. Be proactive, researching various methods, including alternatives to birth control pills. Depending on whether or not you plan on becoming pregnant and whether or not hormonal birth control helps you manage other health issues, your options will change. If you’re in the process of trying to conceive or you’re getting ready to, ask your doctor how long you should be off birth control before getting started.

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