Its your job to be totally honest and open about whats going on, and its your docs job to be nonjudgmental about everything, Dr. Raj says: “This is a professional relationship. Its not like a first date. 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 dateor if your doc is too handsome or too cool for you to confess something embarrassing tothats probably not the right doc for you, she says.
If youre having regular checkups and physicals, youre more likely to develop a comfy tell-all relationship with your doc, Dr. Raj says. Then youre not just calling when something funky crops up.
No matter why youre going to the doc, assume that youll end up in the paper gown. If being half-undressed makes you uncomfortable, do whatever you need to do to get comfortable. “Like your mama always told you, wear good underwear and shave your legs. It doesnt matter at all to the doc. 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. If you simply cannot talk to the doc while half-naked, ask to chat with him or her before the exam.
Use your own words. 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.