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5 Things Women Should Tell Their Doctor. . .But Often Don’t

  1. Give your doctor a complete list of ALL medications you’re taking. This includes all prescriptions, OTC meds, vitamins, supplements & herbal preparations.

    • A study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2009 shows that about one in 25 adults between the ages of 57-85 put themselves at increased risk for significant drug interactions when mixing prescription drugs, such as a commonly prescribed blood thinner, with over-the-counter medicines like aspirin, or certain supplements, such as ginkgo biloba.

    • Women may lie or choose not to disclose information about the different types of medication they are taking because women don’t want to hear that these medications are harmful to their bodies or don’t want their current prescriptions to be taken away from them

  2. Give a complete history of any STD's you may have had

    • Many patients underestimate the number of sexual partners they've had because they fear being judged by their physicians. Women need to know, however, that the greater number of sexual partners they have had, the more likely their risk of STD’s, with or without symptoms. This may compromise future fertility as well as cause other health problems.

    • Many women lie about their past history with STD’s because they feel embarrassed about having had an STD , because they fear being “judged”, or because they feel that it is no longer an issue once it has been treated.

  3. Any current symptoms even if--or especially if-- they're "embarrassing", e.g. vaginal odor or vaginal discharge

    • Although unpleasant vaginal odor is a topic that many women prefer not to talk about, it may affects more than 65% of all women at some point in their lives. For most it is a recurrent problem.

    • Statistics show that for 70% of women that have suffered from vaginal odor, the condition persists. The most likely cause of this problem is bacterial vaginosis, which occurs due to a bacterial and PH imbalance of the vagina.

    • While many doctors recommend against douching or using vaginal deodorants, a safe and effective, FDA-approved, all-natural solution is now available to treat vaginal odors: Waterworks is a douching system consisting of tap water applied through a medical grade stainless steel nozzle. It is reusable and no prescription is required (see www.waterworkshealth.com).

  4. Any urinary leakage or other urinary symptoms

    • More than 13 million people in the United States—male and female, young and old—experience incontinence. It is often temporary, and it always results from an underlying medical condition; while common, it is not “normal”.

    • Although a third of American men and women ages 30-70 have experienced at least some loss of bladder control, most have not been diagnosed by a doctor. A survey, sponsored by the National Association for Continence, of more than 1,400 Americans found that despite the prevalence of bladder control loss, 64 percent of those experiencing symptoms are not currently taking measures to manage their condition. This survey also found that, on average, adults waited six years after first experiencing symptoms before discussing them with a doctor.

    • Six out of every seven cases of adult incontinence occurs in women. Between 10% and 30% of women experience incontinence during their lifetimes, with the highest rates occurring in women who have given birth.

  5. Accurate estimates of smoking/drinking per week.

    • Many women who smoke lie to their doctors because they don’t want “the lecture”. Some women do so knowing that they have particular or specific reasons for not smoking or drinking, such as taking prescription medicines with which smoking or drinking can be particularly harmful.

    • There has been a 600% increase in women’s death rates for lung cancer since 1950. Currently, 1 in 6 American women over age 18 smoke.

    • Some women lie about smoking if they’re on birth control pills, especially if they’re over age 35. They fear that their doctors will not renew their OCP prescriptions if they’re smoking as studies show that smoking can have even greater negative effects on heart disease in woman taking birth control pills.

Created: 4/23/2010  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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