Talking to Your Doctor About Endometriosis
If you have or think you have one or more symptoms of endometriosis, talk to your doctor right away. But there are some steps that you should take in addition to this first step to make sure you are an active part of the treatment of your endometriosis.
Keeping A Pain Diary
Keeping a pain diary is an important first step in endometriosis diagnosis and treatment. By keeping a detailed list of your pain and other endometriosis symptoms, you will be able to decide which therapy is best for you.
Make sure you keep a detailed account of your symptoms. Four elements that are central to recording your endometriosis pain are: type (is it a sharp pain, or an aching pain, for example?); location (where do you feel the pain?); duration (how long does your pain last?); and intensity (how bad is your pain on a scale of one to ten?).
In the Waiting RoomWhile waiting to see your doctor, don’t just flip through a copy of the latest fashion magazine. Review your questions for your doctor; read through your pain diary to summarize your symptoms. This will help you stay focused on what you really want to ask your doctor about and make the visit more beneficial to you. Plus you won’t leave the office feeling like all your questions have gone unanswered.
Face-to-Face with Your Doctor
It’s important to establish a good doctor-patient relationship. Be open and precise about your symptoms; never downplay them. Minimizing your pain (for example, saying things like "It’s probably nothing serious") only hurts your chances of getting appropriate treatment for your endometriosis.
Be persistent. Don’t simply forget your questions if you don’t find an answer for them right away. Keep asking your doctor and vocalize your concerns until you get the answer you need.
Some questions to ask your doctor include:
If you don’t feel comfortable with your current doctor, ask for a referral. Your doctor can direct you to an endometriosis specialist. Feeling comfortable with your doctor and their prescribed plan is crucial to treating endometriosis.
Also, don’t just rely on your physician for information; find out all you can about your condition on your own. Do your own research and talk to women who have endometriosis. This will provide you with an excellent support system as you begin your endometriosis treatment.
For an overview of endometriosis and its symptoms, check out Endometriosis Overview.
For information on treatment, take a look at our Treatment Options page.