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Afraid to bring up sensitive topics with your OB/GYN? Why it’s worth mentioning

We’ve all been there — debating whether to ask what might sound like a stupid question.  Should I ask? Is this dumb? What will they think of me? 

It’s bad enough when it’s about minor things like clarifying work assignments or asking for directions. It can be even harder when you’re thinking about asking a personal question in your OB/GYN’s office. Pretty daunting, huh? Who wants to bring up those touchy subjects like sex, birth controlperiods and anatomy? We should have learned this stuff in junior high, right?

What you might think is a stupid question or a too-sensitive topic is often one that many women have — and one we’ve almost certainly heard before.

Well, never fear. As women’s health providers, we know how hard it can be just to make that appointment, whether it’s for your annual wellness exam or a personal health concern, and to bare yourself — literally and figuratively — to someone you might have just met. 

That’s why we do our very best to put you at ease as soon as we meet. To tell you the truth, our job is not just to do your pap smear and breast exam, it’s to get to know you better so we can take the very best care of you. And if we don’t know you and what you’re worried about, we can’t do the very best for you.

What you might think is a stupid question or a too-sensitive topic is often one that many women have — and one we’ve almost certainly heard before. Things like “How does my birth control work?” “When am I fertile?” “What is this bump?” “Do I look normal?” 

These questions, and many more, are right up our alley and we’re happy to discuss them with you in an honest and non-judgmental way. Sometimes it helps to bring a list of questions or concerns with you to your appointment. Not only does it jog your memory, it might make asking the sensitive questions a little easier.

Related: How to choose the right OB/GYN for you

Of course, your OB/GYN provider is your ultimate go-to source but if you’re looking for more women’s wellness advice and tips, another good place to turn is Baylor Scott & White’s podcast, “Now That You Mention It.” Hosted by women’s health providers like me, the podcast covers topics like why women’s health matters, recommended age-specific preventive exams, infertility options and pregnancy questions, just to name a few. It’s built by women for women just like you.

“Explore."

And if your questions aren’t answered on the podcast, don’t hesitate to ask your own women’s health provider. Either way, we’re here for you.

Got questions? Find an OB/GYN near you.

About the author

Nancy Bertsch, MD

Nancy Bertsch, MD, is the division director of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor Scott & White Clinic – College Station Rock Prarie.

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Afraid to bring up sensitive topics with your OB/GYN? Why it’s worth mentioning