PMS – Preparing for Your Appointment

If you come in for a consultation with your doctor he will likely refer you to a health professional that specializes in the conditions of the female reproductive system (a gynecologist).

Listed below are some advices to best prepare you for your appointment and the things you can expect from your doctor.

  • Think about important questions to ask your doctor and write them down. You can write down your questions on a small notebook and bring it along with you on the day of your appointment. Likewise bring a pen and a notebook with you to record the important information the doctor may dish out during your appointment.
  • Jot down all your important health information including the supplements, vitamin, herbs and even steroids you are currently taking. Also include in your note a list of important medical information including a list of other health issues you are presently being treated for and the names of the supplements, vitamins and medications you are taking for that condition.
  • Write also on your note the symptoms you have experienced that may or may not be related to the reason you are seeing your doctor for.
  • Remember and follow the pre appointment restrictions (if any) your doctor will require of you. Call the doctor’s office if there is anything you need to do beforehand to help you prepare the appointment.

To assist you in preparing questions to ask your doctor concerning your condition, here are some of examples of questions you can ask during your appointment:

  • What steps do I need to take to relieve my symptoms?
  • Are my symptoms going to eventually dissipate on their own?
  • Are my PMS symptoms indicative of a far more serious condition?
  • Are there treatments for my PMS symptoms? If yes, what are they?
  • Do the medicines you are prescribing have generic alternatives?
  • Can I take home reading materials and brochures regarding PMS? Do you know any websites that I can go to understand more about my problem?

All your other questions might not be included in the question’s list above but you nevertheless have to ask all of them during the appointment.

Your doctor will also have questions of his own to ask you regarding your condition. Some of his questions may force you to ponder for their answers. Take your time in answering them. Providing true and accurate information to your doctor will enable him to come up with an accurate diagnosis and a proper medical treatment.

Some of his questions may be like these:

  • Do you experience light, moderate or severe symptoms?
  • When exactly during your menstrual cycle do you experience the worst symptoms?
  • Do you have days/moments in your menstrual cycle that are without symptoms?
  • Are you able to know when your symptoms are about to occur?
  • Is there anything that makes the symptoms worse?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms better?
  • Are your daily normal activities affected by your symptoms?
  • Have you been depressed, down or have felt hopeless recently?
  • Does your family have a history of psychiatric problems?
  • Have you tried treatments for your condition? If yes, what treatments are they? Have they been effective for you?

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.