A doctor-patient relationship should be an honest and forthcoming one. Your doctor is well versed in all areas of the body and can act professionally during appointments with all of their patients. As such, they will rarely become embarrassed or even shocked by patient revelations or medical concerns. There is pretty much nothing they haven’t seen or experienced.
However, this cannot be said for patients. Many people will likely have felt some shame or embarrassment when discussing health concerns with their doctor. It is only natural when you are divulging information or exposing body parts you don’t normally to people, which can leave you feeling well, a little bit exposed on all fronts. But learning how to overcome medical embarrassments can enable you to talk freely with your doctor and get the right type of treatment you need instantly.
Book a General Visit with a New Doctor
If this is the first time visiting a new doctor, choose to book a general appointment before getting stuck into the more intimate ones, such as a pap test. This will allow you to discuss general concerns and other issues to gauge their reactions and get a feel for how comfortable you are with them before having to start getting undressed and exploring various body parts.
Practice makes perfect, as they say. If saying the words makes you feel uncomfortable, try to practise the conversation in your head or out loud to remove any awkwardness from the appointment and allow yourself the chance to practise how you will broach the subject and the best way to say it.
Write it Down
If you are still struggling to discuss intimate details out loud, then writing them down can be a huge help. This way, you can pass the note to your doctor. Many people delay getting treatment for different conditions due to how embarrassed they are discussing these topics.
But it is important to remember that your doctor is there precisely for this reason and if you cannot discuss this verbally, then writing down your concern can be helpful. This can also apply when you are in the pharmacy and need to buy over the counter medication. If you are worried about the rest of the queue overhearing you, for example, by treatment over the counter, passing a note can remove your embarrassment and still get you the treatment you need.
Rely on Resources
Not just Dr Google, we all know where that ends up. But reading reliable articles from medical outlets and education journals can help you understand your symptoms and explain some of the words and terminology your doctor may use.
Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable asking your doctor or pharmacist for general information ahead of broaching the more intimate topics you need to discuss. Giving them the right cues can alert them to your request and one-up the lines of communication to put you more at ease for asking for the treatment you need.