You feel totally comfortable (over) sharing with your bestie the aftereffects of the caf’s peanut butter milkshake. And it’s nothing to notify your lab partner that your allergies have your snot output on overdrive. You’ve even been known to complain to your cat about your cramps. So why is it that so many teen girls find it difficult to dish out details about their body and health with a doctor?
Crucial intel: Taking care of your body now means a healthier life later. Plus, the day is quickly coming when your parents aren’t going to be heading to the doc with you. That means that the time to get comfortable with advocating for yourself and forming your own opinions about your health care is now.
Another major bonus? Your doctor can provide a wealth of information on topics like mental health, sex, drugs and alcohol while remaining objective and free of judgment. And, yep, those convos are totally confidential.
If chatting with your physician about super personal stuff still makes you want to cringe, we have the cure to your case of the awks. Before you head to your annual physical this fall, write down these six key questions (try using a Notes app on your phone) to make sure you’ve got yourself—and your health—covered from head to toe.
IS EVERYTHING NORMAL DOWN THERE?
Whether it’s an irregular period or those mysterious bikini line bumps that seemed to appear overnight, you’ll definitely want to discuss anything related to those lady parts (read: your vagina) with your doc.
Most likely, it’ll be a quick check of the area while your doctor asks a few questions to rule out any major concerns. Also, don’t be surprised if they refer you to a gynecologist—the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends you start seeing one between age 13 and 15. Finding a female OB-GYN may make this transition more comfortable.
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