Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your first appointment will likely be with either your primary care physician or a gynecologist. If you're seeking treatment for infertility, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in reproductive hormones and optimizing fertility (reproductive endocrinologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and it can be difficult to remember everything you want to discuss, it's a good idea to prepare in advance of your appointment.
What you can do
- Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing. Include all of your symptoms, even if you don't think they're related.
- Make a list of any medications, herbs or vitamin supplements you take. Include how often you take them and the doses.
- Have a family member or close friend accompany you, if possible. You may get a lot of information at your visit, and it can be difficult to remember everything.
- Take a notepad or electronic device with you. Use it to make notes of important information during your visit.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor. List your most important questions first, in case time runs out.
For endometriosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- How is endometriosis diagnosed?
- What medications are available to treat endometriosis? Is there a medication that can improve my symptoms?
- What side effects can I expect from medication use?
- Under what circumstances do you recommend surgery?
- Will I take a medication before or after surgery?
- Will endometriosis affect my ability to become pregnant?
- Can treatment of endometriosis improve my fertility?
- Can you recommend any alternative treatments I might try?
Make sure that you understand everything your doctor tells you. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor to repeat information or to ask follow-up questions for clarification.
What to expect from your doctor
Some potential questions your doctor might ask include:
- How often do you experience these symptoms?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Do your symptoms seem to be related to your menstrual cycle?
- Does anything improve your symptoms?
- Does anything make your symptoms worse?
- Endometriosis. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/endometriosis.html. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Schenken RS. Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis of endometriosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecological problems FAQ013. Endometriosis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq013.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130305T1348596508. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Pain management of endometriosis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2010/Pain_Management_of_Endometriosis. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 114: Management of endometriosis. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010;116:223.
- What is assisted reproductive technology? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/art/index.htm. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Schenken RS. Overview of the treatment of endometriosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Schrager S, et al. Evaluation and treatment of endometriosis. American Family Physician. 2012;87:107.
- Pearce CL, et al. Association between endometriosis and risk of histological subtypes of ovarian cancer: A pooled analysis of case-control studies. The Lancet Oncology. 2012;13:385.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2013.
- Bakkum-Gamez JN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 13, 2013.