Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment you may be referred immediately to a doctor who specializes in urinary issues (urologist).
To get all the information you need from your doctor, it helps to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's how.
What you can do
- Make a list of your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Give your doctor a history of your childhood illnesses and immunizations. Also, be sure to let your doctor know about any recent illnesses, especially if you've had any STIs.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're currently taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. For orchitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need? What's involved in those tests?
- What treatments are available for orchitis?
- How long will it take before I start to feel better?
- Will this affect my ability to have children?
- Are there any restrictions on sexual activity that I need to follow?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that arise during your appointment, or at any time you need clarification.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What treatments have you tried on your own?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you had mumps or mumps vaccine? If so, when?
- Have you had an STI?
- Do you practice safe sex, such as using a condom or having only one partner?
- Orchitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/penile_and_scrotal_disorders/orchitis.html#v1058924. Accessed Sept. 10, 2011.
- Trojian T. et al. Epididymitis and orchitis: An overview. American Family Physician. 2009;79:583. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20090401/583.html. Accessed Sept. 10, 2011.
- Stewart A, et al. Epididymo-orchitis. BMJ. 2011;342:1.
- Corrales-Medina VF, et al. Viral & rickettsial infections. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2011. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=17051. Sept. 10, 2011.
- Epididymitis and orchitis. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=114. Accessed Sept. 10, 2011.
- Nicks BA, et al. Male genital problems. In: Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6362635. Sept. 10, 2011.