Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your first appointment will likely be with either your primary care provider or a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect women (gynecologist).
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
- Write down 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 and vitamin supplements you take. Write down doses and how often you take them.
- Have a family member or close friend accompany you, if possible. You may be given a lot of information at your visit, and it can be difficult to remember everything.
- Take a notebook or notepad with you. Use it to write down 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.
Some basic questions to ask include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- What kind of tests might I need?
- Do ovarian cysts usually go away on their own, or will I need treatment?
- Do you have any printed material or brochures I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Make sure that you understand completely everything that 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 been experiencing 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?
- Ovarian cysts. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp075.cfm. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Katz VL. Benign gynecologic lesions: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1169048731&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-02951-3..50021-2--cesec52&isbn=978-0-323-02951-3&uniqId=257973966-4. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Dankakas GT, et al. Ovarian Neoplasm, Benign. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Givens V, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Adnexal Masses. American Family Physician. 2009;80:815.
- Hoffman MS. Overview of the evaluation and management of adnexal masses. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 13, 2011.