Curious whether your irregular period means you’re, well,
irregular? Freaked that your younger sister has her period and you don’t?
Wondering if wearing a tampon overnight is bad for your bod? Your doc can
address all of these issues—and then some.
“[The patient should] be able to share her thoughts and
concerns without feeling judged,” says gynecologist Endrika Hinton of Greater
Baltimore Medical Center, “and also be given one-on-one time with her doc—no
Mom—to discuss anything she wants to talk about.”
Still feelin’ a little shy? Some doctors are actually
providing laptops in the waiting room for teens to fill out questionnaires
about potentially awkward topics like substance abuse, sex and depression.
Another option is to ask for the doc’s e-mail so you can shoot over questions
about some of the more sensitive stuff in advance. Your doc isn’t that
tech-savvy? Simply take a pen to paper before your appointment and hand over
your concerns to your doctor instead of having to ask those Qs aloud.
As you’re talking over serious topics with your doctor,
remember this: There’s an important thing call patient-doctor confidentiality,
and it applies to everyone, even teens.
“[A patient] should know that unless there’s a
life-threatening concern, her conversation will not be shared with her
parents,” assures Dr. Hinton.