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Where did my period go?

 

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.

BY GL ON 9/20/2010 12:00:00 AM

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