Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your first appointment will likely be with either your primary care provider or a gynecologist.

What you can do
Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to prepare in advance:

  • Keep track of your symptoms. For instance, make a list of how many hot flashes you experience in a day or week and note how severe they are.
  • Make a list of any medications, herbs and vitamin supplements you take. Include the 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 note 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 kind of tests might I need, if any?
  • What treatments are available to minimize my symptoms?
  • Is there anything I can do to relieve my symptoms?
  • What steps can I take to maintain my health?
  • Are there any alternative therapies I might try?
  • Do you have any printed material or brochures I can take with me?
  • What websites do you recommend?

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Some questions your doctor might ask include:

  • Are you still having periods?
  • When was your last period?
  • How often do you experience bothersome symptoms?
  • How uncomfortable do your symptoms make you?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • Does anything make your symptoms worse?
Jan. 24, 2013