Are you ready to take the next step towards protecting your health? You’ve scheduled or want to schedule an appointment at a local clinic or with your primary care doctor. But what happens when you get there? How will you be able to talk with your doctor about sex and other private issues that you might feel embarrassed about?
Being open with your doctor is very important so you can get the health care you need, when you need it. It can be uncomfortable to talk about certain issues, but being honest and asking questions will help you get the answers you need.
Just remember these few tips:
- They’ve been there. Your health care provider was your age, once upon a time, and know what you are going through and that it can be difficult to talk about.
Find a health care provider you are comfortable with. If for some reason, you don’t get a good feeling from your doctor, switch to one that makes you feel comfortable during your visit and someone that you trust.
- If your provider makes you feel judged or uncomfortable during your visit, we want to know! If there’s an opportunity to provide feedback or comments on the care you receive, being open about your experience may help others. Spread the word!
- You’re not the only one. Health care providers treat many patients that have similar issues, concerns, or questions every day. When you are open with your provider, they will be able to check out any concerns and provide accurate information regarding your health.
- By LAW, everything shared is confidential and will only be shared with members of your care team, as needed. The only time your information can be shared is if there is cause to believe that you may be a threat to yourself or others.
- If you are ready to talk with your parents and think they can help get you to a health care provider, here are some tips to get started.
- If you visit the doctor with your parents, it is normal to have some one-on-one time with the provider. It’s a best practice for pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists to ask your parents or anyone else that goes to your visit with you to step out. This is a great time to bring up any questions you have. Even if you don’t have any questions, it is a chance to practice visiting the doctor by yourself. If this doesn’t happen, it might be hard to ask for that time alone. If there’s a way to communicate your desire to have one on one time with your provider so you can speak more openly, try to identify a time that feels good and safe for you to request it.
- Your healthcare provider can’t help you with something if they don’t know about it. It may help to come up with a list of concerns before your appointment. This can help you feel more prepared. And in case you get shy, you can show them the list to help begin the conversation and ease any nervous feelings. You can also find more helpful conversation starters here.
It’s hard to admit to another person some of our fears and things we may be embarrassed about, but when it comes down to it, your health care provider wants to make sure you are healthy and happy! Use our clinic finder to find a health care provider that can provide FREE, NON-JUDGEMENTAL, and CONFIDENTIAL health care and information near you.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.