During this global pandemic many doctor's offices are closed or only seeing patients via telemedicine. Your routine and even your not so routine gynecologic care fell by the wayside. At first it seemed too dangerous to go out and then you were ordered to shelter in place. But now a month has gone by with no end in sight and you have questions and concerns that may need to be addressed sooner rather than later. So what should you do?
Many women do not realize that the majority of health care is verbal evaluation and assessment. During training, medical students and residents hear over and over again that 90% of diagnoses can be made from history alone. And it's possible that the percentage is even higher than that. But why does no one ever tell this to patients? For many years, my patients have understood that the majority of their care is the time I spend listening to their story and talking through the possibilities and solutions. While the physical exam is sometimes needed to confirm a diagnosis or suspicion, often the entire assessment can be done verbally.
If you have menopause symptoms that are interfering with your sleep, creating hot flashes, increasing your anxiety by causing palpitations or interfering with your physical relationship with your partner, this may be a great time to schedule a telemedicine consultation and spend the time to address your symptoms and find an answer. You can schedule a follow up or even a new visit with a specialist to be assessed. Nine times out of ten (or sometimes ten out of ten!) a verbal evaluation is sufficient to provide treatment and relief. If an physical assessment is needed, your doctor can let you know if it's urgent and should be scheduled or if it can wait until social precautions are lifted.
If you have pain with your periods and are worried that you may have endometriosis, it may not be a wise idea to wait for months while the disease progresses before you are assessed and offered treatment. Again, a telemedicine consultation for this may allow you to start treatment. Treatment can halt and sometimes reverse the progression of the disease. You not only get the pain relief you have been seeking but may also decrease the long term damage to your reproductive organs that the chronic inflammation of untreated endometriosis can cause.
Even if you don't have a problem, this is not a bad time to make sure your annual assessment is done with your gynecologist or primary health care provider. You can review how to maintain your health and well being during these tumultuous and harrowing times. You can be sure that you are receiving correct, medically understood information instead of the many theories and conflicting words that are circulated through the media.
We are open for telemedicine annual assessments, problem assessments and consultations that are quickly becoming long overdue. Our office specializes in endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain and menopause management and excels in managing common gynecologic problems like abnormal bleeding, polycystic ovarian syndrome, abnormal pap smears and fibroids. Call 212-317-4548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a telemedicine appointment. Don't let your health fall by the wayside as the months go by. We are here for you.