This post is sponsored by MicroGenDX, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.
It’s no secret that going to the doctor can be a bit overwhelming, whether it’s for a simple routine check-up or something more serious. Advocating for yourself in this type of environment isn’t always the easiest thing to do either—or you may not even know that you’re able to at all. More times than not, we just go along with whatever our healthcare care providers offer as the standard procedure or approach, but there are actually numerous things you can ask your doctor for that can make your experience more comfortable, positive, and overall better for your well-being.
In the hopes of inspiring women to feel more comfortable voicing their concerns and personal needs in the medical setting, we are delving into seven lesser-known requests you can make that can significantly impact how you receive care at your next doctor’s visit. Think of your health as a collaborative effort, and by actively seeking out options that fall outside of routine care, you empower yourself to advocate for a more personalized and comprehensive approach to your healthcare. From diagnostic testing to anxiety management strategies, there are so many ways to ensure that your healthcare decisions can lead to an enriched and tailored medical experience. Here are a handful you probably have never heard of:
1. Ask for UTI meds based on modern testing
If you find yourself dealing with the frustrating recurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs), there’s fortunately a more modern approach that goes beyond the routine treatment: the UroKEY UTI test offered by MicroGenDX. This at-home test allows you to collect a urine sample, send it to the MicroGenDX lab, and receive comprehensive results within 48 hours. It differs from the outdated diagnostic practice of using urine cultures (which can only identify 1-2% of pathogens) by utilizing cutting-edge DNA technology instead. With its sophisticated science, it can accurately pinpoint the exact pathogen(s) causing the infection, and doctors can prescribe the correct antibiotic to treat your UTI rather than having to guess (which is what they usually do when using urine cultures). Considering that most UTIs recur because the wrong antibiotic was prescribed, the precision offered by this test is such an advancement for recurrent UTI treatment. However, many doctors still aren’t aware of it. So the next time you’re dealing with a UTI, take a proactive stance by ordering the MicroGenDX UroKEY UTI test, share the results with your doctor, and ask to have your meds prescribed based on the specific microbe(s) that were identified.
2. Ask for pain medication when getting an IUD
Some individuals breeze through the process of getting an intrauterine device (IUD) without much discomfort, while others may find it to be a challenging and extremely painful experience. Regardless of your level of pain tolerance, it’s perfectly acceptable to request pain relief options. You can ask for topical pain relief, such as lidocaine, or inquire about a paracervical block, which is a form of local anesthetic. If the pain is a significant concern, discussing the possibility of having the procedure performed under sedation is also an option. IUD insertion does not have to come down to accepting a huge amount of discomfort—feel free to ask your doctor about any of these options if you believe it’ll help your overall experience.
3. Ask for a butterfly needle when getting blood drawn
When it comes to the seemingly routine task of drawing blood, individuals with small veins or veins that are prone to rolling may encounter some challenges. In such cases, asking your healthcare provider to use a butterfly needle is a request you can absolutely make. The butterfly needle is smaller in size and has enhanced flexibility, proving to be a valuable tool in navigating veins that may be a bit more difficult to seamlessly draw blood from. By requesting this specialized needle, you’re able to have a smoother and less uncomfortable blood-drawing experience and enhance the overall quality of this medical procedure, making it a more patient-centric and accommodating trip to the doctor.
4. Ask for anxiety medication before MRIs/CT scans
The prospect of undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) scans can be known to cause significant anxiety, particularly if you consider yourself to be claustrophobic or have generally heightened anxiety when it comes to medical examinations. In such instances, advocating for your mental well-being is not only very important but should be encouraged. You can engage in open communication with your healthcare provider to express your personal concerns and request anxiety medication before undergoing MRI or CT scans. Anxiety medication can serve as a valuable tool in alleviating pre-scan nervousness, and help foster a more conducive and relaxed environment while you undergo the procedure.
5. Ask for free medication samples
In American healthcare, the financial aspect of obtaining prescription medications can pose significant challenges, particularly for those facing issues such as lack of insurance coverage or high co-pays. However, it’s important to recognize that there are proactive steps you can take to navigate these financial hurdles. When cost becomes a barrier to getting the medication you need, it’s crucial to let your healthcare provider know. Specifically, don’t hesitate to ask about the availability of free medication samples. Many pharmaceutical companies leave drug samples to entice doctors to use their product, and some physicians offer these samples to patients facing financial constraints. While relying on samples as a short-term solution, you and your healthcare provider can have time to collaboratively explore and evaluate long-term affordability options, such as alternative medications or assistance programs.
6. Ask for a clear surgical drape during a C-section
Navigating the experience of a C-section involves a ton of considerations, and one aspect that deserves attention is the opportunity for expectant parents to actively participate in the birthing process. As more and more medical facilities are starting to offer what’s known as a “gentle C-section,” communication is key to ensuring that the birth experience aligns with your personal preferences. Specifically, if the prospect of witnessing the birth during a C-section is important to you, you have every right to voice this to your healthcare team and request the use of a clear surgical drape during the procedure. This specialized, completely transparent drape allows you to witness the birth of your child while still maintaining a sterile and controlled environment for the medical team. By opting for a clear surgical drape, you can feel more like an active participant in the birthing process, and you get to experience the joyous moment of welcoming your child into the world.
7. Ask for an annual physical exam at urgent care
While trying to schedule a routine check-up, running into a long waitlist or very limited availability is an experience most of us can relate to. Luckily, urgent care facilities offer a viable alternative to receive annual physical exams without having to deal with brutally long wait times. By opting for an annual physical exam at urgent care, you’re able to address your healthcare needs without delay, particularly if you have any specific health concerns you’d like to address in a timely manner. Most urgent care centers are equipped to accommodate a range of medical services, still allowing you to receive comprehensive check-ups. Taking this proactive step ensures that you can prioritize your health more efficiently without the stress of only being able to secure an appointment several weeks or even months down the line.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of MicroGenDX, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.
Please consult a doctor or a mental health professional before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.