Talking to your doctor about PCOS

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Talking to a GP about your symptoms and PCOS can be difficult. Women often find things like infertility, periods, and sexual dysfunction especially hard to bring up. However, your GP is there to help and support you. Here we discuss how to get the most out of your consultation.

How to talk to your GP

It can be extremely upsetting when you have tried to have a baby with no success. It’s important not to go through this alone especially if you’re worried or finding it difficult.  Many women speak to their parents, partners, friends or even online communities for extra support which can be valuable. When it comes to deciding what to do next, it’s important to speak to a medical professional, usually your GP.

Opening up about PCOS and infertility can be difficult, we’ve included some tips below that may make it easier.

  • Know the guidelines. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) creates guidelines that doctors should follow. These say for women where there is a predisposing factor for infertility referral should be one earlier than 1 year. If your GP doesn’t follow these guidelines it’s OK to ask them to explain why.
  • Track your period. One of the potential symptoms of PCOS is an irregular period. Make a note of when your periods come and go or use a period tracking app. Although please be aware you can still have PCOS if you have a normal period.
  • Don’t wait to get help. If you have PCOS and are planning to become pregnant or you are struggling to become pregnant it is worth visiting your GP who can help you maximise your chances of success and who may want to do further investigations.
  • Prepare for your appointment. Unfortunately, GP appointments in the UK are short. Preparing in advance for the conversation is a good idea. Take your period diary with you and write down any symptoms you’ve been experiencing that you think may be related. If you have specific questions you want to ask, write them down so you don’t forget on the day.
  • Ask questions during the appointment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no ‘silly’ questions and it is better to share these with your doctor so they have the chance to address them.
  • Cover the difficult things. Sometimes women with PCOS and infertility experience related symptoms that are tough to talk about such as low self-esteem, mental health problems or sexual dysfunction. There are specialists that can help with these and it’s important to let your GP know so that they can arrange the right support.
  • Ask for another appointment if needed. Appointments with your GP can feel too short. If this is the case, book a follow up straight after. Your GP wants to help, and wants to have the time to hear about your symptoms. It is important you leave your appointments feeling more confident and in the know.

We hope this helps you to make a start on getting the support you need.

Any general advice given by our care team or posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Béa Fertility, the trading name for StepOne Fertility Ltd. makes no representations or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app.