Talking to Your Doctor About Chlamydia
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with chlamydia. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and help think of questions to ask your doctor.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What is my diagnosis?
- How serious is my condition?
- Do I have other conditions that might interact unfavorably with this condition?
About Your Risk of Developing Chlamydia
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for chlamydial infections?
- How can I prevent them?
About Treatment Options
- What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- What time of day should I take my medications?
- Is timing of meals relevant to my mediation?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that I should consider?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Just how risky is my lifestyle?
- By how much will I reduce my risk by using condoms?
- Are there any other risk reduction measures I can take besides abstinence?
About Your Treatment Goals
- Will the treatment cure me, or will there be residual effects?
- How do I know if I am cured?
- How often should I be rechecked by a doctor?
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Canadian Paediatric Society website. Available at: http://www.cps.ca/ . Updated March 2008. Accessed September 18, 2008.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases: chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm . Accessed September 18, 2008.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated July 16, 2010. Accessed November 12, 2010.
Fauci A, Braunwald E, Isselbacher K, et al. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
International Trachoma Initiative website. Available at: http://www.trachoma.org/ . Accessed September 18, 2008.
The Merck Manual . 17th ed. West Point, PA: Merck and Co.; 1999.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Chlamydia. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/chlamydia/ . Accessed September 18, 2008.
National Women's Health Organization. Chlamydia. National Women's Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.4women.gov/faq/stdchlam.htm . Updated May 2005. Accessed September 18, 2008.
Last reviewed September 2010 by ]]>Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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