Hand-on-the-Door Questions

I refer to them as the "hand-on-the-door" questions. They go something like this: One of my patients will come in for her annual visit. After the exam we chat about her irregular periods, the occasional hot flash and her daughter’s new boyfriend. Finally, I ask, “Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?” “No,” she'll say assuredly." “Ok, see you next year.” Then, just as I'm about to leave the room, my patient blurts out a question– Do you think that bump on my labia might be herpes? How do you know I don’t have ovarian cancer? Does my vagina smell? Her “hand-on-the-door” question is typically the most important one she'll ask during her appointment and is probably the reason she came to see me in the first place.

Posted on | Lauren Streicher, MD | Comments ()

I refer to them as the "hand-on-the-door" questions. They go something like this: One of my patients will come in for her annual visit.  After the exam we chat about her irregular periods, the occasional hot flash and her daughter’s new boyfriend. Finally, I ask, “Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?” “No,” she'll say assuredly."  “Ok, see you next year.”  Then, just as I'm about to leave the room, my patient blurts out a question– Do you think that bump on my labia might be herpes? How do you know I don’t have ovarian cancer?  Does my vagina smell? Her “hand-on-the-door” question is typically the most important one she'll ask during her appointment and is probably the reason she came to see me in the first place.  


Every year, thousands of women make that annual trek to their gynecologist’s office, and leave without asking that key question. Trust me, while many women think their problem is beyond humiliating, gynecologists have heard them all and will most likely regard what you consider to be a mortifying issue as standard fare. It’s virtually impossible to shock your gynecologist, but that doesn't make asking those hard questions any easier.

This blog will be a forum to address those “hand-on-the-door" questions that so often go unasked and unanswered. And it's also my opportunity  to let you in on the latest research in women's health. So you can get up-to-date, accurate information minus the speculum, Pap smear and stirrups.

Blog written by Lauren Streicher, MD
Dr. Lauren Streicher is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s medical...