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.

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.

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If you're overweight or obese and have type 2 diabetes, a new study reveals how to make lifestyle changes that will help you safely gain control of your disease and still protect your heart.

Researchers published a study in Diabetes Care that took a second — and more in-depth — look at data from the NIH's Look AHEAD study. They found that for 85% of people in that study, lifestyle interventions that triggered weight loss and increased physical activity reduced potential cardiovascular problems. Such lifestyle interventions also help reduce the risks for diabetes, dementia and some cancers and strengthen the immune system.

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