What your doctor doesn’t know can hurt you, so be honest when the exam room door closes. And remember: No matter how embarrassing your secrets may seem, we can guarantee that your doctor has heard it before. If you’re keeping any of these bad boys hidden, now is the time to ‘fess up.
- You suck at take the meds she prescribed. Whether you’ve missed a birth control pill (or four) or didn’t finish the antibiotic she gave you for that cough you can’t seem to shake, your doctor needs to know what you’re taking—and not taking—to properly treat you. ‘Fess up now to avoid an incorrect diagnosis or a lingering illness.
- You have potty issues. Forget about embarrassment—everybody poops! Speak up if you’re having trouble peeing or if your stool is irregular. Your symptoms could be signs of an infection or even cancer.
- You’re doing a cleanse. Whether it involves taking pills or drinking all your meals for a week, doing a cleanse for more than a few days could cause nutrient deficiencies or dehydration. Ask your doctor for guidance if you want to do a cleanse. And if your goal is to lose weight, work together to create a diet and exercise plan that you can stick to for the long haul.
- You use drugs. From weed to “borrowed” pills to cigarettes, the drugs you take can impact your health and have unexpected interactions with your prescribed medications. So be honest when she asks about your habits; privacy laws mean that it will stay between the two of you.
- You’re having unprotected sex. Whether you’re only smashing bae or have multiple sex partners, it’s imperative to disclose your real sexual history to your doctor. She’s not there to judge you, she’s there to help you be your healthiest self, and she can’t do that without all the relevant info.
- Your partner is dangerous. Physicians are trained to help patients in high-risk situations. You might be embarrassed to tell your sister that your boyfriend is physically or emotionally abusive, but you should never be afraid to tell your doctor.
- You’re using alternative treatments. From taking probiotics to seeing an acupuncturist, it’s key to give your doc a full view of your current health situation. Leave something out, and she might miss that infected puncture site on your back or not catch that your probiotic is the reason for your increased bloating.
- You’re feeling (really) blue. If stress is keeping you up at night or depression is making it hard to get off the couch, don’t hesitate to sound the alarm. She might need to change your medication—some drugs have been found to cause depression—or refer you to a mental health pro.