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 and lifestyle, am I at risk for chlamydial infections?
- How can I prevent them?
About Treatment Options
- What medications are available to help me?
- How long do I have to take medications?
- 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 medication?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Just how risky is my lifestyle?
- By how much will I reduce my risk by using condoms?
- How do I know if I'm using a condom properly?
- Is abstinence the only way I can protect myself?
- What is the best way to go about talking to my partners about exposure?
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?
Chlamydia—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-chlamydia-detailed.htm. Updated January 7, 2014. Accessed July 31, 2014.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 30, 2014. Accessed July 31, 2014.
Mishori R, McClaskey, EL, et al.
infections: Screening, diagnosis, and management. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(12):1127-1132.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated May 2014. Accessed July 31, 2014.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.