You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors for infection in pregnancy. 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 think of questions to ask.
- 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 for information in writing 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
About Infections in Pregnancy
- What kind of infection do I have?
- If I don’t have any symptoms, how do I know I have an infection?
- How will the infection affect me? How will it affect my developing baby?
- What is the likelihood that the infection will be passed to my baby before, during, or after birth?
- What are the long-term consequences of infection?
About Your Risk of Developing Infections in Pregnancy
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for infection in pregnancy?
- Am I currently working in an environment that puts me at higher risk for an infection?
- How do I best prevent infections in pregnancy?
About Treatment Options
- How do I best treat the infection?
What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits and 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?
- Once I start using a medication, how long will it take before I feel better? How long before the infection is gone?
What other treatment options are there?
- Are there over-the-counter medications that can treat this infection?
- What are the risks and benefits of these options?
How will I feel during treatment?
- Are there over-the-counter medications I can take to ease the symptoms of this infection?
- Should I consider treatment for my developing baby?
- Does my male partner need to be treated?
- Should I consider treatment for my newborn after birth?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Do I need to stop working?
- What should I do to avoid exposing others to this infection?
- Can I breastfeed if I have this infection?
- What will I need to do to take care of myself and my developing baby during the treatment period?
About Your Outlook
- Will my treatment cure the infection?
- How will I know if my developing baby is healthy?
Questions to ask: bacterial vaginosis. National Women’s Health Resource Center website. Available at:
http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/bacterial-vaginosis. Updated October 28, 2009. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Questions to ask: chlamydia. National Women’s Health Resource Center website. Available at:
http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/chlamydia. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
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 November 2010. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Understanding HIV. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html. Updated May 29, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Last reviewed July 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD; Brian Randall, MD
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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