How to prepare for a visit with your doctor

If you’re suffering from heavy periods and uterine issues, you’re right to think it’s time to talk to your doctor. Many women wait years before seeking treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding (the medical term for heavy periods) even though as many as 1 in 5 women are affected.1 Advocating for your health is always in your best interest—so 100% yes, make the call.

You’ve made the appointment. Now what?
As we all know, sitting on the table in the exam room isn’t exactly the most comfortable setting. It’s easy to forget things in the rush to shrug off your paper gown and be on your way. That’s why a little planning ahead can help ensure you ask the right questions and provide the appropriate details to your doctor.

Things to do before your appointment
Here are some tips for how to prepare. Just don’t wait until the day before—the more history you can provide regarding your symptoms, the better!

  • Be proactive. Keep a diary of your symptoms for a month. Your diary should include things like:
    • The number of days with bleeding
    • The type of protection you need each day (for example, light pantiliner or heavy pad, light or more absorbent tampon, or even double protection)
    • How frequently you need to change protection each day
    • If you notice any clots in your flow
    • Any other symptoms (such as fatigue, cramps, headaches, irritability, etc.)
  • Take our symptoms quiz. It can help you better understand what your health symptoms might be trying to tell you. Keep your results to share with your doctor at your appointment.
  • Gather questions. Do a little research on your own and write down any questions you have. Your questions might include:
    • What might be causing my heavy bleeding?
    • Could it be fibroids?
    • Do I need to have any tests?
    • Are there other treatments besides taking hormones (birth control)?
    • Are there any treatment options that can allow me to still have kids?
    • What is the best treatment for me?
    • What types of treatments do you perform?
    • What success rates have you had with each?
      (Don’t worry about writing all of this down—you can download a discussion guide here.)
  • Be prepared. Bring your diary, symptoms quiz results, discussion guide, and questions to your appointment.

When you’re at your appointment
Great! You’ve arrived, armed with all the information we just discussed above. Now how do you get the conversation started?

Talk openly about what you’re experiencing. Don’t worry about getting the medical terminology right or feeling embarrassed about sharing too much information. Here are some ways to get the ball rolling:

  • My periods seem super heavy—is that normal?
  • I’ve noticed that my periods have changed—can we talk about that?

And be very specific about your symptoms, for instance:

  • My flow is really heavy and there are a lot of clots, or
  • I’m so exhausted during my period that I’d rather stay in bed all day, or
  • Sometimes it feels like something is sitting on my bladder and I can’t pee.

Share your diary and symptoms quiz results with your doctor, and use the discussion guide to remind you of your questions.

After your appointment
If you remember something important after you’ve left the office, call and let the doctor or nurse know. If you go home and do some research about your symptoms or a possible treatment and have questions, call and let the doctor or nurse know. (You see the pattern here.)

Remember that your doctor’s care doesn’t end once you walk out the door—think about it as an ongoing conversation that will help you get the best treatment for your needs.

If you need help finding a local doctor, visit:



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. Accessed April 6, 2022.