Hey there, ladies! As a herbalist, I've seen firsthand how doctors can sometimes pressure my clients into making decisions that they may not feel comfortable with. Has your doctor ever pushed you to take birth control when you'd rather not? Have you ever been shamed for saying no to a certain medication or treatment plan? It's a frustrating feeling, isn't it? It's happened to me, and let me tell you, it's not a pleasant experience.
But guess what? You have the power to say no. That's right, just because someone has a "Dr." title in front of their name doesn't mean that you have to follow their every recommendation, if you don't want to. It's your body, your health, and your right to make decisions that you feel comfortable with.
So, to help you navigate those doctor's appointments with a little more ease, I've put together a guide that you can use to make sure that you're getting the care you need, while still advocating for yourself.
1. You can say "no". Even if it's just because your intuition tells you to - First and foremost, it's important to understand that any advice a doctor gives you is just that - advice. It's a recommendation, not an order. That means that you have the right to seek second opinions, ask for clarification, or simply say "no thanks" without feeling like you need to explain yourself.
2. You get to ask for details on what you're putting in your body - You can always ask for a complete list of side effects for any medication that a doctor prescribes you. This goes beyond just the most common ones that they may mention. It's important to know what you're putting in your body and what potential effects it may have. You might decide that "death" or "strokes" as a possible side effect just isn't worth it to you... even if it's not common.
3. You can have your medical history recorded in your favour - If you request lab work and your doctor refuses to give you a requisition, don't be afraid to ask them to note their refusal in your file. This can hold them accountable in case you discover any abnormalities in your blood work in the future. You never know, they may even change their mind!
4. You can have multiple health problems and expect them all to be treated - If you've ever had a mental health diagnosis (like anxiety), it's important to remember that it's still possible for you to have other health conditions too. Unfortunately, once you get diagnosed with a mental health condition it can sometimes lead to your doctor disregarding all your other health complaints. If a doctor writes off all of your complaints as anxiety, it may be time to seek a second opinion. You deserve to have your concerns heard and addressed properly.
5. You're allowed to reject birth control at any time, for any reason - For those of you who have menstrual issues like PMS, irregular periods, PMDD, or endometriosis, please know that birth control medication is not your only option. Many menstrual issues are a result of nutrient deficiencies, stress, indigestion, and metabolic issues that can be treated holistically. There are so many other options available to you, if you want them!
Remember, western medicine is the youngest form of medicine out there. That means that other options exist and may be just as effective, if not more so. Modalities like herbalism and acupuncture have 4000 or more years of research backing them and can be incredibly beneficial for women's health.
So, have you been practicing setting boundaries with your doctor? It's time to take control of your health and advocate for yourself. You deserve to receive the care that you need and feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to speak up and make your voice heard. After all, it's your body, and you know it best.