Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis, it is beneficial for you to be experiencing symptoms at the time of your first visit. We recommend you avoid any vaginal treatments or douches during two weeks prior to your first appointment to allow for proper diagnosis.

How much time should I allow for my initial visit?

We schedule initial visits for 40 minutes; however, understanding that each patient's condition is unique, some patients may require longer or even shorter evaluation periods.

What can I expect at my first visit?

Once you have completed registration at the front desk, you will meet with the physician. During this time, the physician will obtain detailed information about your current medical condition as well as a thorough medical history. Next, a physical exam will be performed with every effort to minimize any discomfort. Tests may be performed during this exam, including a wet mount, vaginal cultures and a vulvar biopsy if deemed necessary. After the physical examination, the physician will review your diagnosis and management options. No parts of the visit will be rushed, and you will not leave until all of your questions have been answered.

What will happen at follow-up visits?

First, you will discuss with the physician how you have been feeling since your last visit and how the management plan is working for you. The results of any tests performed at the prior visit will be discussed. Any questions which may have come up since your last visit will be answered as well. Next, an exam will be performed to evaluate your response to the prescribed treatment. Finally, we will discuss any necessary changes to your treatment plan, answer any additional questions and arrange for further follow-up if necessary.

Should I bring any past medical records to my initial appointment?

Yes, if you have past medical records relevant to your current condition for the physician to review, it would be helpful. To optimize the time during your initial visit, you can also fax a copy of your records to our office at 215-923-1089, so they may be reviewed by the physician prior to the appointment.

How can I get the most out of my appointment?

If you have any past medical records pertaining to your current complaint try to provide them to us either prior to your appointment or at the time of your initial visit. Also, compile a list of all medications you have used for your current condition, as well as a timeline for their use and how you responded to them and for how long. Finally, try to prepare a list of questions you have for the physician and write them down so they can all be addressed.

Should I keep my appointment if I am having my period?

Yes. The only reason not to keep your appointment while you are menstruating would be if you were coming because of abnormal vaginal discharge. In this instance, it would be more helpful to wait.

Will my referring physician receive a letter concerning my diagnosis and treatment?

A summary consultation letter can be mailed to your physician detailing your examination, test results, diagnosis and plan of treatment upon request. To aid in this we ask that you provide us with your physician’s name and full address.

What should I do if my symptoms are not improving with the prescribed treatment?

Even if you are not feeling better right away, we recommend that you continue with the prescribed treatment until your next appointment. This is due to the fact that any new treatment may require some time before you notice improvement in your symptoms. If, by your next scheduled appointment, your symptoms have not improved, the treatment will be reevaluated.