Tips to Reduce Anxiety at Your Appointment

You do not need to undergo a full-blown phobia to feel stressed at a Pain Clinic. “Roughly one in five people experience what is known as ‘white coat hypertension’: this means that their blood pressure typically stays in a healthy range — and then suddenly spikes in the presence of a medical professional. And according to researchers, this condition comes with a 36% higher risk of developing heart disease” [1]

So keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at some easy ways to reduce your anxiety when you visit a Vulva Pain Specialist:

Firstly, prepare for your appointment so that you are not concerned about forgetting to tell your Pain Doctor about elements of your vulva pain that you think are important. – Something that is very easy to do in the stress of the moment (whether it is a virtual or in-person appointment). Compiling a daily ‘Pain Dairy’ with hourly slots, is an excellent strategy, as it enables you to record the times when you are experiencing pain, and how long it lasts for. Note the degree of pain that you feel; what you are doing at the time; and what makes your pain feel better or worse [1].

Secondly, try out a few mindfulness and grounding techniques, such as looking at all the items you see in the waiting room, and then closing your eyes, and recalling them from memory; or focusing on your breath to make sure that it is slow and rhythmic. (There are many helpful YouTube videos that you can watch to perfect an optimum breathing technique for stressful situations) [1].

Thirdly, if it is possible, bring a friend or family member/loved one along with you to your appointment. This type of social support at medical visits, has been shown to help patients manage their anxiety. Of note, when you are at your appointment, you can also ask your Pain Doctor to explain your condition to your support person, and explain any protocol that you have to follow, such as medication times, etc. [1].

And fourthly, if during your appointment, you feel yourself being overcome by an increased bout of stress and anxiousness, be sure to tell your Pain Consultant, because they are probably not aware that this is happening. You will find that this is a very beneficial thing to do, because they will work to put you at ease.


[1]. Carbon Health (2022). “Does Visiting the Doctor Make You Nervous? Learn How to Ease Medical Anxiety and Stress.”