Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I make an appointment? Which office should I call for an appointment; where should faxes be sent?
The Washington, DC office makes appointments for all three of our offices (Washington, New York, Annapolis). Call 202-887-0568. If you are a new patient, dial x101. If you are a returning patient dial x102. If you have to leave a message, we will do our very best to return it within 2 business days. back to top
- What conditions do our physicians treat?
We treat any condition that causes vulvar pain, irritation, itching, burning, and pain during intercourse. These conditions include vulvodynia, vulvar vestibulitis, lichen sclerosus, erosive lichen planus, recurrent vaginal infections, DIV, sexual transmitted infections, pelvic floor dysfunction, persistent genital arousal disorder, pudendal neuralgia, and interstitial cystitis. In addition, we also see patients for annual check ups, cervical dysplasia, and a variety of routine gynecologic conditions. Our physicians do not offer obstetrical care.
Dr. Goldstein treats patients in our Annapolis office for all of the above, in addition to decreased libido. Prior to your visit regarding libido issues, we require patients to read Dr. Goldstein's book Reclaiming Desire. back to top
- Do you give referrals to other vulvar pain specialists?
Unfortunately, as we cannot guarantee the care given by any other physician, we cannot give referrals. The Center for Vulvovaginal Disorders (CVVD) has patients that fly in from all over the world; we like to think they come here because we provide exceptional care. back to top
- How much time should I allow for my initial appointment?
For most appointments, you should expect to be with our physicians approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes; however, leave yourself two hours to be in the office. (A new patient well-woman exam, for example, would be less time.) back to top
- What should I bring with me to my initial appointment? How important are previous medical records or past tests?
New patient paperwork must be downloaded from this website. It should be completed and received in our Washington office four (4) business days prior to your appointment.
Our review of your past medical records or past tests (that relate to your symptoms) can be an essential component to your overall evaluation. These records can be faxed or mailed to our Washington office. Alternatively, you may bring a copy for the physician to your initial appointment. Discuss any questions about which records, etc. when you call to schedule. Radiologic films such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI are not needed, but a copy of the report may be useful in certain conditions. back to top
- How can I get the most out of my appointment?
Please, be on time.
Make a list of questions for the physician and bring that to the appointment.
Fill out the "vulvar pain questionnaire" thoroughly. This will enable your physician to make the most out of their time with you.
Provide a list of all medications you have used and a prepare a timeline of their use. Simply writing "I used lots of different creams" does not provide enough information for the evaluating physician. back to top
- What will happen at the first visit?
Initially, you will meet your physician and go over the paperwork you have completed. This paperwork addresses your medical history, your symptoms and any related issues for which you need answers. This review will take approximately 25 minutes. You will have time to mention all information you believe to be pertinent. A good medical history cannot be rushed, and we will not do so.
Next, you will move to a treatment room. Your physician will perform a very thorough physical exam. To aid in this examination a special video camera will be used so that you may see the examination with your doctor. We will make a very good effort to limit all discomfort associated with this exam- we use pediatric speculums for exam. Tests that may be performed during this exam include vulvoscopy, vulvar biopsy, vaginal cultures for speciation and sensitivity, vulvalgesiometry, and an evaluation of the levator ani muscles and pudendal nerves. Some blood tests may be needed and our medical assistant is an excellent phlebotomist. The exam will take approximately 25.
After the physical examination, you will return to the physician's office to go over your diagnosis and options of care. We will strive to provide a very thorough review of the current information that is know about your medical condition. A written plan of care will be provided when you leave. You may be given digital photos taken during the exam to aid in your treatment. You will be given several peer-reviewed medical journal articles about your condition. Again, we know that this discussion cannot be rushed and you will not leave until all of your questions have been answered.
You may have someone join you at all parts of your visit, just during the consultations, or not at all. Your comfort and wellness is our primary concern. back to top
- Can my labs and blood tests be performed by my primary care physician?
Our physicians have worked extensively with any outside laboratories we use. The tests they run for our office are often different than what most other physicians look for. Therefore, it is necessary to have your lab work done during your appointment with us. back to top
- I haven't been to the Center for Vulvovaginal Disorders in a few years. Will my appointment be different from a regular follow up?
If it's been a few years since you've been in, our physicians may need to spend additional time in consultation with you. They will need to know if your symptoms are the same as they were during your original visit and if you've tried any new treatments since your last appointment. If you haven't been to CVVD in three years or more, you will be scheduled as a new patient. It may take us a few days to order and receive your chart if it has been sent to our storage vendor. back to top
- What is your cancellation policy for new patients?
If a new patient appointment needs to be rescheduled or cancelled, the patient must notify the Washington, DC office by phone at 202-887-0568, x101, two business days prior to the day of the appointment. A voice mail will suffice. If two business days' notice is not given or the patient does not arrive the day of their appointment, a $250 cancellation fee will apply. At the discretion of the Centers for Vulvovaginal Disorders, the first missed appointment cancellation fee of $250 will be credited to a rescheduled appointment.
At the time of scheduling the appointment, a credit card number is given to the receptionist. This card will not be charged as long as the appointment is kept, rescheduled or cancelled prior to the two business day notice. CVVD will call to confirm each appointment and will make every attempt to reach the patient. If we are unable to reach a new patient to confirm or we do not receive a call back, we cannot guarantee that the appointment will be held. back to top
- What is the cancellation policy for follow up patients?
Follow up appointments must be cancelled at least one full business day (24 hours) prior to your appointments. If a 24 hour notice is not given or the patient does not arrive the day of their appointment, a $250 cancellation fee will be charged. back to top
- Will you call to remind me of my appointment?
We will call to confirm each appointment and will make every effort to reach the patient by phone. If we are unable to reach a new patient to confirm or we do not receive a call back, we cannot guarantee that the appointment will be held. back to top
- Will the CVVD physician I see mail a copy of his diagnosis to my referring physician?
Yes, a letter will be faxed to your referring physician if you provide his/her name and fax number on your registration form. The letter will be a complete, detailed report on your diagnosis and treatment plan and is usually faxed within a week of your visit. If this letter has not been received, please call us at 202-887-0568 x 102 and we will resend within one business day. back to top
- How do I get a prescription (or refill) for a medication, physical therapy, or a test?
Email requests for prescription to email@example.com.
For medications, include the name of the drug, strength and dose you are taking, and your pharmacy voice phone number (not fax number). If you prefer, you may instead contact your pharmacy directly and ask them to send us the request electronically. Medication prescriptions are only refilled in these 2 ways.
For Physical Therapy prescriptions, include the name of the facility and their fax number and we will fax the prescription to them directly.
For mammograms or other procedures, include the name of the procedure and the fax number of the facility or your address if you would prefer that it be mailed to you.
We cannot refill prescriptions if you have not been seen at the CVVD within the last year (365 days). back to top
- How do I get a copy of my medical records?
Medical records need a written release. It can be faxed to 202-659-6481 or mailed to 3 Washington Circle, NW #205, Washington, DC 20037.
It should include your name and date of birth, the date of the request, the name and address or fax number of the person they are being sent to and your signature.
Records inactive for more than 3 years are stored off site and the storage company charges a fee for their retrieval. If your records are in storage, you will be contacted about the fee. Records inactive for more than 7 years have been destroyed back to top
- How do I speak with the doctor to answer questions?
Call the medical assistant at 202-887-0568 x104 and if there is no answer leave a message. Our physicians returns all messages left by our patients, however, because of the volume of calls and the fact that our providers are in different offices on different days, same day message returns are not always possible. All calls should go through the medical assistant in the DC office regardless of where you see the doctor. We requests that you do not leave multiple messages as it creates extra work for the staff and slows the return call process down.
In general, our physicians will not communicate via e-mail or text messages. back to top
- I am having a medical emergency, how do I contact my physician?
If you are having a life-threatening emergency, call 911 and go to your closest emergency room. If you have an URGENT medical problem call Dr. Goldstein at 410-279-0209. back to top