Most women have no problems asking their doctor about pap smears, breast exams, or prenatal vitamins but many women don’t know how to start a conversation with their doctor about their sexual health.
Women may avoid talking about their sexual problems with their doctor because they are embarrassed, don’t think their doctor can help them, or don’t think their sex life has anything to do with their physical health. But it’s important to talk with your OB doctor about your sexual health because they are trained to treat a variety of sexual/reproductive problems like sexually transmitted infections, lack of sexual desire, hormone imbalances, and reproductive issues.
Talking with your Doctor about your Sexual Health
There are many reasons why you should talk with your doctor about your sexual health. Your doctor can help answer any questions you have about sexuality, perform any tests you may need to find out what is causing the problem, or prescribe you with the right medication to treat your symptoms. Did you know your OB doctor is trained to treat a variety of sexual problems? Here are some sexual/reproductive problems your OB doctor can treat:
- Pain during sexual activity.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
- Symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection.
- Birth control methods.
- Decreased desire for sexual intimacy.
- Hormone imbalances.
- Vaginal dryness.
How to Start a Conversation with your Doctor
Ideally, your doctor should ask you if you have any concerns or questions about your sexual health—especially during your annual check-up. However, if your doctor forgets to bring up the subject you can start the talk in the following ways:
- “Hey, I’ve got a question I would like to ask you but it’s kind of embarrassing.”
- “Would it be okay if I ask you a question about my sexual problems?”
- “Lately I’ve been experiencing pain when I have sex with my partner.”
- “I’ve noticed that I’ve had some problems with vaginal dryness over the last year.”
- “I don’t seem to have much of an interest in sex anymore. Is this normal?”
If you are afraid, you may not have enough time to chat with your doctor then ask for a longer office visit when you call to make the appointment. If you are nervous, and rightfully so, about talking with your doctor about your sexual health, write down the questions you want to ask your doctor and take them with you to your appointment.
Make the Appointment Today
The more information your doctor has about any herbs or over-the-counter medications you take or risk factors you have for getting a sexually transmitted infection, the more likely your doctor can provide you with the treatment that is right for you.
If you have been putting off your appointment because you have some concerns about your sexual health, make an appointment with Dr. Hessel today. She is here to answer any questions you have about your sexual and reproductive health. We look forward to talking with you soon!