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3 Tips to Effectively Talk to Your Doctor about Sex

 
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Sex is great when everything is going well.  When things are not going as planned, or you begin having symptoms that concern you or your partner, who do you talk to?  Do you feel comfortable talking with your doctor about your concerns, fears or questions about sex?

The good news: it is possible to have a good conversation with your doctor about your sexual health, and all it takes is a little planning (and admittedly, a little courage too):

1. Find the Right Doctor.  For many women, this would either be their gynecologist or primary health care provider.  In order to have a good, honest, open and helpful discussion, you must find a health care provider with these same qualities.  Trust, comfort and a non-judgmental attitude are must-have characteristics as well, and if your doctor does not have these basic, yet essential, traits, you may need to first find a doctor who does.

2. Prepare for your Appointment.  Take time to write a journal, detailed notes or "symptom diary" to bring with you to the doctor.  It can be difficult during a routine visit to remember all of your questions and concerns, and personally, my symptoms seem to fade when I'm sitting on the examination table! I have left a few appointments shrugging off symptoms or down-playing previous concerns, just to have my symptoms return once I get home. Be brave and have it in writing.

3. Effective Communication During your Appointment. A written list of symptoms, concerns and questions also serves as a signal to your doctor that you will need some of his/her time.  Don't worry about taking too long, as most routine appointments are only scheduled for 15 minute increments, and your doctor will let you know if there is not enough time.  It is best to be proactive and call the office before your appointment to ensure enough time is allotted.  If you feel rushed, don't take it personally, or as a sign that your doctor is insensitive. Simply let your doctor know, "I need more time to discuss my concerns/symptoms/questions. May I make a follow up appointment or phone consultation with either you, your nurse or physician assistant?”

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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