Let’s be honest, talking about sex and sexual health with health professionals can be awkward. But if you’re having sex, or thinking about having sex, it’s important to be able to have these conversations with your doctor, so you can have healthy and enjoyable sexual relationships now or in the future.
No matter your age or gender, a healthy sex life helps make for a healthy relationship. It also helps with your own sense of well-being. But don’t take your sexual health for granted. Talk with your doctor about any sexual health issue you might have.
Get your problem out in the open so you and your doctor can work on a solution. That’s a big hurdle for many people. In fact, one of the biggest barriers to sexual health is that people don’t want to talk about it. Here’s how to get that conversation started.
If you have a few questions you want to ask the doctor, booking a long appointment can be a good idea. Just ask the appointment for a ‘long appointment’ which is usually a 30-45 minute slot rather than 10-15 minutes. This gives you time to ask your questions and not feel like you need to rush. When you see the doctor, start by saying you have a few questions you’d like to go through with them in the consult. That way the doctor will know there’s more than one thing you’d like to cover.
Your time with your doctor is your opportunity to ask questions. It might feel awkward, but no matter how embarrassing or silly you may think your questions are, most likely your doctor has heard them all before and won’t be fazed by them. It’s their job to know all about the human body and any problems you may have. They are there to provide you with, or to help you find, the correct answers.
Lastly, if you’ve nervous about seeing the doctor on your own, take a buddy with you. Ask someone you trust, feel comfortable with, and who will be able to support you best – such as a friend, your brother/sister or your partner.
Once you and your doctor come up with a treatment plan, let them know how it’s working. The more you can communicate with them about your progress, the more you can learn about your body and health. Following up also helps keep the conversation going, which can be important when it comes to feeling comfortable talking about sex in general the more you talk about it, the more natural it’ll seem.
Discussing your sexual health with a doctor goes beyond your sex life. Doctors can ensure you’re aware of risks related to having sex. They can also check your body image, mental health, and use of harmful substances. Seeing a doctor for these many issues will ensure that you stay healthy throughout your life.
Sex is important to many people and can have a positive impact upon sexual health and well-being. A regular, happy sex life can benefit our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being, including improving health and prolonging life.