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Your Doctor and Sex Self Help Advice

Written by Dr. Marty Klein

Let's talk about sex ...with our doctors. Don't let embarrassment keep you from getting the health care you need for a better sex life.

Each week, I speak to both patients and doctors about sex. Unfortunately, they don't spend nearly enough time talking to each other.

 
Sex Advice
Sexual pleasure and comfort are legitimate health care issues.
The more information your physician has about you, the better he/she can serve you.
If you feel your physician is too judgmental for you to talk honestly, find a new physician.  
 
Many patients say they're waiting for the doctor to open the subject. Besides, they don't want to embarrass the doctor or give him/her the wrong idea about who they are: "kinky," "frigid," a "slut." Doctors say the same thing. They don't want to embarrass their patients or offend those who might think they're being called kinky, frigid or a slut.

When it comes to sex, what should you be talking to your doctor about?

Side effects of medications, particularly antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, diuretics and hormones.

Age-related changes. While changes in desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction aren't inevitable, you should know what to look for and what to do about it.

What to do if you don't like the way you function. There are simple ways to diagnose sexual difficulties. If your desire, arousal or orgasms aren't what you want them to be, find out if there's an organic basis.

Making sex more comfortable. Sex should never hurt. Painful sex can indicate a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, fibroids, tiny genital cuts or the need for a lubricant.

Questions about sexually transmitted disease and contraception ? Yes, even at your age.

Perimenopause. The early stages of menopause usually begin in a woman's late thirties. A simple blood work-up can indicate where you are in this 10-year process.

A referral to a sex therapist, marriage counselor or psychologist. Many sexual issues are best handled by a therapist. Don't hesitate to ask for a referral.

Health-care providers, like doctors and nurses, are there to serve you. If you're uncomfortable talking to the ones you have now, get new ones. On the other hand, we all have to educate our health-care providers about our unique sexuality, whether our practices are exotic or ordinary. If all patients teach their medical professionals about sex, all of us would be better off.

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Photographer: Dennis Cox





 

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