Primary care doctors and gynecologists often ask about sex and intimacy as part of a routine medical visit. Take this opportunity to be candid about your sexual concerns. If your doctor doesn't broach the subject, bring it up. You may feel embarrassed to talk about sex with your doctor, but this topic is perfectly appropriate. In fact, your sexual satisfaction is a vital part of your overall health and well-being.
What you can do
To prepare for this discussion with your doctor:
- Take note of any sexual problems you're experiencing, including when and how often you usually experience them.
- Make a list of your key medical information, including any conditions for which you're being treated, and the names of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Consider questions to ask your doctor and write them down. Bring along notepaper and a pen to jot down information as your doctor addresses your questions.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What could be causing my problem?
- Will my level of desire ever get back to what it once was?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my situation?
- What treatments are available?
- What books or other reading materials can you recommend?
Questions your doctor may ask
Your doctor will ask questions about the symptoms you're experiencing and assess your hormonal status. Questions your doctor may ask include:
Jan. 20, 2012
- Do you have any sexual concerns?
- Has your interest in sex changed?
- Do you have trouble becoming aroused?
- Do you experience vaginal dryness?
- Are you able to have an orgasm?
- Do you have any pain or discomfort during sex?
- How much distress do you feel about your sexual concerns?
- How long have you experienced this problem?
- Are you still having menstrual periods?
- Have you ever been treated for cancer?
- Have you had any gynecologic surgeries?
- What medications or vitamin supplements do you take?
- Shifren JL. Sexual dysfunction in women: Epidemiology, risk factors, and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Lenz G. Emotional aspects of gynecology: Sexual function and dysfunction. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1524/0.html. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Giustozzi AA. Sexual dysfunction in women. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Clayton AH, et al. Female sexual dysfunction. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2010;33:323.
- Biggs WS. Medical human sexuality: Female sexual dysfunction. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Shifren JL. Sexual dysfunction in women: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Bhasin S, et al. Management of low desire and arousal in women. In: Kronenberg HM, et al. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-3/0/1555/0.html#. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.