If you have recurrent pain during sex, talking to your doctor is the first step in resolving it. Primary care doctors and gynecologists often ask about sex and intimacy as part of a routine medical visit, and you can take this opportunity to discuss your concerns. Your regular doctor may diagnose and treat the problem or refer you to a specialist who can.
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?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my situation?
- What treatments are available?
- What books or other reading materials can you recommend? Do you recommend any websites?
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. 25, 2012
- Do you have any sexual concerns?
- Do you experience pain during sex?
- When did the pain begin?
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Does the pain happen each time you have sex or only in certain situations?
- Are you able to discuss your concerns with your partner?
- Do any other, nonsexual activities also cause you pain?
- How much distress do you feel about your sexual concerns?
- Do you also experience vaginal irritation, itching or burning?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with a gynecologic condition or had gynecologic surgery?
- What medications or vitamin supplements do you take?
- Biggs WS. Sexual pain disorders. 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. 18, 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. 18, 2011.
- Kurss DI, et al. Dyspareunia. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Nov. 18, 2011.
- Moore CK. Female sexual function and dysfunction: Diagnosis. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2011.
- Stewart EG. Causes and treatment of sexual pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2011.
- Stewart EG. Approach to the woman with sexual pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2011.
- Ask Mayo Expert. What are the treatment options for managing vaginal symptoms of urogenital atrophy in women with a history of breast cancer? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.
- Bachmann G, et al. Treatment of vaginal atrophy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2011.
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