Talking to your doctor about your sexual health
Menopause and women’s sexual health, unfortunately, are not addressed regularly in today’s healthcare setting. Many patients—and providers—avoid discussions about these topics because they are embarrassed, feel uncomfortable, or in the case of many providers, lack the training and knowledge to address women’s sexual health concerns.
Fortunately, today more than ever, women and their providers are beginning to recognize that sexual health is an important part of overall health. If you would like to discuss your sexual health with your physician, there are things you can do to address your needs.
- Prepare a phrase in your mind to help raise the subject in a way that’s comfortable for you. “Doctor, I would like to address a personal issue today” or “Doctor, I’m experiencing symptoms I’d like to discuss.”
- Be specific, then, about your concerns. “I’m experiencing pain during sex,” or “I’m concerned about my sexual health and my lack of desire.” The more specific you can be about your symptoms or concerns, the more specific the treatment your doctor can provide.
- Use other resources to help guide the conversation. Read a magazine article about menopause symptoms that illustrates your concern? Bring it. Had a conversation with your friend that raises questions about your own experience? Take some notes while the conversation is fresh and bring them with you to discuss at your appointment.