For Women: 4 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About Sexual Concerns

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • I don’t know many women who look forward to their annual gynecologist appointment. Stripping down, wearing a paper gown and having someone poke and prod you, in the most intimate places, isn’t most women’s idea of fun. If you have sexual concerns, the appointment goes from nuisance to embarrassing. Whether you are experiencing pain during intercourse, have diminished sexual desire, have never had an orgasm, can’t orgasm any longer, or any other sexual concerns, you should talk to your doctor, no matter how much you don’t want to discuss sexual problems.

    The following are four tips to help you begin an embarrassing conversation with your doctor:

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    Write it Down

    Take the time to write down your concerns. If you are nervous about talking about the issue, chances are you will forget some of the questions you have. Writing down your questions and concerns at home, when you are relaxed, will make sure you include all of your questions. Bring the list out while you are in the doctor’s office. A caring doctor will notice the list and make sure all of your questions are answered, to be best of his ability, during the appointment.

    Rephrase the Lead-in

    You might feel uncomfortable using the direct approach and need a transitional type of approach. Consider saying:

    • I was reading an article about… and the symptoms sounded similar to what I am experiencing.
    • My partner and I am concerned that I…

    Making the opening less personal might make it easier to ease into the conversation.

    Admit it Is Embarrassing

    Sometimes addressing that you are embarrassed can give you the courage to ask your question. You might start by saying, “I feel embarrassed about this issue, but I am concerned about…” When you start this way, your doctor should be more attuned to your discomfort and take steps to ease your embarrassment.

    Make Sure Your Doctor Knows About Other Medical Problems

    Some medications can lower sexual desire or cause vaginal dryness. Be sure you disclose all medical conditions and medications you are currently taking to your doctor. You can start the conversation by discussing whether the medications or medical conditions might cause some of the sexual symptoms you are experiencing.

    Keep in mind, when you bring up a medical problem, your doctor sees this as exactly that, a medical problem. She doesn’t judge you or see your concern as making you flawed or a failure. She sees it as a medical concern that needs to be addressed. If you are embarrassed, try to find the courage to begin the conversation. Once you do, your doctor should begin asking questions and helping narrow down the problem to help you find a solution. You deserve a satisfying and pleasurable sex life. If medical concerns are stopping that, your doctor is there to help.

    If your doctor dismisses your concerns or doesn’t adequately address your questions, it might be time to look for a new doctor.

Published On: April 29, 2014