While the Internet seems to have the answers to everything these days, one of the best sources of information is one of the oldest: your doctor.
It can feel awkward to ask your doctor about sex, especially things that can seem really personal. But if you’re worried about having sex, want to know more about contraception, and feel too nervous to ask your parents or friends, your doctor is a great resource.
Additionally, asking a professional about pain during sex, possible STDs, or painful periods is always better than trying to self-diagnose. Doctors can more accurately determine what might be wrong and the best course of action.
Here are a few tips to help you out at your next doctor’s visit.
1. Prepare Questions Ahead of Time
Having a list of questions ready beforehand is important so that you make sure you touch on the issues you were concerned about. If you need to, print them out to give to your doctor if that makes the conversation easier.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share
Go as in-depth about your problems as you feel comfortable. What you tell your doctor is confidential, so you can ask the things you might be nervous about people knowing. And at the end of the day, your doctor’s main concern is your health not judging you, so feel free to share the details that may be relevant, including previous sexual activity or your sexuality.
3. Tell Your Doctor Ahead of Time
Your doctor is probably just as nervous about talking about your sex life as you are. When scheduling your visit, tell your doctor that you want to discuss sexual concerns at your visit. You can also tell the nurse the day of the visit. This gives the doctor time to prepare information and materials they may need for the discussion.
4. Ask for Explanations
If you don’t understand what your doctor recommended, or are unsure don’t feel nervous about asking. You can’t do what’s best for your body if you don’t understand what is happening to it.
5. Get a Second Opinion
If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor or their recommendations, go to another doctor or specialist who could give you a second opinion. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the person you’re working on your health with.
Want something more specialized, but not sure which doctor to go to, check below.
If you want to ask about sex, birth control, or your period go to a: A gynecologist. A gynecologist specializes in menstrual problems, contraception, sexuality, menopause, and infertility.
If you have questions about your uterus and bladder, go to: A urogynecologist. Also known as a female urologist, these doctors are highly specialized on tissues around the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum.
In-depth sexual problems? Maybe you need a: Sex therapist. Sex therapists can help you and a partner work through issues you have in the bedroom, or help you work through concerns with your sexuality. Check the list of certified sex therapists through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.
The bottom line: Don’t be nervous talking to your doctor!