5 Tips for Talking to a Doctor About Sexual Pain
Ashley Gadarowski, M.Ed.
November 11, 2020
Are you considering talking to a doctor about sexual pain? Do you have concerns about seeking medical care for your sexual health? You’re not alone! Many people who experience sexual pain will need to seek medical help. The tips below are meant to help ease your anxiety about getting help for your sexual pain.
5 Tips For Talking About Sexual Pain
Is your doctor comfortable talking about sex?
Find the right specialist
Write your concerns down
Practice makes perfect
Tip #1- Is Your Doctor Comfortable Talking About Sex?
Has your doctor ever asked you about your sexual health? This isn’t necessarily a sign of discomfort, but if it’s not part of their normal workflow for a routine check up, then they may be less concerned about sexuality as a need for the overall health for the person. You will have to speak up for yourself.
Sometimes we have to even see a second or third doctor to get it right! It’s like finding the right therapist, the relationship and your ability to communicate with the doctor matter. If you are not jiving with one doctor, let the medical assistance know, they may be able to help you schedule an appointment with a different doctor in the practice. Some specialties are very limited however, so if you don’t initially jive with your doctor don’t take it personally, sometimes it takes time to build rapport.
Tip #2- Find the Right Specialist
The right specialist for you will be an expert in pelvic medicine. Look for urology centers that have dedicated doctors who specialize in pelvic medicine. Look for physical therapy centers that offer services for pelvic floor physical therapy. Don’t worry, you won’t be out in the open working out on the treadmills like the usual physical therapy routines. You’ll be in a private room.
Check to see if your health insurance or employer offers special services where they help find the right doctor, ask questions on your behalf and schedule the appointment for you. This can help save you time combing through the internet to find the right doc.
Once you have found the right doctor in the right specialty, talking to them will come naturally. You will likely have a treatment regimen that includes frequent office visits for a certain length of time, giving you plenty of time to build rapport and comfort with your doctor.
Tip #3- Write Down Your Concerns
I had to start bringing notes with me to the doctors office because I would forget specific details for issues I was having. Having notes will help keep you on track with your doctor. Journaling for yourself is also a great idea. Don’t hold back when you write your concerns down. If you don’t share certain things with your physical health doctor, you can always bring it up with a mental healthcare provider.
Tip #4- Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect so try saying your questions and concerns out loud. You may not be comfortable talking about sex with a doctor because you’ve never done it before. That’s totally understandable. Practice in the mirror! That may feel awkward too, but that’s the point. Get the awkward feelings out beforehand so when you're ready to talk to your doctor, you’re already familiar with some of the feelings that will come up for you.
Tip #5- Use Telemedicine
Talking to a doctor in the comfort of your own home may help ease some of your anxiety. Keep in mind, many doctors will still want to use a webcam for their telemedicine visits, but the distance can still help ease your mind.
Our comfort talking to others about sexuality is important to our sexual health. Speaking to a doctor if you experience any discomfort or pain during sex is important for your mental health as well. If you are considering talking to a doctor then I hope these tips can help you.
For more information, feedback or to provide additional advice when navigating the health system for sexual pain relief, contact Ashley Gadarowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
a Blog From Emerald Sexual Health Consulting, LLC