Talking with Your Physician about Sex
1. Recognize the importance of talking with one’s physician about sexual issues.
2. Know ways to engage their physicians in discussions about sexual topics.
3. Feel comfortable talking with their physicians about sexual topics.
For many physicians, there is a general lack of training and preparation, and formal guidance on how to discuss sexual issues with their patients. Some medical schools have initiated preparation programs, such as the “Sex Week” program for medical students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, but many other physicians remain ill prepared. This leaves patients as their own best advocates to speak up for their sexual health needs. This lesson will empower adults to engage their physicians in discussions about their sexual concerns.
Note: This lesson focuses primarily on communication with one’s physician, since adults may find it most intimidating to speak assertively about sexual issues with their physicians. However, you may choose to substitute the word clinician to represent a wide variety of health care professionals involved in the lives of your participants.