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Discussing Sensitive Sexual Topics With Your Provider

Author: Cynthia Cabello, WHNP-BC

Did you know that the people wearing the scrubs and lab coats aren’t the only ones directing the course of your appointment? Next time you visit your women’s health care provider, remember that you also have a say in how your appointment goes. Your visit with a physician or women’s health nurse practitioner is your opportunity to ask questions.

Whether out of fear, shyness, or embarrassment, many women do not ask all of their questions about sexual topics. At Arizona Associates for Women’s Health, we encourage our patients to ask any and every question they have.

Next Time You Have A Question…

Please remember:

  • Nothing makes us uncomfortable. I’ve been working in health care since 1998. Some of my colleagues have been women’s health care providers for a longer time. We’ve heard it all. And even if we haven’t, no question you want to ask or conversation you want to have is going to make us uncomfortable.
  • Your health care provider will not be judgmental. It is neither our job nor our desire to comment on the moral or ethical components of any sexual topic.
  • Your provider does not think you’re stupid. In fact, we like hearing your questions. We want to see you achieve your health goals, and asking questions and obtaining information is a fundamental part of that process.
  • Your provider has your best interests in mind. That’s right – we are your advocates. We want to see you succeed.

Sensitive Sexual Topics

Below are a few sensitive sexual topics that some women have difficulty bringing up with their health care provider. Please know that these topics – and any other you may be dealing with – are completely okay to bring up in your next appointment. If you have a concern or need information, we want to hear from you.

  • Comfort During Sex
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sex Therapy
  • Taboo Sexual Relationships

How Do You Start the Conversation?

During your appointment, your women’s health care provider will ask you if there’s anything you want to discuss. This is your opportunity to bring up anything that’s on your mind. If it’s an uncomfortable subject for you, prepare in advance by writing down your question. Many patients find this helps them articulate the issue and ask the question the way they intended.

You can even begin the question by saying something like, “This is a little uncomfortable for me, but I wanted to ask you about ___________.” 

Schedule With a Women’s Health Care Provider

Have a question that you want to ask your women’s health care provider? Contact us to schedule an appointment with a Valley-area provider.

Please consult with your provider before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

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