Sex is taboo for most of us.
The messages we grow up with are often negative and shameful…our sexual behaviour is affected, our mindset is affected.
Imagine this, a sex-related question pops into your head. Who do you ask? Maybe your partner or a friend, why not your doctor?
Have you ever asked your doctor about something specifically sexual? Not many people have.
If you have, congratulations on your courage. If you haven’t, remember that it takes two hands to clap.
Doctors are subjected to the same negative messages we experienced, but of course we expect them to be trained professionals, and therefore able to address all our questions.
Many medical professionals receive only a few hours of formal human sexuality training. In fact, in a study conducted in 2010 with over 1,200 doctors in the US, over half of them (53%) felt they were not equipped to address sexual questions with their patients in clinical settings (see Ref. below).
Imagine therefore the uncomfortable situation if you and your doctor both feel embarrassed to speak about sex…the likelihood is that you would not ask, unless strictly necessary.
Sex is natural; we are here because of an act of sex.
More can be done to equip medical professionals with human sexuality knowledge, but we owe it to ourselves to be comfortable with it. Knowledge is necessary to ask the right questions for both you and your doctor.
And so, my invite to you today is, be curious about sex, learn its language and ask those questions.
Thank you for reading my article.
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Shindel AW, Ando KA, Nelson CJ, Breyer BN, Lue TF, Smith JF. Medical student sexuality: how sexual experience and sexuality training impact U.S. and Canadian medical students' comfort in dealing with patients' sexuality in clinical practice. Acad Med. 2010;85:1321-1330