September 11, 2012 at 11:30 am
by Maria Masters
While you may hesitate to broach the topic of sex with your teen, a new study has found your ob-gyn could be avoiding the same conversation with you. And because a woman’s bedroom habits are often a reflection of her mental and physical health, having intimate chats with your M.D. is critical. If your gyno isn’t asking you the following three questions, bring the subjects up yourself.
1 . Are you sexually active? Whether or not you have a partner, your ob-gyn shouldn’t make assumptions about your sex life. If the answer is no, your doctor may be able to help you get to yes provided the problem is medical and fixing it is important to you. If the response is yes, that also shapes the visit. “It helps me understand what tests or medications she may need,” says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., Family Circle’s obstetrics and gynecology advisor and co-author of V Is for Vagina (Ulysses Press).
2 . Are things okay in the bedroom? Only 29% of doctors ask if their patient has a satisfying sex life, according to the survey. While that question may sound too personal, it can also unveil important issues you’d like to discuss. “Some women want to know what’s common—how often other people have sex, whether some pain with intercourse is natural, and what they are supposed to feel during an orgasm,” explains Dr. Dweck. Take advantage of your gyno’s medical knowledge.
3 . How’s your libido? “A lower sex drive could be normal for you—or it could signal something chronic, including diabetes, depression, menopause or even Lyme disease,” says Dr. Dweck. But only two out of five doctors routinely ask women if they’ve experienced any difficulties between the sheets. Even if you don’t have a medical condition, your doctor can offer suggestions on how to boost your desire and rekindle that spark.
Maria Masters is associate health editor at Family Circle.
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