What Sexual Health Questions Should I Ask My Doctor?

Sexual health questions can be scary to bring up to a doctor. We’re conditioned to be embarrassed when it comes to sex, genitalia, and the weird and wonderful things our bodies do.

But don’t be afraid to voice your question. Doctors are at work, doing their job, and have likely heard everything before. And they’re far more reliable than Google.

Some sexual health questions are important for everyone to know about, like puberty changes, STIs, vaginal wetness, and sexual dysfunction and satisfaction. Other topics will be more relevant depending on your sex, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors.

Regardless of who you are and who you sleep with, there’s nothing embarrassing about taking control of your body. Everyone needs to be aware of what’s normal (and what’s not) and of the simple ways to look after your body and have a healthier and more satisfying sex life.

To get started, here is a list of sexual health questions to consider asking your doctor.

Safety is sexy.

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Have you asked your doctor these sexual health questions?

I don't feel comfortable talking with my doctor about my sex life. How can I find someone else to discuss this with?

What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my sexual health?

Where/how can I get a mental health screening?

I haven’t had sex but I’m thinking about it. How can I best make this decision for myself?

I want to have children in the future. What should I do to ensure I am healthy enough for this to happen?

I’m in a gay partnership and want to have children. What are my options for parenthood?

I take many medications for my health. Is there a way to find out which ones might affect my sexual functioning?

Is it possible to become addicted to sex? What steps can I take if I think I am?

Is there an LGBTQ+ doctor at this clinic?

What are my risks with hormone therapy?

Is all birth control the same? What happens if I miss a dosage? What do I do?

What do I do if I have unprotected sex or the condom breaks?

How can I talk to my partner about birth control options?

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I think we may be pregnant - who can I or my partner talk to?

How can I tell the difference between a cold sore and herpes?

How do I protect myself from sexually transmitted infections?

When/how often should I be tested for STIs?

What are common STIs and their symptoms?

Should I be tested for STIs if only having sex with one person for a long time?

What do I need to know about STI protection if I’m having gay/queer sex?

I'm married and I assume my spouse is only having sex with me. Should I still be tested for STIs?

Should I be on PrEP?

What should I know about PEP?

Should I get the HPV vaccine?

After sex, how do I properly take care of my body? What happens if I don’t?

Is vaginal discharge normal? How do I know when it starts to become abnormal?

Should I be checking my breasts for lumps? What am I looking for?

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What happens if my pap smear comes back abnormal? When should I start getting a pap smear?

What causes a woman to bleed after sex? Or between periods?

Can having sex give me a yeast infection?

I have some hair around my breasts and nipples. Is this normal?

What if my partner doesn’t want to use a condom?

I haven’t had sex in over a year. Will that affect me when I start having sex again?

I no longer find sex (or masturbation) pleasurable. Why?

Having sex hurts. What could the problem be?

I'm being treated for another illness or disease, and I’m wondering how that will affect my sex life?

I'm having trouble getting an erection/reaching climax. What's going on?

Should I get screened for testosterone levels?

Do I need to have my prostate checked? If so, how often?

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This list of sexual health questions to ask your doctor is just a starting point. The issues you bring up with your doctor will be personal to you.

If you’re kinky or into BDSM and wondering how to talk to a doctor about your sex life, there are ways to get the healthcare you need. While many are more open-minded than you think, you can search for a doctor in your area, or one to meet virtually, through Fetlife or the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

Whether it’s STI questions, performance anxiety, vulva health, hormone treatments, or contraception, don’t be afraid to ask.