How to prepare for a consultation about sexual dysfunction
Let's talk about sex

How to prepare for a consultation about sexual dysfunction

Sexual dysfunctions are common and often a source of distress. Whether referred by another HCP or yourself, you don’t need to worry. You will be seen by an experienced Sexologist or Sexual Medical Specialist who will be very comfortable speaking about sex, so your problem while unique, personal and distressing to you, will be something that they have dealt with many times before .

If you are self referring it is important to bring details of your past medical , surgical and trauma history. You will need to have a list of medications prescribed or self prescribed. If you are using alcohol or other recreational drugs, including tobacco you will need to share this information.

Prepare to be asked lots of questions, including of course about your particular difficulty. You will be asked about your sexual orientation , history, relationships including current partner if relevant, information, attitude and preferred repertoire, as well as about your parents, siblings , upbringing and your familys’ attitude to sex. The reason for your dysfunction whether it be due to a physical or psychological cause (or both) may also have a social context. Be open and answer questions honestly, you will not be judged and all details of your consultation will be completely confidential. If recollection of a past experience, particularly one of abuse ,is difficult for you to discuss, your therapist will gently guide you through or defer dealing with the topic to a later consultation.

A physical examination if necessary will be gentle and the process explained in detail beforehand, and will only occur with your consent.

You should come away from your consultation with a diagnosis, possible reasons for and an agreed treatment pathway for the way forward. You may need further consultations or the information and reassurance received after one session may be sufficient for you to understand and manage the difficulty in the future.

 

Dr Mary Rogan
GP Annaghdown, Co Galway ,Ireland
Sexual Medicine Clinician University Hospital, Galway, Ireland.

HFTHQ 20-24
ESSM
Content written by ESSM View all ESSM contents
Bibliographical references
Expert Opinion on “Practices and Barriers in Sexual History Taking: A Cross--‐Sectional Study in a Public Adult Primary Care Clinic” Lee --‐Starowicz Michel JSM Vol 17, Issue 8, p 1415 Let’s talk about sex: taking a sexual history Yakov Reisman The ESSM Syllabus of Sexual Medicine, Chapter 10, Page 233.

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