My patients can talk to me about anything, but they don’t always want to talk about everything … including sex. For some people, talking about sex is difficult, and even feels shameful, though it shouldn’t be.
Of course, not wanting to talk about sex with your friends is your prerogative. But your doctor is one person you should be talking to about sex, especially if you have questions or concerns. Unfortunately, talking about sex is not always a priority for physicians either, unless it relates to your most urgent concerns.
It’s important to remember that you can help steer the conversation during checkups with your doctor, preparing yourself with information and questions beforehand. So even if your doctor isn’t inclined to bring up sexual health, you can.
With that, here are five reasons you should always talk to your doctor about sex, regardless of who brings it up:
1. Sex drive reflects overall health.
Pleasurable sexual activity, whether alone or with a partner, is good for us. It balances hormones and normalizes neurotransmitters that help regulate our metabolism. Good sex can also relieve stress, improve sleep, reduce your risk for heart disease, bolster self-esteem, and boost immunity.
While sexual desire is an important part of a healthy sex life and can be a sign of good overall health, the opposite is also true. When our bodies are compromised, our libido declines naturally as healing takes priority over reproduction.
An absence of sex drive can indicate underlying health problems that need to be addressed. These may include painful intercourse, erectile dysfunction, depression, diabetes, thyroid problems, cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, or sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Low libido may also be a red flag for excessive alcohol consumption or low self esteem, a consequence of smoking cigarettes or using recreational drugs, or an inability to manage chronic stress. Read more…