Here are 5 secrets you should never keep from your OB/GYN.
1. Your sexual history. We live in a crazy world where women are continually encouraged to be as sexy as possible, while simultaneously hearing the message that real ladies don’t have sex, or that sex is shameful until you are married. However, the reality is that most women do, indeed, have sex before they are married. It’s important that you are 100% honest about your sexual history, as well as the number of partners you have had. This information can help to determine the types of STD screenings that would benefit you, as well as how often you are tested. While some sexually transmitted diseases have noticeable symptoms, others do not. If left undetected, they can increase your chances of infertility and even cancer.
2. Any embarrassing quirks. Have you had trouble with urinary or fecal incontinence? Do you have a frequent urge to urinate? Has your discharge seemed more copious or foul smelling than normal? Is sex painful for you? While these topics may seem embarrassing, they are really important indicators of what is going on in your body. Your doctor wants to know about them so she can help you get to the bottom of it. Symptoms are signs being communicated directly from your body, to you, indicating something needs attention.
3. Your sex drive has slowed or stopped. There are wide range of reasons why a woman loses her sex drive. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as fatigue or poor nutrition. Other times it can indicate a hormone imbalance, general life discontent, or depression. Either way, your OB/GYN needs to know so she inquire further and see if there is something that can be done.
4. You have unprotected sex, or anal sex. We know that your sex life is private, but it also has a direct effect on your mental and physical well being. Unprotected sex, and anal sex, put you in a high-risk category for STDs. Similar to sharing your sexual history, a current sexual practice of unprotected sex with different partners (even if it was only once!), or anal sex, means we need to run different tests. Your pelvic exam and pap smear show us some abnormalities (if there are any), but different diseases are screened differently. Chlamydia and gonorrhea require a swab, whereas herpes, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis require blood samples. Any STD requires immediate treatment, but some can be life threatening if they aren’t caught early.
5. You smoke. What does smoking have to do with reproductive health? A great deal, actually. Whether you smoke on the weekends when you are out with friends, or smoke a pack a day, we need to know. There are direct correlations between smoking and certain reproductive issues, like infertility and cancer. Plus, smoking has been linked to strokes, heart disease, and blood clots in women who take oral contraceptives. If you aren’t willing to stop smoking, we can find safer birth control options for you.
If you are looking for an OB/GYN you can trust with your health secrets, contact Overlake OB/GYN. We offer compassionate and proactive healthcare for women of all ages and stages of life.