When you make an appointment with a new gynecologist, there are forms to fill out and questions to answer.
From your medical history to the medications you are on, many of these questions are easy to answer. However, when it comes to discussing sexual history, some patients may feel embarrassed.
Withholding information from your doctor hinders their ability to help you and can put you in danger. Being able to openly discuss things like how many sexual partners you’ve had, if you’ve had any sexually transmitted diseases, how old you were when you first had intercourse, your sexual orientation and gender identity is important. This information is relevant to your future and allows the physician to get a full picture, including:
Potential ramifications of past STDs: It is essential to know if you’ve had any STDs in the past as some sexually transmitted diseases can increase your risk for infertility. Knowing your history helps your doctor provide the appropriate counseling for all scenarios.
In the case of herpes, this is a lifelong condition, so the doctor will want to discuss the potential for future outbreaks and any new research that you should be aware of.
Determining the risk factors for cervical dysplasia and HPV infection: The number of sexual partners and having intercourse younger than 18 years has the potential to make you more susceptible to HPV. This is because the cervical-vaginal junction is more pronounced in your youth. It is imperative to have an open dialogue to know your risk factors for HPV and cervical dysplasia.
To make sure your care is individualized: We are all as unique as our past experiences, including our sexual history. Openly discussing it allows your OB/GYN to customize your care plan, helping ensure that you achieve and maintain optimal health.
When you need to make an appointment, call us at (631) 587-2500. Our caring staff is here to make your next visit a seamless and easy experience.