When a woman has problems relating to sex, who does she turn to? A friend, a relative or a doctor?
It is a fact that gynecologists are the authorities when it comes to diseases related to the female genital organs. But are they the ones we turn to for other problems related to sex?
The results of a survey conducted by advertising professor Cynthia Morton of the University of Florida show that 35 percent of people get advice from friends, 45 percent from parents and the remaining 20 percent get their information from the Internet, magazines and Dr. Oz.
No one in the survey mentioned seeking their doctor's advice when it comes to sex.
Only 14 percent ask about sexual dysfunction
This information is supported further by another study which asked 1,154 practicing OB-GYNs about their usual habits and discussions with their patients about sex.
Dr. Janelle N. Sobecki from the University of Chicago questioned the doctors on five areas: sexual activities, sexual orientation, sexual satisfaction, pleasure with sexual activity and sexual problems or dysfunction.
Only 63 percent discussed sexual activities and 40 percent asked if the patient had any sexual problems. Even fewer doctors asked about sexual orientation, sexual pleasure or dysfunction (28 percent, 29 percent and 14 percent, respectively). In addition, one-fourth of the gynecologists surveyed conveyed their disapproval of their patients' sexual practices.
Need for more training
"The findings may be a deficit in physicians' training about diagnosis and treatment of female sexual problems,” Dr. Sobecki observed. “Our study supports the need for more standardized training in this area."
It is a sad fact that even if sexual health affects everyone, it is not addressed properly. Patients who don’t know where to go and whom to approach to get the right information could become sick, diseased, or endure a lifetime of dissatisfaction.
If your OB-GYN does not ask you about your sexual fitness, should you, as a patient, initiate the conversation?
Let us know in the comment box below.
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Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on.