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    Gynecology 110: CONCERNS ABOUT SEX (Part 3 of 10 series)

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | February 12th, 2017

    Gynecology 110: CONCERNS ABOUT SEX (Part 3 of 10 series)

    Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I thought this would be a good time to discuss ‘Concerns About Sex’. Sexual health is very important and when there are problems, it can affect the quality of life.

    Let us start with the Brief Sexual Symptom Checklist for Women that was taken from the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2010.

    Please answer the following questions about your overall sexual function:

    1. Are you satisfied with your sexual function? Yes or No

    If no, please continue.

    1. How long have you been dissatisfied with your sexual function?
    2. The problem(s) with your sexual function is: (circle one or more)
      1. Problem with little or no interest in sex
      2. Problem with decreased genital sensation (feeling)
      3. Problem with decreased vaginal lubrication (dryness)
      4. Problem reaching orgasm
      5. Problem with pain during sex
      6. Other:___________________________
    3. Which of the problem above is most bothersome (circle)
    4. Would you like to talk about it with your doctor?

    Problems with sexual health typically falls into four categories:

    Problem with desire- just not in the mood to have sex

    Problem with arousal – once in the mood, unable to be lubricated

    Problem with orgasm – not able to achieve an orgasm

    Problem with pain – You have pain during sexual activity that makes it difficult for you to have sex

    Sexual dysfunction becomes a significant problem when it affects the quality of your life. When it gets to that point, you should seek help.

    I want to leave you with the following:

    1. When it comes to sex, there is no such thing as normal. What is normal for one woman might not be normal for another. It is quite ok to make a decision that you do not want to have sex and it ok to want sex every day. Do not compare yourself with others.
    2. What happens in the bedroom is your business. We have vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, fingering or digital sex and we have dildo sex. You can have sex with a partner or derive pleasure on your own. If you are with a partner, communication is key.
    3. As I mentioned in my book, Letters to My Sisters, a woman’s body is a dynamic entity with changing requirements and responses. What made you happy in your 20s, may not be what makes you happy in your 40s.
    4. Be frank and open with your physician. Use the answers to the questionnaire to help start a conversation with your doctor. If your doctor cannot help you, ask for a referral
    5. You deserve to be happy at any age. Sexual health is important at all ages.

    HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

    For those new to the blog, the series is based on top reasons you should have an annual exam. Please click here for the topics.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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