Health care providers and therapists should routinely ask all of their teen and adult patients about their sexual health and sex lives. It may feel like they are being nosey, but they are just trying to help you take care of your whole body and overall health.

While it might seem a bit awkward to talk with your provider or therapist, sex is natural part of life that should be positive and pleasurable. However, difficulties and concerns sometimes get in the way. If so, many providers can help you find solutions.

If you bring up the topic, your provider should also have some questions for you. Your answers will help your provider better understand your concern(s) and recommend the best solutions.

Your provider could ask questions such as:

Overall health and sex life:

  • How is your overall health? Do you have any specific health concerns?
  • How is your sex life going? What concerns do you have? 
  • Are you currently involved in any sexual relationships? How are they going?
  • Is the sex you’re having pleasurable for you?  If not, why do you think this is the case? 
  • Do you desire sex? If you have a partner, do your sex drives match up?

Sexual concerns:

  • Are you having any difficulties when you have sex (e.g., low desire, lack of arousal, lack of orgasm, pain during sex, vaginal dryness, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction)?
  • How much do these concerns bother you?
  • Do you become aroused during sexual interactions with partners?
  • Do you have orgasms? (Have you had them in the past, but not now?)
  • Do you have pain with intercourse or penetration? This can be anal, digital (finger) or vaginal penetration.

Other factors:

  • Do you use any types of birth control or contraception? 
  • Do you take any medications that are not listed in your records? Make sure to tell them about prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
  • Do you use alcohol or recreational drugs? How often?
  • Have you ever had surgery? Specifically, have you had surgery focusing on your reproductive system? Examples include a hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal, and gender affirming surgery.
  • Have you been diagnosed with other medical conditions and/or mental health conditions?
  • Have you ever had an unwanted sexual experience?  Been sexually assaulted?  Experienced any form of intimate partner violence or abuse?