How should I prepare for a visit?

Before you have your first visit, it is helpful to gather information and/or think about the following:

  • What type of sexual concerns are you having? This could include when and how often you’re having these concerns. Try to be as specific as possible when talking with your provider.
  • What is your sexual and relationship history? Your provider will probably ask about your sexual history and relationships. This could also include questions about sexual abuse or trauma. If you feel comfortable, sharing this information may be helpful in diagnosing your concerns.
  • What is your medical history? Do you have any physical and/or mental health conditions? Are you taking any medications? Have you had any recent surgeries? Knowing this will be helpful to your provider. Feel free to bring any medical documents that you think will be useful.
  • What questions do you have for your health care provider or sex therapist? It’s always helpful to pull together a list of questions before your appointment. That way, you won’t forget anything, and can focus your visit on your concerns. You can look at "Tips and Scripts for Talking with a Health Care Provider or Therapist", and the section "What Type of Questions Can I Ask?" for some sample questions that you may want to ask. 

What should I expect during my visit with a provider or therapist? 

During your visit with a provider or therapist, you can expect:

  •  to share a complete medical history, including your symptoms;
  •  to discuss your sexual history and other factors that could be influencing your sex life; and
  •  to receive a diagnosis and treatment recommendations, if possible. 

If they are not able to help you, they might refer you to another type of health care provider or therapist. Or, you can ask for a referral.

Note: A sex therapist will not conduct a physical exam or order diagnostic tests, but they will ask you about your medical history and any physical concerns you are experiencing.