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Dear Dr. Kate: Can I Ask My Gyno for Sex Advice?

Thu, Apr 15, 2010

Advice, What's Up Doc?

photo by solcookie

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here once a week. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

Are most gynecologists willing to talk about sex in fairly graphic detail — is it just a matter of the patient asking the questions? Or are some gynecologists more open to this than others? For example, I know that I can ask any gynecologist about what a pap smear is and they’ll happily answer. And I know I could ask any gynecologist about basic/medical sex stuff, for example, why sex hurts, or what birth control method is right for me. But will any gynecologist be happy to talk in more depth about sex, e.g. about why I can’t have an orgasm, for example?

– Curious Patient

Dear C.P.,

Sad to say, the comfort level in talking about sex will vary from gyno to gyno. Part of this is the way we’re trained — or, more accurately, not trained. We get very little education about sexuality and sexual dysfunction throughout medical school and even residency. The gynos who are the most comfortable talking about these issues are likely self-taught. (I’ve done a lot of reading and gone to lectures to educate myself more.) And part of it is their natural comfort level talking about sex. Even in the clinical confines of an exam room, some gynos aren’t comfortable delving into the issues of sex. But the worst they’ll do is stammer — so it’s definitely worth asking your questions. And if your gyno can’t talk to you about your orgasms, then write to me again!

– Dr. Kate
Gynotalk
dr_kate_100

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

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2 Responses to “Dear Dr. Kate: Can I Ask My Gyno for Sex Advice?”

  1. Lee822 Says:

    I feel ya. At risk of thread drift, it’s even worse for men – is there even such a thing as an “andrologist” who deals with enlarged prostates and erectile difficulties? As it is, I’d love to ask my GP why *I* often can’t have an orgasm, or why even when I do it’s usually weak in intensity, but I doubt he is so trained and I don’t feel comfortable asking.

  2. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Lee, a urologist would probably be able to help with those issues.

    Good luck. Just ask your Internist or call a local hospital (if it’s a University Teaching Hosp, better) and ask to see a urologist.


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