Did you know that you can take charge of your sexual health in a primary care setting? Through extensive training and paying attention to guidelines, a GP can improve your sexual health. In some cases, this may mean contraceptive advice. Other patients may require advice on issues that are preventing them from enjoying sex, while others may need STD tests. Understanding about what a GP can do for your sexual health will help you decide whether to turn to them for advice on your problems.
They can help you choose the right contraceptives for you
In Australia, the most common method of contraception amongst women is the oral contraceptive pill. Men tend to use condoms. Women have far more choice when it comes to contraceptives. Your GP can help you find a method that best meets your needs. For example, you may not want to take certain oral contraceptive pills if there's a risk of DVT in your family. In such situations, your GP will help you decide which option meets your needs.
Your GP can help with issues such as erectile dysfunction
Both men and women encounter problems that make enjoying a healthy sex life difficult. Take erectile dysfunction, for example. Diseases that a GP can manage in a primary care setting may act as the underlying cause, such as obesity and using certain antidepressants. On the other hand, women going through the menopause may find that vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable. GPs can prescribe medications and topical agents that change this, allowing for a return to a comfortable sex life.
You can go to a primary care setting for STD tests
STD tests aren't just a gynaecologist's concern. Using swabs, urine tests and blood tests, it's possible to receive treatment in a primary care setting. Your GP may even diagnose and treat a condition on the basis of your oral history and visual symptoms, but will send off for a confirmation test anyway. For example, herpes causes quite significant clinical signs that allow GPs to prescribe anti-viral medications. In certain scenarios, they may want to refer you to a secondary care setting for specialist treatment. For example, if you have a long-standing condition such as HIV/AIDS. Either way, the care process can start with your GP.
If you're still unsure as to whether you want to see your GP for advice on your sexual health, call your local primary care centre. Through giving a little information, you'll soon find out whether seeing them is the right approach for you