How to choose a doctor with good sexual health experience?
Finding a doctor who specializes in men’s health can be a bit tricky since there's no clear speciality in medicine for it. (Women have obstetricians and gynaecologists, while there’s no obvious parallel for men!) But fear not, there are a few ways you can find a doctor with good sexual health experience.
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What does a sexual health doctor do?
A sexual health doctor specializes in the management of your sexual problems such as
sexually transmitted infections/diseases
relationship and intercourse problems
family planning or contraception
How to find a doctor with good sexual health experience?
Check out their clinic website
If it talks about things like STI conditions in detail, PEP or PreP, it's likely they treat STIs and other sexual health concerns. Some clinics also do marketing in places like clubs, and sex clubs - can look into those places too.
Sexual health clinics can have different names
Clinics that focus on sexual health may go by various names depending on where you are located, such as sexual health clinics, STI clinics, family planning clinics, post-exposure clinics, etc.
Look for doctors who have credentials, education, or relevant training in sexual health
Search for healthcare professionals who possess qualifications, educational background, or specialized training in sexual health, or belong to pertinent professional associations.
Some of the relevant training include: infectious diseases, venereology, urology, andrology, genitourinary medicine, internal medicine, reproductive health & family planning.
Relevant professional organisations like:
Read online reviews, and discussion forums or ask for recommendations from friends and family
Go through online feedback, participate in online forums, or consult with acquaintances and relatives to get a sense of their quality of care and bedside manner.
Of course, with those who you feel more comfortable discussing these topics with.
If you can’t find anything related around your area, reach out to a primary care provider such as a family doctor, general physician, or general medicine doctor. They may or may not have experience in sexual health, but even if they do not specialize in sexual health, they can be a good starting point and refer you to a specialist, if needed.
What to look for in a sexual health doctor?
It's important to choose a doctor who you feel comfortable talking to and who makes you feel at ease discussing sensitive personal information.
Have a friendly and welcoming staff
Speak clearly and use words you understand
Put you at ease and listen to any sexual and reproductive health issues that are important to you
Answer your questions and address your concerns in a helpful, respectful way
Ask what your pronouns are and use them
Ask permission before performing any tests
Explain what they’re doing and the reason why
Keep your conversations confidential
Support your right to make decisions about your sexual health care, based on your own values and what you believe is best for yourself
They should NOT:
Assume to know your sexual behaviors or preferences without asking
Be judgmental in response to your questions or concerns
Be disrespectful of your sexual orientation, identity, or preferences
Deny your care or treatment because of your sexual choices
I’m concerned about in-person clinic visits, what other options do I have?
Depending on where you are, there can be different options for you:
Video or phone appointments, where you can opt for virtual means for your clinic visit.
At-home collection, where you collect your own sample and take or mail it to a lab for testing.
Mobile testing centers where you can opt for tests at the pop-up station, sometimes with anonymous options.
I'm not looking for a doctor, what are other types of sexual health professionals?
For emotional and mental health issues related to sexual concerns, mental health professionals like therapists, sexologists, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, sex therapists, and psychiatrists can help.
For sexual health education, health educators can provide counselling and educational materials in clinics, community-based programs, schools, and colleges.