labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex

One of the surprising, yet very good things, that I have found providing gynecological care is how the young women are so open with discussing their sexual issues with you. I suppose I had never really thought much about discussing such things myself, perhaps because there really isn't much to discuss, and so as a provider I hadn't really given it much thought either. Well, except for the lectures and assigned readings on sexuality and the like. And obviously nothing bothers me about such things; it's just that I am pleasantly surprised that women are seeking advice and help. Much, much different of our parent's generation, I'd have to say.

For example, I asked a divorced 50-something woman who told me she was in a new relationship if she was sexually active. Now, I was asking her this for actual medical reasons, as if she was sexually active I'd offer sexually transmitted infection testing and counsel her on safer sex practices. This is a routine thing for anyone who is sexually active (I ask the married women, too, can't assume anything...and I think if you offer something like STI testing it should be across the board). But you would have thought I asked her if she ever murdered a newborn child. I had to back track and explain, and tried my best to un-offend her.

On the other hand, I've asked women in their teens, 20's, 30's this same thing and no one bats and eye. And some will open up with issues or questions that they have. I think there is something admirable about this, that women care about making all parts of their life good. I've recently learned that there are physical therapists that specialize in "pelvic" therapy. Who knew?


OBRNinNE said...

that's so funny...I've had a very different experience, at least on L&D...for example, when ruling out ROM or prior to doing FFN...they get all giggly, like as if I do not know how they ended up here in the first place!

Now, if they talked about it as openly as the nurses...we'd be all set!

daralala said...

Last time I went to the gynecologist, the nurse asked if me what kind of birth control I use. I said, "I'm not sexually active." Then she proceeded to say, "But do you use condoms when you do have sex?" Talk about making assumptions. I thought it was really rude.

PE Mommy said...

I have to laugh because their has only been one time where my obgyn has asked me about being sexually active. That was after my daughter was born and I went in for my 6 weeks checkup. He goes sooo, are you sexually active. I looked at him like he had three horns on his head and said ARE YOU CRAZY? Do you really think that is happening for him anytime soon? He said ok ok I got it I got it. Crazy man. I know that there are women who do that, but after my daughter was born from severe pih, I had had ecoli, a massive uterine infection, and was still bleeding heavily even after a d&c for retained parts. Yeah, umm that did not happen for a few months for dh.

Anonymous said...

Re: Pelvic therapy - it was new to me as well. I was offered a referral, as necessary, by my CNM at my 6 week check up after delivery. I first giggled - like is that for real? And then I thought, well if you need it I am glad it exists!