It’s crucial to discuss your sexual health with your doctor regardless of your sexual preference. Even if you’re a man sleeping with other men, there are certain health concerns to talk to your doctor about. Besides, there’s a chance that you might be prone to several health issues, including mental health conditions, substance abuse, and most of all, STIs.
You can get advice from your doctor on how to have a safe sexual relationship. He/she can also tell you how your body image affects your sexuality.
It might sound a bit awkward discussing your sex life with your doctor. However, try having an open conversation where you tell them everything. What if other people get to know about your sexuality? Don’t worry; your doctor is under the law to keep your personal information safe and confidential.
Having a sincere discussion with your doctor can open your eyes to conditions you might likely have. Plus, if you have any current condition connected to your sexual health, you’ll get to know of a possible diagnosis. Again, your doctor may show you how to avoid certain diseases.
However, if you’re not comfortable or feel stigmatized during your exam, don’t hesitate to get another doctor, or seek a private gum clinic in London.
We’ll be giving you five reasons why your doctor needs to know about your sexual health:
- Avoiding Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV
Learning how to avoid STIs is essential, particularly if you’re a man sleeping with other men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 6% hike in HIV diagnoses among gays and bisexuals between 2005 and 2014.
You can easily contract and spread STIs during sex, and certain infections may show minor symptoms. This is why, without a test, you may not know whether you or your partner is infected. The complications of STIs include AIDS and cancer.
Some examples of STIs are:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Certain STIs can be cured, but some can become severe, including herpes and HIV. Should you test positive for HIV, your doctor may put you on daily medication for life to prevent a more severe condition from developing.
Your doctor can explain the risks of STIs, how often you should get tested and may ask that you undergo STI testing depending on your sexual history. Also, you may get to know the vaccines recommended for some STIs and the kind of medication you should take if your partner is infected with HIV.
- Safe sex practices
Ways on how to have safe sex will go along with talks about STIs. You’ll learn ways to protect yourself during sex to prevent contracting or spreading STIs. Your doctor might discuss the use of condoms and lubricants as a way of ensuring safe sex.
Using condoms can inhibit the spread of STIs during sexual activity. Your doctor might explain the safe use of condoms, including using latex condoms, or condoms produced from other synthetic materials, and you may be taught how to wear a condom correctly. What about lubricants? Your doctor may educate you on the use of a silicone or water-based lubricant. Condoms may not break easily with lubricants.
You can even discuss sexual positions with your doctor. Do you know there are positions that can increase or lower your chances of contracting HIV from an infected partner? You have a higher chance of getting HIV if you’re on the bottom during sex or receive anal sex. On the other hand, being on top or giving anal sex reduces your chances of contracting the STI.
There are other ways that can lower your risk of contracting an STI, including:
- Having very few sexual partners
- Maintaining a monogamous sexual relationship with your partner
- Avoiding situations that promote intoxication which can trigger risky sexual behavior
- Getting you and your partner tested for STI before engaging in sex
Your body image
Apart from STIs, you can discuss how your sexual identity and relationship can impact the way your body looks. Your self-image is projected by your body image. Maintaining an ideal body type can cause you to engage in harmful or unhealthy behaviors. Men sleeping with men might have a higher chance of developing eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia. There may be a compulsion on you to keep a very fit figure or a fuller less fit figure. The health consequences of this can be harmful.
So, your doctor can tell you more about your body image and how keeping a certain figure can affect your health. Plus, they can show you ways to care for your health without any impact from keeping a perfect body shape.
Your emotional health
Your sexual behavior affects your mental health, especially if you’re a man sleeping with other men. Chances of developing a mental health condition may increase because of reasons like:
- Substance abuse
- Threat of violence
- Health conditions such as STIs
- If your sexuality is disclosed or kept a secret from family and friends
The state of your mental health can be checked, and your doctor may recommend treatment and support to keep you emotionally stable.
Use of substance like drugs, tobacco, and alcohol
Discuss your substance use, especially alcohol, drugs, and tobacco with your doctor. Men sleeping with men may have higher chances of substance abuse. This might be linked to your sexual behavior or cultural barriers to sexuality.
There are long-term consequences of substance abuse on health. Plus, substance-induced behavior can raise your chances of having unprotected sex and contracting STI consequently. There are many GUM clinics specializes in Female and male confidential sexual health screening in London, you can contact them and have your screening done on the same day.
Your sex life isn’t the only consideration for bringing up sexual health discussion with your doctor. During sexual health talks, you’ll be educated on sexual risks and substance abuse. Your mental health and body image will also be checked. Discuss these issues with your doctor; maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Call Sexual Health Clinic today on 020 34751653 for your private health screening.