NurseAsk Nurse Lisa

How to talk with a provider

When talking with your doctor or community health aide (CHA), the most important thing is honesty. Be honest about concerns you have about your health. Also, make sure you let your provider know any symptoms you are having if they are directly related to your health care visit. You should tell your provider about your symptoms even if you feel shy or embarrassed. When your provider knows about all accurate information regarding your health history and behaviors, they will have the best idea for how to treat any health issues you may have and keep you healthy! Sometimes, health care organizations and providers will encourage patients to pick two main issues of concern during a health care visit. This gives you enough time to talk with your provider during a visit. With any more issues, you may need another visit.

What does “sexually active” mean?

Does your provider ever ask you if you are sexually active? This question can be confusing! To be clear, being “sexually active” can mean lots of different kinds of sexual acts, including oral sex (going down on, giving head, giving a blow job, etc.), manual stimulation (AKA a hand job, fingering someone), and penetrative sex (vaginal or anal intercourse). If a provider asks this question, they probably want to know if they should offer testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), offer birth control, or give you a pap smear (if you have a uterus and are 21 or older). Understanding your sexual health history and your relationships will give them a good understanding of your health care needs.

Get Help

For general resources about relationships, sex, wellness and more, please do a search on the Get Answers page.

Are you in immediate danger?

Call 911 or your local police. If not in an immediate threat, please view resources on the Get Help page.