January 12, 2009

Finding Healthcare Providers For Your Sexual Health Needs

Dr. Debby Herbenick outlines some ways you can find a health care provider that fits your sexual health needs.

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Living away from home is full of numerous new experiences – some good (e.g., staying up as late as you want, stocking the refrigerator with whatever you want) and some that can feel challenging at times (e.g., feeling lonely at times, balancing your responsibilities of school/work/friends/family).

Take Charge Of Your Health

Taking charge of your health – and yes, that includes your sexual health – is new to many women and men who are living alone for the first time, too.

Some people are content to see the doctor/nurse that they have always seen back in the town that they are from. It may even be their pediatrician or family doctor.

Other women and men either want to find a healthcare provider of their own, or else they need to because they need health care services (such as STI testing, prescriptions for birth control, gyn exams, annual wellness exams, or advice about sexual health concerns) and cannot wait until they get back home to be seen.

Things To Think About

TeenWire has an excellent page that offers things to think about when finding a healthcare provider to meet your sexual health needs, including issues related to cost, confidentiality, whether you prefer to be seen by a woman or a man, how to deal with issues related to your parents’ learning about your health concerns, whether you can bring a friend or partner with you to your healthcare visit, and more.

You can also visit your campus health center if you have questions about how to find quality health care on your campus or in your community.