We know that it can seem awkward, overwhelming, and even scary to go to a clinic to talk about sex. It doesn’t have to be!
In fact, talking about sexuality with a Dr. or nurse should be as comfortable as talking to them about anything else in your life. If it’s not, think about going to a sexual health (like us at Island Sexual Health) or a youth clinic because at places like that they are totally used to talking about sex with youth!
Sometimes it can be helpful to ask for a specific health care provider (younger or male/female or someone who works with lots of youth) when you book your appointment over the phone – that can make it more comfortable. You don’t need to tell the receptionist on the phone what you are booking an appointment for, you can just say you want a consult or talking appointment or an exam appointment if you need the Dr. to look at something.
Sometimes, it’s the fear of not knowing what to expect at a clinic. That’s why we’ve put together this quick check list and even a short video of what to expect if you come to Island Sexual Health!
How should I expect my Dr/Nurse to be?
- Confidential – everything you tell a Dr. or nurse will be confidential (kept between you and them) unless you tell us you are being harmed or you threaten to harm yourself or someone else. In those situations, they have to report this information for safety reasons. If there is no reason to believe there is a safety concerns, your information will not be shared with anyone without your written permission
- Comfortable – you should be treated respectfully and without any judgement
- Clear – you should understand everything you are being told but if you don’t then definitely ask them to explain it more clearly
- Open – you should be given time and space by the Dr or nurse to ask questions. You are always welcome to bring someone else with you to an appointment. It could be a parent, friend, partner, auntie, cousin – whoever will help you to feel most comfortable. You can also bring along a list of questions if you want to.
What kind of questions will the Dr/Nurse ask me?
Try to be as honest as possible when you answer questions. Although it might be the first time you have spoken with someone so honestly about your sexuality, the more honest you are the more healthy you’ll be. The Dr. or nurse isn’t asking the questions to be nosy or judgmental; they are asking to avoid judgement! They don’t want to make assumptions about a person’s sexuality because we all have different sexual experiences and health care needs.
A Dr./Nurse may (and should!) ask you questions about:
- Your sexual partners
- Types of sex you have (vaginal, digital, oral, digital, dry)
- Current method of birth control and/or safer sex method (if applicable)
- Last normal monthly period (if applicable) [Date of/Length (number of days)]
- Other medical conditions you have
- Other medications you use (including marijuana, tobacco, etc.)
- Any other physical symptoms or problems you have
Check out this awesome clip on what it’s like to visit Island Sexual Health:
Still have questions about visiting a clinic? Text us at 250-812-9387