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At HerMD, we (often) say that menopause health and sexual health go hand in hand. 

During menopause, declining hormone levels are responsible for causing a host of bothersome symptoms, which can affect an individual from head to toe. Commonly, sexual health and functioning is negatively impacted during this time, with up to 84% of individuals experiencing bothersome symptoms occurring in the vulva, vagina, lower urinary tract, and pelvic floor.

Although historically, women’s sexual health has been considered a topic too “taboo” to discuss, at HerMD, we believe an individual’s sexual health can serve as a barometer for overall health and wellness. In other words, you can, and should, still have great sex during menopause! Numerous effective treatment solutions exist to enhance your sexual health and well-being, and you should not just have to “grin and bear” any bothersome symptoms you may be experiencing.

We stand by the HerMD difference, and we are proud to offer you the best sexual healthcare you’ve ever had.

We start by offering you a carefully curated sexual health appointment, where a HerMD provider will spend ample time listening to any sexual health concerns you might have and then partner with you to formulate a treatment plan unique to your specific needs.

To better understand HerMD’s approach to sexual healthcare, we sat down with Dr. Amberly Davidson, HerMD Cincinnati Provider & Menopause Society Certified Practitioner, who shed light on what you can expect from a HerMD sexual health appointment.

I have a few sexual health concerns I’d like to be evaluated for. Can you tell me what I should expect from a HerMD sexual health appointment?

AD: First, you can expect your appointment with a sexual health provider to last about 40 minutes. During this time, a HerMD provider will spend an ample amount of time with you to obtain as much information as possible to direct the next steps accordingly. Often, most of that time will be spent in discussion. 

During a HerMD sexual health appointment, a pelvic examination or a detailed examination of the vulva (a vulvoscopy) may also be necessary, but this can be deferred to a later time depending on your comfort level. 

You mentioned there will be a lot of discussion during a sexual health appointment. So that I can feel comfortable during this time, what details of my health history will I be asked to share?

AD: Your provider will want to obtain a detailed medical history with attention to the specific concern. Be prepared to share a lot of details, to the extent you are comfortable doing so. For example, when did the problem first start? Were there any preceding factors that influence the problem now? Has there been any treatment already initiated and if so, what worked or didn’t work?

Some individuals may choose to bring their partner to this visit in order to help fill in any details or give their perspective of the concern in addition to being a source of support.

There seem to be many different components of a HerMD sexual health appointment. How can I best prepare myself for this type of appointment?

AD: The best preparation is being ready to answer questions with as much detail as you can! If there has been any treatment or testing done from another provider, please bring any records that you may have available for review. Bring a list of the medications you currently take. Please feel free to bring a partner or a friend for support as well.

How is the sexual health appointment different from other HerMD appointment types?  

AD: A sexual health consultation appointment can be a vulnerable time and the first goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment. It is imperative that you feel 100% comfortable with every aspect of this appointment. You should know that an examination may or not be recommended at an initial visit. In fact, it may take more than one appointment to gather all of the necessary information in order to tailor a specific treatment plan for each individual patient. 

Any additional thoughts our readers should know?

AD: Healthcare, especially sexual healthcare, is not one size fits all. Remember a treatment plan will be tailored to your individual needs. And above all, comfort should be key during a sexual health evaluation!

Interested in learning more? Schedule a sexual health appointment at HerMD today.

Michelle D. Nezolosky

Michelle is the Director of Programs, responsible for leading the education and health intervention programs at HerMD. She supports the health and well-being of staff and patients through training and education, community outreach, and research initiatives.

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