Know your family history tell your primary physician

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Chapter 15 / Exercise 02
Our Sexuality
Baur/Crooks
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Know your family history. Tell your primary physician about your entire family health history including such medical issues as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, to create a full picture of potential medical issues. Convey your sexual history. If you feel comfortable, try to communicate about your own vital sexual issues, including values, sexual relationships, history of sexual abuse or coercion, and your sexual orientation. Have a health care buddy. A health care buddy, who could be a good friend, can remind you to see a doctor and can be your extra eyes and ears if you need them. Female Sexual Health Ask questions. When a doctor proposes tests or a course of treatment, always ask about the risks, any alternatives, and what happens if you do nothing. Doctors and nurses converse in medical terms; if you don't understand these terms, ask what they mean. Always ask if you need a referral to see a specialist. If you do not inquire, a specialist may refuse to see you or your insurance company may send you a huge bill. Set a date for preventive screenings. Book these appointments well in advance, especially for routine but potentially lifesaving screenings such as mammograms, Pap smears, or a colonoscopy. Become familiar with your insurance coverage. Use your insurance company's website and toll-free number to find out exactly what your plan covers. Carry your emergency health information and insurance card at all times. This list should include your doctors, medications, herbs and vitamins you take, allergies, immunizations, family history, emergency- contact information, and blood type. Use the Internet wisely. The Internet can be a valuable tool, but it should never replace a consultation with your doctor. Print articles and take them to your health care provider for help sifting through the information. It is a rare experience to find an individual who has NOT been touched by breast cancer in some form or fashion. I (Nicole) have been affected by breast cancer because both my grandmothers had breast cancer. My maternal grandmother lost her life when I was a young girl. My paternal grandmother was diagnosed when I was in college and I was frightened that she would also die. What I found was that treatment had improved immensely in the years that separated the two diagnoses. My paternal grandmother has been cancer-free for over 10 years. She is an encouragement to me and represents so many millions of women who have this disease. Because a woman's sexual anatomy is parcly internal, understanding and becoming famil- iar with the sexual body is more challenging for females than it is for males. A woman's breasts, vagina, and surrounding tissue all play a role in both sexual healch and pleasure. For discussion regarding a woman's perspective on the female body and the ability to reach orgasm, see "Healchy Sexuality: What Does Orgasm Have to Do With It?" 165
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Chapter 15 / Exercise 02
Our Sexuality
Baur/Crooks
Expert Verified
166 HUMAN SEXUALlTY WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

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