Sexual medicine is a medical specialty that deals with sexual health. The specialty is concerned with diagnosing, assessing and treating all aspects which relate to sexuality.
Issues can be divided into two main areas of concern:
- disorders of the sexual organs
- disorders of the psyche affecting sexuality
Disorders of the sexual organs
Congenital or acquired, these conditions refer to any pathology which interferes with the perception of satisfactory sexual health. Varied conditions include absent sexual organs, hermaphrodite and other genetic malformations, or trauma such as amputation or lacerations.
Examples of conditions which may be treated by specialists in this field include:
The medical history of issues related to sexual or reproductive medicine may be inhibited by a reluctance of the patient to disclose intimate or uncomfortable information. Even if such an issue is on the patient's mind, he or she often doesn't start talking about such an issue without the physician initiating the subject by a specific question about sexual or reproductive health. Some familiarity with the doctor generally makes it easier for patients to talk about intimate issues such as sexual subjects, but for some patients, a very high degree of familiarity may make the patient reluctant to reveal such intimate issues. When visiting a health provider about sexual issues, having both partners of a couple present is often necessary, and is typically a good thing, but may also prevent the disclosure of certain subjects, and, according to one report, increases the stress level.