Can We Talk About Sex? Patient and Providers’ Comfort with the Sexual History [26Q]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Sexual histories are essential in evaluating and counseling patients. The evolution in sexual practices has not been incorporated into the modern sexual history. The aim of this study was to determine the types of sexual behaviors patients engage in, provider counseling, and patient comfort discussing sexual behaviors.

METHODS:

IRB-approved, voluntary, anonymous surveys were distributed at the Mt Sinai associated Obstetrics and Gynecology outpatient offices. These surveys used a Likert scale to evaluate sexual behaviors, if providers discussed certain behaviors, and patients’ comfort discussing their behaviors with providers.

RESULTS:

207 surveys were completed and analyzed. 90% of our patients participated in vaginal sex, 47% of patients participated in anal sex, 89% of patients received oral sex, and 85% performed oral sex. 39% of patients reported never using a condom. Patients are infrequently asked about sexual habits by providers. Only 50.7% of patients reported being asked about condom use. Over 80% of patients felt comfortable discussing sexual behaviors. The sexual behaviors that had a statistically significant age distribution were the use of sex toys and hook up apps.

CONCLUSION:

Our patients are sexually active in a variety of ways at or above the national average. More of our patient population is engaging in anal sex than the national average by 11%. Our patients are not being asked the basic sexual history. In general patients feel comfortable discussing sexual habits with providers. Age is not relevant when screening most sexual behaviors. This survey showcases a missed opportunity in screening and counseling patients.

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