Thursday, October 29, 2009

Q & A: "is it possible for a doctor to tell if I have had anal sex"

This may be foolish, but is it possible for a doctor to
tell if I have had anal sex, just by me receiving a regular
physical? I have avoided physicals for some time due to this
fear. Thanks for your time.
-- DM

As long as you have no problems with the rectal area,
such as pain, bleeding, discharge, or diarrhea, then a
physician, or anyone else for that matter, will be unable to tell
if you have had anal sex. (Of course, even if you have these
symptoms, they may be due to a number of other medical conditions
besides anal sex.) If you have experienced some trauma during
intercourse, an abrasion or fissure may result, and that would be
apparent to someone examining the area. But you would certainly
be aware of soreness, or even bleeding from the anus, so it
should not come as a surprise. Lubrication, of course, will help
to prevent this.

Unhappily, many people do feel threatened or intimidated when
they go to the doctor's. Just thinking about it can bring on a
cold sweat. That is unfortunate. Why shouldn't a person be able
to talk about their sexual preferences? And why should it be so
difficult to reveal an aspect of one's sexuality without fear of
stigmatization or condemnation? Whatever you reveal about
yourself within the confines of a doctor's office should always
be held confidential. And keep in mind that doctors routinely see
all kinds of different people, lifestyles, and habits. After a
while, there aren't too many surprises. Take your time in getting
comfortable with a physician. As in any other relationship, trust
develops over time.

-- R. Jandl

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