One thing that I have learned working with AYA Cancer Survivors is the importance of discussing safe sex. I have had several patients present with unintended pregnancies because they thought they were infertile from previous cancer treatments. I have also had patients who are infertile not use a barrier method (because there was no risk of pregnancy) and contract an STD.
Particularly with the generational gap — having these conversations can be easier said than done. Sometimes I have to reassure myself that even if the conversation is awkward — at least Iaddressed the topic — and let them know that I am open to listening and discussing.
I have realized (particularly through this course) that I need to develop a script to include basic sex 101 to tailor to every, single patient. I think with practice, effort and commitment this will become easier.
When I get nervous in the moment — I always remind myself — “I would want them to ask me.” And I start the conversation….
I have also realized that I need to get better about documenting these conversations in my notes — which will reflect a more comprehensive philosophy of health promotion to our colleagues and referring providers.
This topic was modified 7 months ago by nlinendoll.
Thanks for your post! I agree that these conversations can be tricky for everyone — health care providers as well as patients. It’s a great idea to develop a “sex 101” script and I think I will do that, too. I think also that patients will appreciate that you initiated the conversation and opened the door to ongoing conversations, even if it was awkward.
Great post!! These conversations are definitely hard to have so I agree that haing a script would be very helpful. Thes conversations do need to be happening with every single patient even though it is a hard conversation to have.