A Collaborative Approach to Sexual Health

Dr. John AdlerContributed by John Adler, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

As female patients and their partners become more informed about sexual issues, maintaining romantic desire and sexual health is a priority for them to continue successful relationships. As a women’s health care specialist, I listen to my patients’ concerns regarding their relationship issues. Stress, weight gain, medical and cancer problems, poor self-image, sexual abuse, and surgical scarring of the breasts, abdomen, and genital area can directly result in sexual dysfunction.

Fortunately, at the Women’s Center, Lisa Larkin, MD has developed a state-of-the-art sexual medicine service where primary care, obstetricians and gynecologists work collaboratively with a team which includes Akeira Johnson, MD and Sarah Pickle, MD to help identify and treat problems that have been neglected for too long. Drs. Larkin and Johnson specialize in sexual health and menopause care and Dr. Pickle specializes in family planning and contraception as well as adolescent and transgender care. I and other health care providers can refer our patients who suffer from low sex drive and other forms of sexual dysfunction to these physicians for specialized care. We are getting excellent feedback that the new therapies are working and patients are very willing to ask their health care providers for referrals.

Patients and their health care providers are fortunate the women’s sexual health program allows providers to overcome their own inhibitions by referring their patients to qualified and well-trained specialists. Their services can provide a lifetime of benefits to women in need of this specialized and often very specific care. This unique service brings great value to our patients and community. Let’s face it; medical training is woefully lacking in sexual medicine. Health care consumers need and deserve more than fractured and inaccurate information from the internet and non-credentialed “sex therapists” when they have serious sexual health concerns.

Dr. Larkin’s service is a welcoming environment of candor, information, humor, and therapy. I am delighted that our region finally has a credible program to which I and other providers can refer our patients.

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