Not all sexual problems require medical attention. Many people have temporary sexual problems that can be caused by medical problems or stress and anxiety in another area of their life. If you are distressed by the problem or you are afraid your relationship is threatened, don't be afraid or embarrassed to seek outside help. If your health care provider is unable to help you beyond ruling out physical problems, a mental health counselor should be able to help or point you in the right direction.
Any sexual problem that persists for more than a few weeks is worth a visit to your health care provider. He or she can rule out medical or medication-related causes and offer advice on solving other types of problems. Your health care provider can refer to other specialists, such as a psychotherapist, marriage counselor or sex therapist.
If you or your sex partner has unprotected sex with anyone else, you are at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Ask your doctor to test you for STDs during your annual physical, even if you have no symptoms. If you test positive, your sexual partners will need treatment. It may be embarrassing, but you must tell them they have been exposed. It can be a matter of life and death.
STDs may be detected during a physical exam; through Pap smears; and in tests of blood, urine, and genital...