If you are overweight and have a sexual problem, make sure that your physician takes your complaints seriously and runs the appropriate tests to evaluate possible medical causes of your sexual issues.
Recent research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association shows that physicians taking care of overweight people tend to discriminate and have negative stereotypes about them. That that can take a toll on your health.
And that study was not an outlier. A steady stream of research is showing the same phenomenon.
The research on physician discrimination against overweight people is disturbing. In one study of more than 300 autopsy reports, overweight people were 1.65 times more likely to have undiagnosed and often serious medical conditions such as endocarditis, ischemic bowel disease, or lung cancer. That is evidence of misdiagnosis or inadequate access to healthcare.
I can only assume that the same processes will be in play when an overweight person goes to see a physician because of a sexual concern. If you are overweight, knowing this phenomenon, you are going to have to be a very strong advocate for yourself.
Do some reading about your sexual problem before you go to see the physician. What are the medical issues that might be involved, and what are the tests that might be ordered to evaluate you?
In some cases, erectile dysfunction is a sign of another medical condition, like diabetes. Abdominal pain that interferes with sexual pleasure in a woman could be the sign of certain kinds of cancer.
Perhaps you should see a certified sex therapist before you see a medical professional. The sex therapist who listens to your problems can refer you to a physician who specializes in sexuality. The sex therapist can collaborate with the physician share his or her perspective on your case.
And if any physician’s advice to you is simply to lose weight, screw up your courage and respectfully ask what kinds of tests would the physician recommend to evaluate your sexual problem if you weighed less than you do.
Even if you are heavy, you can still enjoy sex. Touch still feels good. An intimate connection to another person is life-affirming and good for your immune system.
Your sexual life is a quality-of-life issue; it’s very important to your overall happiness and relationship success.
In the case of physical illness, doctor prejudice can literally be life-threatening. Having a good sex life is not a life and death issue. But sex is very important, and if you are unhappy with your sex life, you deserve to get the appropriate medical help.
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