We're back on Patient Power and HealthRadio Network as we continue our discussion about sexuality and how can we really for women get back to a full life even if you have had a health concern. Dr. Hutcherson, let me ask you. So a woman goes to her gynecologist and maybe she had an experience where she was told they needed to be treated for cancer or she needed some kind of gynecologic surgery, whatever it is she feels changed. And the whole idea of her sexuality goes in the background. Maybe she doesn't even have the confidence in who she is as a woman to feel good about herself. How do we get her back to that place where we say, You know what? This can be restored for you. You can go on. How does that happen, because I'm sure you have had many women in that situation.
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And most of the time the women don't feel comfortable just coming out and asking the question. And so when I talk to doctors I tell them that it behooves them to bring the topic up because most women have this in the back of their minds even though they may not ask. The reason is they're afraid of how the doctor is going to react to the question because discussions about sex and sexuality is still rather taboo today, and so when you go to your doctor who really is a stranger although you may trust this person it is very difficult to bring that topic up. And often women are waiting for the doctor to say something, and if the doctor doesn't say anything then that conversation never takes place. So what I say to women when I travel around is to view your sexuality as a very important part of your life and a natural and healthy part of your life.
So if you're coming in with a medical problem and you need to have surgery or you've been given a diagnosis of cancer or diabetes or any diagnosis, that, sure, first you're going to deal with coming to grips with that medical problem first, but then you do need to have the confidence to ask those very important questions about your sexuality with your doctor and expect that your doctor is going to give you good answers to your questions.
And you know one tip that I give women, I will often tell them to say, this is important to me, Doctor, and I want to ask you a question about intimacy as it relates to, for example, chemotherapy. How will chemotherapy impact intimacy with my husband because this is a very important issue for me and for my husband. And I think if you couch it in those terms, doctors take it pretty seriously now.