I'm a 16-year-old guy and I just found out my new family doctor is female. I'm really nervous about this because she might need to see or touch me down there. I've had a history of painful infections when I urinateand I have some questions about sex. Should I tell her this?
Sam*

Seeing a new doctor for the first time can be nerve-wracking. It may feel even more difficult if your doctor is a member of the opposite sex. But pain during peeing is an important reason to see a doctor. So is asking questions about sex because a doctor is your best resource for answers.

It might help to know that your new doctor has probably examined hundreds or even thousands of young men during her career. She's looking at you in the same way that a male doctor would — as a patient. Chances are she's heard and seen your problems before and helped other guys deal with the same issues you're facing.

You could discover that your new doctor makes you feel at ease right away. If you find that you're still a bit nervous, ask if you can spend some time talking to the doctor before you're examined. You can also bring your questions written down on a piece of paper. Then if you get nervous, you can look at it to remember your concerns. You could even give the doctor your list.

If you still feel uncomfortable after meeting your new doctor and think it will keep you from talking about sex or having an exam, ask if there's a male doctor in the practice who you could see instead. Trust that the doctor wants what's best for you.

Your health depends on the information you give your doctor. You need to be able to talk about any issues you have, ask questions, and answer your doctor's questions honestly. Your doctor just wants to help you, so be open and honest about things you are thinking or feeling. That way, your doctor can check out possible problems, and answer any questions you have.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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