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BEING FRANK

- Open and Honest Communication with Your Health Care Provider Can Support Sexual and Reproductive Health -

If you’re in a sexual relationship, this is one time to consider the benefits of a threesome – you, your partner, and your health care provider.

Having an open and honest relationship with your health care provider can help strengthen and support sexual and reproductive health, according to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“Don’t be afraid to talk with your physician or nurse practitioner about your sexuality, or reproductive health concerns,” says Lisa Davey, a Sexual Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Asking questions and addressing any worries will lead to improved health outcomes and better access to the services you need.”

Promoting a good relationship between people and their health care providers is the focus of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week, which runs from February 12-18.

People who have a positive relationship with health care providers can openly and honestly discuss concerns to avoid potential problems, Davey notes. She points to the importance of getting advice and asking questions on sexual health issues, including using the right birth control and reducing the risk of Sexually-Transmitted Infections.

A good patient-provider relationship is also beneficial for anyone 12-49 years of age who is sexually active. It is important to see your health care provider whether you are planning a pregnancy, have found out you are expecting a baby, or are trying to avoid becoming pregnant, says Tammy Thomson, a Family Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

“At every stage of your reproductive lifespan, there are things you may want to consider… and health care providers can help you by answering questions and offering support,” she notes.

Both Davey and Thomson say health care providers also have a responsibility to create an inclusive and caring environment where patients feel safe and comfortable accessing the services they need. “Whether you are a doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner, building healthy relationships with your patients and clients is vital,” Davey notes.

In Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, the Health Unit provides services and support for couples who are planning to start a family or who are preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Confidential sexual health information, counselling and clinical services are also offered by the Health Unit through its Sexual Health Clinics.

To access any of these services, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, visit our website, email us or text (705) 878-2723.

For media inquiries, contact:

Lisa Davey, Sexual Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2311,

or Tammy Thomson, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, or 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1214.

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