When you go to your doctor for your annual checkup, they will probably ask you if you are sexually active. If you have never been asked this before, it can be confusing. After all, why does your doctor want to know about your personal life? You assumed that he or she was supposed to give you a general physical exam, but the question surprises you.
Your doctor needs to know if you are sexually active so that he or she can determine which tests to run. They may also want to make sure that you are taking care of your sexual health by using protection. If you have never been asked about your sexual activities before, you may not know what sexually active means. Does it mean petting or oral sex? Does masturbation count? We will cover the definition of sexually active and explain what your doctor is asking about so that you can figure out how to answer this question.
What Does Sexually Active Mean?
One of the most common questions to hear on your annual physical is about whether you are sexually active or not. Your doctor is trying to figure out if you have had sexual contact with another person. This will let your doctor know if you are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or if you could potentially be pregnant.
In general, this question means if you are sexually active with another person. Masturbating or using sex toys on your own is generally not a concern. They want to know if there has ever been any genital contact between you and another person or any type of sexual fluid exchange.
Each time you have sex, you have a chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. If you are female, you also could potentially become pregnant. Because of this, your doctor may want to do an STD screening or a pregnancy test to make sure that you are not pregnant or carrying a sexually transmitted disease. If your doctor is about to prescribe birth control or any other medication, they will want to know that you are not pregnant because some medications could put your pregnancy at risk.
If you have never had actual sexual intercourse before, you may not be aware if your activities actually classify as sexually active or not. In general, your doctor wants to know if you are doing any activity that could lead to an STD or pregnancy. If what you are doing falls under that category, then you are considered sexually active.