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Sexologist not required for most genital complaints

Many young people, particularly young men, seeking consultation for problems relating to their genitals spend a lot of time and money looking for the right sexologist. It is a common observation by most family physicians that unmarried young men hesitate to ask embarrassing questions relating to their private parts. Most of them eventually procure information about such ‘diseases’ from their friends, books and nowadays, through the internet.

Almost 90% of such enquiries which reach a practicing sexologist pertains to non-diseases. The queries range from those relating to the size of the genitals, its shape, colour, feel, texture etc. Interestingly, a majority of young men observe these complaints after a sexual encounter with a stranger.

Allergic rashes following excessive use of soaps, local antiseptics or toiletries may give an inflamed look to the skin over the penis, the scrotum or the inner aspect of the thighs. Minor abrasions on the genitals and tiny wart like elevations are other common complaints for which people seek consultation from a sexologist.

Today’s scourge of HIV is a major challenge to physicians practicing sexology or venereology. A large number of patients visit their clinics to get reassured that they have not contracted the deadly virus. A great majority of them would include those who have used condoms while indulging in sex. Queries pertaining to the spread of HIV from oral sex or due to the condom tearing midway through the act are also common. Many of the latter cases wish to get an instant HIV test done so as to confirm that they have not been infected. Consultants have to spend considerable time to reassure these patients about the window period of HIV test, i.e. the minimum time taken to scientifically state whether one is infected or not.

In a great majority of these cases a simple examination by a qualified general physician is sufficient to allay fears. Yet if the condition seems to be genuine and requiring a specialist’s consultation the physician himself would refer the patient to a sexologist.


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