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Why does my doctor need to know my sexual orientation?

Your doctor and his/her multidisciplinary team that provides the care that you need to stay healthy assesses your health comprehensively. They don't just check your bloodwork, take your blood pressure and ask if you have any concerns. As a person, you are a complex system of physical, social, emotional, mental factors living within a social network that impacts your health. In order to accurately diagnose what does or could compromise your health and how to treat it, health care providers need to know every factor that enters into those decisions. Sexual orientation impacts all aspects of your health and sometimes differently than it does for heterosexuals. For example, homosexual couples won't be concerned about birth control on a day-to-day basis but its a huge concern for heterosexuals. Sexual orientation, other than heterosexuality, is still a social stigma in many circumstances that will increase your stress, social isolation and risk of depression and suicide. Just as family health history, occupational risks are important to your health care provider, so is sexual orientation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.