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Urology/Sexually Active


QUESTION: I went in for my semi-annual physical and on the questionaire it asked me if I am sexually active. I am 32 years old and have had intercourse with one person only and I think three times with them. But not within the last month as she has gotten a boyfriend now. How does one define sexually active? What is the level of activity that one is asking about? lol.

By the way I wrote in, "Debatable" on the form and the doctor seemed to get a laugh out of it and didn't ask anything further.

ANSWER: James:

The question is designed to determine who is sexually capable versus incapable as well as the possibility of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.  For the purposes of this questionaire, your response was unusual.  You might have just answered "yes".

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I would prefer getting a free STD test than being asked a vague question. It doesn't ask anything about whether I am having sex only with someone I'm in a committed relationship with. Is there a time frame the question is asking about? I mean I could have HIV, but have not had sex for over a year (possibly for the same reason). The question could tell someone absolutely nothing.


I can't really answer the question since it really depends on the interpretation.  It isn't intended to be all inclusive.  Someone who has never had intercourse is quite unlikely to have any STDs.  If you are active, even with only a single person, then you have to answer yes to the question.  If you're not sure, just tell the physician what your activity level actually is.  Not everything is answerable in a single yes or no response.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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