Goal is to provide a high-quality medical resource for women
MURRAY — Women who are experiencing sexual health problems now have access to medical solutions with the opening of the Female Sexual Medicine Clinic at Intermountain Medical Center.
“Up to 40 percent of women report experiencing sexual concerns, but many don't know where to go to talk about their issues and get help,” says Haley Summerhays, a nurse practitioner at the clinic, who is certified in women’s health.
Summerhays will oversee the unique clinic along with urologist Scott Putman, MD, a physician with the Intermountain Urological Institute, which is based at Intermountain Medical Center.
Their goal is to provide a high-quality medical resource for women who up until now have not options to address their sexual health issues.
Each woman who visits the clinic will meet with Summerhays for a comprehensive medical history and exam. Most concerns fall into two categories — pain and arousal — but the causes can be complex. Chronic health conditions, medications, dermatological problems, hormone imbalance, depression and other issues can all impact sexual health.
“These are complex problems and finding a solution begins with listening. That’s the best way to discover what the underlying issue is and how to treat it,” says Summerhays.
Once Summerhays and Dr. Putman have a diagnosis, they have many therapeutic options for treating women's sexual health issues. Treatment may include specialized physical therapy; consultation with social workers;medical or surgical treatment by a dermatologist, gynecologist, or urologist; medication changes and more.
“Our multidisciplinary team approach gives us the best chance of success,” says Dr. Putman.
Jay Bishoff, MD, director of the Intermountain Urological Institute at Intermountain Medical Center, decided to open the clinic afterseeing how successful a similar program was in Texas, where he practiced before starting the institute.
“This is a big concern for so many women, but often they don’t feel they have a place to turn or don’t feel comfortable talking about the problem. Many doctors don’t routinely ask women about their sex lives, and women often won’t bring it up,” he says. "Women need to know that there are proven treatments available to improve or eliminate these problems."
He contrasts that with men, who may feel more comfortable talking about concerns with their physicians after drugs like Viagra becamewidely discussed and available.
Women who are interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment in the Female Sexual Medicine Clinic at Intermountain Medical Center should call 801-507-3400.