#41 Dawn of the Nurse Practitioner

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“Remember, lubrication is your friend.” Jessica Tsang — founder Direct Health Solutions.

I’m a family nurse practitioner.  Most people don’t know what that is, but it’s an RN (Registered Nurse) with a minimum 5 years experience, who in then has a Masters Degree.  It’s the postmaster's diploma that qualifies someone to become a Nurse Practitioner.

I choose to work with certain groups that feel misunderstood.  I work for example with a lot of polyamorous individuals.  I provide them nonjudgemental sexually transmitted infections (STI) screens as well as sexual education because there are a lot of myths about sexual health.  I say do what you want in your relationships if it brings you happiness, I just want to make sure that people are physically safe.  

I find that a lot of people don’t realize that most STI’s are asymptomatic and as a result, they don’t understand the frequency that they need to be tested.  In order for everyone to be playing safely there are certain things you should be doing: wear condoms; toys need to be cleaned before sharing; get tested regularly — that can depend on how many partners you’re having, traditionally speaking get tested with every new partner; a very active person would be tested every three to four months.  Most important is being screened for gonorrhea;  chlamydia; HIV; hepatitis & syphilis.

There are so many people who are uncomfortable with the topic of seniors having intercourse.  I really enjoy talking with seniors and post-menopausal women about sexual health.  One question I ask women does it hurt when you’re having intercourse.  It’s actually not normal and if it does hurt we can do something about that.  Most women are super happy someone actually asks the question; most are shocked that it’s not normal for them to be in pain.  I feel that we can make the relationship better by making sure women are having a pleasurable experience instead of a painful one.  Remember, lubrication is your friend.

One major unknown is that STI’s are rampant in senior’s residences.  Because the risk of getting pregnant is gone many seniors don’t see the need to use condoms, but that only increased the risk of STI’s. Sex is good for you physically, it’s good for you emotionally, and good for your relationship, so why let age be a barrier.

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Chris Kennedy