No doubt about it, talking about sex with your bedroom partner is tough enough as it is, much less doing so with your doctor during an office visit. But if you’re having sexual health issues, or you just have a question, it’s imperative you speak up.

Pamela Wible, MD, a family physician in Eugene, Oregon, theorizes that many doctors and patients are afraid of creating a closer bond. “Intimacy means in-to-me-see,” she writes in her blog. “When doctors fear patients, patients fear doctors. Fear begets fear.”

But fears can be overcome, especially if you create a plan of action, according to health care experts. Prepare for your doctor visit by researching your issues and writing down your questions or concerns. Once you’re at the office, tell the intake attendant about the issues you wish to discuss with the doctor. This advanced notice is an effective way to prepare your doc to listen to what you have to say.

Also, don’t be concerned about being judged. In general, doctors have seen and heard it all. Still, if your doc responds to your questions or concerns in a judgmental way or makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, consider finding another health professional with whom you feel a better rapport.

Says Wible, “I’m nonjudgmental and accepting, so patients allow me to see who they really are. That’s healthy. And fun.”

But if you’re not interested in having fun at your health care visit, that’s OK too. The idea is just to feel comfortable enough with your doctor to confidently ask for the answers you need to your sexual health questions.