Doctors should quiz men who struggle to get an erection in bed if they are actually gay, according to new guidelines.
Some 100,000 Britons are estimated to be ‘wrestling’ with their sexuality – which is causing them to fail to rise to the occasion and perform when it matters.
A new 28-page report, by the British Society for Sexual Medicine, has been dished out to GPs to ask them about their sexual orientation.
But the move has received backlash from the Royal College of GPs, which warns it is ‘difficult’ to see why doctors need to ask if their patients are gay.
The new BSSM report reads: ‘There can no longer be an excuse for avoiding discussions about sexual activity due to embarrassment.
Some 100,000 Britons are estimated to be ‘wrestling’ with their sexuality – which is causing them to be unable to perform when it matters
Geoff Hackett, former president of the BSSM and consultant urologist at the Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, is the author of the report.
What did the author say?
According to The Sun, he said: ‘Some people can be wrestling with their sexuality and need to be pointed in the right direction.
‘This may be your one and only chance as a doctor to do so.
‘If a man is in a relationship with a woman and is having problems with erectile dysfunction it might be because they are in a relationship with the wrong gender.’
He continued: ‘They might be able to overcome their issue if they come to terms with this.
‘If you do not get at this problem you will waste a lot of time and ineffective treatment going down the wrong path.’
WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection.
It is a very common condition, particularly in older men.
Half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree, experts suggest.
Erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes, both physical (such as the narrowing blood vessels) and psychological (depression).
It is primarily treated by tackling the cause of the problem, whether this is physical or psychological.
Source: NHS Choices
However, Dr Hackett warned that doctors need to be ‘tactful so you do not cause offence’.
What do critics say?
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, from the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘There are many reasons for erectile dysfunction.
‘It is essential patients have the safe space to discuss issues with their GP, whenever they choose to and in their own time.
‘But it is difficult to see how asking all patients unsolicited and impromptu questions about their sexuality is going to instil confidence and trust.’
Erection problems, including impotence, strike around half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70, according to figures.
Most men occasionally fail to get or keep an erection. This is usually due to stress, tiredness, anxiety or drinking too much alcohol.
Doctors say it is usually nothing to worry about – but recommends patients should see a GP if it keeps happening. It can be linked to heart disease.
‘Ask all patients if they are gay’
The guidelines given to GPs by the BSSM comes after the hugely controversial NHS decision to ask all patients if they are gay.
NHS England bosses received huge backlash in October when they announced the plans, set to be implemented in 2019.
Every patient visiting their GP or attending a hospital appointment will be asked if they are gay, straight or bisexual under the new rules.
Furious doctors have branded the move as being ‘political correctness gone mad’, while others blasted it ‘intrusive’ and ‘bonkers’.