GPs 'should talk more about sex'

Doctors should routinely ask their patients during medical consultations if they have any sexual concerns, the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) said yesterday, as the question could give clinicians an early warning of other health problems which the patient may be suffering but could also help to tackle social issues like relationship breakdown.

Dr Geoff Hackett, a sexual health specialist at Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, said savings could be made where patients are at the moment inappropriately prescribed sometimes expensive drugs which do not effectively tackle their problem.

More than half of patients taking Viagra found it did not solve their problems adequately, he said, adding that low testosterone was the main problem for one in 10 men suffering erectile dysfunction and drugs such as Viagra had no effect if taken alone.