Doctor orders MPs to tell all about nocturnal habits

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You would think he was extracting the urine, if you'll pardon the expression. But Dr Howard Stoate MP wasn't joking when he surveyed his parliamentary colleagues about their toilet habits.

Dr Stoate, a practising GP and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Men's Health, wanted to draw attention to the problems of benign prostate disease. But first he had to convince the House of Commons to tell him how often they got out of bed to go to the toilet during the night.

The "waterworks" survey of 159 male and 20 female MPs found that half of the men got up to urinate at least once a night compared with 35 per cent of women MPs. Of those aged between 50 and 59, 61 per cent of male MPs got up at least once and 13 per cent were up twice or more. In the over-60s group, 74 per cent of male MPs got up at least once while 26 per cent had to go twice.

Now Dr Stoate is warning some colleagues they could well be suffering from prostate disease and should see their doctors. He said: "I understand why benign prostate disease is described as a 'cinderfella' problem. Too many men are leading miserable lives because they know too little about this disease. "

A number of MPs have supported an early day motion welcoming the publication of Dr Stoate's report Out of the Water Closet – It's Time to Tackle Benign Prostate Disease.

A serious issue it may be, but a detailed inquiry into each other's bodily functions is hardly what you'd expect MPs to be up to. Don't they know there's a war on?