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Home » Men's healthcare » Creating dialogues between men and their doctors

Jonny Coxon

GP Partner and Specialty Doctor in Gender Medicine; President, British Society for Sexual Medicine

This article is part of a disease awareness campaign fully funded and sponsored by Besins Healthcare UK Ltd.

General practice provides the gateway to improving male health, so men need to step up and make an appointment if they have any symptoms concerning them.

Family doctors need to be proactive and make the most of any visit from male patients because this may be the one opportunity they have to positively impact that man’s health.

Despite men representing 50% of the population, says Dr Jonny Coxon, President of the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) and a GP from Brighton, GPs can sometimes lack experience interacting with men on sensitive health issues. Men typically do not express their concerns as easily as women, so GPs need to learn that a direct approach may be needed to get them to open up.

Maintaining the connection

Communication difficulties particularly hold for intimate sexual health matters. “With sexual health, it’s helpful for GPs to think through phrases that work for them. Men can be reluctant to bring the topic up, but once given the opportunity to talk they’re grateful,” says Dr Coxon.

Financial incentives to support health services

Undoubtedly GPs need more support. Astonishingly, there are no National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on erectile dysfunction or testosterone deficiency. “If NICE issued guidance many more GPs would be prompted to automatically think about men’s health issues,” says Dr Coxon.

GPs are learning simple strategies to make men feel more comfortable, including making waiting rooms more conducive, offering telephone conversations that suit working hours and providing space for initiatives like “men sheds” where men meet to discuss health issues.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article or want more information, please talk to your doctor.

This content was originally published on 30th November 2021
BHUK/2022/228 | December 2022

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