A new study has suggested that men and women should be routinely asked during medical consultations if they have any sexual concerns.
According to British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM), this would give clinicians an early warning of other health problems, which the patient may be suffering and could also help to tackle social issues like relationship breakdown.
Geoff Hackett, a sexual health specialist at Good Hope Hospital, speaking at a BSSM briefing in central London, said erectile dysfunction is already recognised as an early warning of coronary artery issues and routinely asking men about it could help to identify people with potential heart problems.
"A lot of women and men with sexual problems do present with depression and are often treated inappropriately," the Daily Mail quoted Hackett as saying.
He said solving sexual problems "changes the life of a lot of these patients."
Partners of men he has helped often thank him for 'giving me back the man I married.
"That's life-changing for two people," he said.
Kevan Wylie, the BSSM's lead author for the new guidelines to medical staff, stressed diagnosis was not just about restoring sexual function.
He said: "If people have the opportunity to talk about this, they may say this is affecting my relationship, that's a huge issue for society as a whole, the break-up of relationships."
"The importance of sex life and sexual function to general health and well-being is not often discussed or acknowledged in our society.
"During medical consultations, both patients and doctors shy away from discussing sexual symptoms and this leads to an incomplete assessment of patients' sex lives and a failure to legitimise their needs and requests for healthy sex lives.
'Patients, especially those at high-risk of developing a sexual disorder, should be routinely asked at general health check appointments if they have any concerns," he added.
For men this might be at general health checks but women could be asked at contraceptive appointments, sexual health clinics, during smear tests or at postnatal and menopausal assessments.