Lesbians experience varying degrees of bias from their doctors, according to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.

The study of Norwegian healthcare has found that while life for gay, lesbian and bisexual patients has improved over recent decades, lesbians still face unique healthcare challenges.

While some praise their GPs, others say their doctors believe that being lesbian is actually the cause of all illnesses and complaints.

Dr Kirsti Malterud said: “The study concludes that doctors should be informed about the implications of heteronormativity and be attentive to the significance and vulnerability of disclosure.

“It is good practice to use gender-neutral language and meet new patients with an open mind towards the question of sexual orientation.

“Medical knowledge about lesbian women should include gynaecological and sexual health issues, but above all the effects of marginalisation on health, wellbeing and identity.”

The study - Lesbian Women’s Experiences with Health Care: a qualitative study - is based on the detailed histories of 128 lesbians living in Norway.