The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology said Tuesday that its members could treat male patients for sexually transmitted infections and screen them for anal cancer, The New York Times reports.
The announcement is a change to restrictions issued in September, which said gynecologists could lose their board certification if they treated male patients.
The original rule was to keep gynecology as a female specialty and limit non-gynecological work by the board’s members.
However, the restrictions did not allow gynecologists to screen men who were at high risk for anal cancer, leaving many trying to find other specialists to treat their male patients.
Patient advocates expressed concern that the original limitations would hinder research and make it difficult for males to find screening and treatment.