How To Talk To Your Doctor About ED

doctor with arms folded around chest(BlackDoctor.org) — Talking about ED can be difficult. When you meet with your doctor, you might use a phrase like “I’ve been having problems in the bedroom” or “I’ve been having erection problems.” Remember that a healthy sex life is part of a healthy life. Don’t feel embarrassed about seeking help. ED is a medical problem, and your doctor treats medical problems every day.

If talking with your doctor doesn’t put you at ease, ask for a referral to another doctor. Your doctor may send you to an urologist—a doctor who specializes in sexual and urologic problems.

Your partner may want to come with you to see the doctor. Many doctors say ED is easier to treat when both partners are involved.

To find the cause of your ED, your doctor will take a complete medical history and do a physical exam.

Medical History

Your doctor will ask general questions about your health, as well as specific questions about your erection problems and your relationship with your partner. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or bring them with you to show to your doctor. Tell your doctor about any surgery you have had.

Your doctor will ask about habits like alcohol use, smoking, and exercise.

Your doctor might ask you questions like

• How do you rate your confidence that you can get and keep an erection?
• When you have erections with sexual stimulation, how often are your erections hard enough for penetration?
• During sexual intercourse, how often are you able to maintain your erection after penetration?
• When you attempt sexual intercourse, how often is it satisfactory for you?
• How would you rate your level of sexual desire?
• How often are you able to reach climax and ejaculate?
• Do you have an erection when you wake up in the morning?

The answers to these questions will help your doctor understand the problem.

Physical Exam

A physical exam can help your doctor find the cause of your ED. As part of the exam, the doctor will examine your tests and penis, take your blood pressure, and check your reflexes. A blood sample will be taken to test for diabetes, cholesterol level, and other conditions that may be associated with ED.

How is erectile dysfunction treated?

Your doctor can offer a number of treatments for ED. You may want to talk with your partner about which treatment fits best as a couple. Most people want the simplest treatment possible. You may need to try a number of treatments before you find the one that works best for you.

Lifestyle Changes

For some men, getting more exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight, and cutting back on alcohol may solve erection problems.

Counseling

Even though most cases of ED have a physical cause, counseling can help couples deal with the emotional effects. Some couples find that counseling adds to the medical treatment by making their relationship stronger.

Oral Medicines

Since 1998, doctors have been able to prescribe a pill to treat ED. Current brands include Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. If your health is generally good, your doctor may prescribe one of these drugs. You should not take any of these pills to treat ED if you take any nitrates, a type of heart medicine. All ED pills work by increasing blood flow to the penis. They do not cause automatic erections. Talk with your doctor about when to take the pill. You may need to experiment to find out how soon the pill takes effect.

Even if taking a pill solves your erection problem, you should still take care of the other health issues that may have caused your ED.

Injections

Taking a pill doesn’t work for everybody. Many men use medicines that go directly into the penis. Caverject and Edex are injected into the shaft of the penis with a needle. MUSE is a tiny pill inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis. These medicines usually cause an erection within minutes. These medicines can be very successful, even if other treatments fail.

Injections

Taking a pill
doesn’t work for everybody. Many men use medicines that go directly into
the penis. Caverject and Edex are injected into the shaft of the penis
with a needle. MUSE is a tiny pill inserted into the urethra at the tip
of the penis. These medicines usually cause an erection within minutes.
These medicines can be very successful, even if other treatments fail.

Penile Implant

If
the other options fail, some men need surgery to treat ED. A surgeon
can implant a device that inflates or unbends to create an erection.
Implanted devices do not interfere with the way sex feels.

Penile
implant operations cannot be reversed. Once a man has a penile implant,
he must use the device to have an erection. Talk with your doctor about
the pros and cons of having a penile implant.

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