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Discussing Erectile Dysfunction With Your Doctor


Getting Ready to See a Doctor About ED

The first thing to keep in mind is there is no reason to be anxious about talking about erection problems with your doctor. ED is a common male health issue, and doctors routinely treat men for erectile dysfunction. The first thing to do is to make an appointment. If you don't want to tell the receptionist at the appointment desk about why you want to come in, you can say you want to talk to the doctor about a male health issue.

The next thing to do is to make a list of information the doctor will want when he talks to you. The list should include:

  • All medications that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, supplements, and vitamins.
  • Relevant facts about your ED symptoms. For instance, when did symptoms begin? Did it come on gradually or was it sudden? Does it happen every time you want to have sex or does it occur randomly or only under certain circumstances?
  • Key personal information. For instance, have there been recent stresses in your life? Have there been any major changes, such as losing a job or getting a new one, moving, or a change in responsibility either at home or at work?
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor. See the next section for a list of questions to ask.

Consider asking your partner to come along with you to see the doctor. Your partner can help by filling in information that you may forget or may not have thought of. Your partner can also ask questions to clarify what the doctor means and help you remember later what the doctor says. But most important is that the doctor can help your partner understand what erectile dysfunction is, which can help you reassure your partner that you still want an intimate relationship.


Questions to Ask the Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction

Here are questions you should ask the doctor about erectile dysfunction:

  • What could be causing my problem with erections?
  • Are my symptoms likely to be chronic or only temporary?
  • Can my ED be treated?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What if the treatments don't work?
  • Will I need to see a specialist?
  • Will my insurance cover the treatment and medications?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I can make that will help?
  • Do you have any printed information I can read to learn more, or are there reliable web sites where I can get more information?


What Will Happen at the Doctor's Office?

Some men are afraid to bring the subject of ED up once they're in the doctor's office. The best approach is to be straight forward and simply say, "I think I may have ED." It's very unlikely that your doctor is going to be shocked or embarrassed by that. If, however, it does appear as the conversation proceeds that your doctor isn't comfortable talking about sexual issues with you, ask if the doctor can refer you to a urologist.

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