Discussing Erectile Dysfunction With Your Doctor
What to Ask
You’ll want answers to these questions before you leave:
- What’s causing my ED?
- Are my symptoms long-term or temporary?
- Can my ED be treated?
- What are the treatment options?
- What if they don't work?
- Will I need to see a specialist?
- What will my insurance cover?
- Can I make lifestyle changes that will help?
- Where I can get more information?
What Happens at the Doctor's Office?
Worried about discussing your problem? The best approach is just to say, "I think I may have ED." It's unlikely your doctor will feel uncomfortable.
If he has trouble talking about sexual issues with you, ask him to refer you to a urologist.
The doctor will start by asking about your medical history. He’ll do this to learn more about your symptoms, conditions, and what medicines you’re taking.
The questions may seem personal. But it's important to answer them fully and honestly. The doctor needs this information to know how to treat you.
The questions may include:
- Do you ever get an erection?
- If you do, is it firm enough to have sex?
- If you do start to have sex, do you then lose the erection? Does it ever come back?
- Can you get an erection by masturbation?
- Do you ever wake up with an erection?
The doctor will ask if you smoke, how much alcohol you drink, and whether or not you use recreational drugs. Then he’ll do a physical exam. This will include your penis and prostate. The doctor may also do blood and other lab tests to check for things like diabetes or heart disease.
If you need more tests, he may send you to an urologist. When you see the urologist, ask the same questions you asked your doctor. Expect him to ask questions close to the ones your doctor asked you.
The urologist will ask what happens when you have sex. This will help him know where to start. He’ll use your answers to track your progress.
He’ll ask more questions about your health and give you a physical exam. You may have to have more blood work, an ultrasound, or take part in a sleep study.
It may feel awkward at first to talk with your doctor about ED. But starting the conversation is well worth it.