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Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction) - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor now or seek medical care right away if:

  • You have an erection that lasts longer than 3 hours.
  • You have taken sildenafil (for example, Viagra) or vardenafil (for example, Levitra) in the past 24 hours or tadalafil (for example, Cialis) in the past 48 hours, and you have chest pain. Do not take nitroglycerin. Make sure all the doctors you see know that you took one of these medicines.
  • You have erection problems that occur along with pain or difficulty with urination, fever, or pain in the lower belly.

Call a doctor if erection problems occur:

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  • With any type of injury to the back, legs, buttocks, groin, penis, or testicles.
  • With other symptoms such as loss of hair, enlargement of the breasts, or backache.
  • With any change to the medicine you take.

If your erection problem happens just now and then, there is no reason to call your doctor. If it happens often and upsets you or your partner, it is okay to call your doctor. If an erection problem doesn't bother you or your partner, you may choose not to call your doctor.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting means a "wait-and-see" approach. A single episode of an erection problem is often a temporary problem that is easy to reverse. Don't assume it will happen again. Try to forget about it, and expect a more successful experience the next time. If you or your partner is concerned about it, talk about the problem. Openly discuss your fears and anxieties.

If self-care has not helped after 2 weeks and you are concerned about your erection problem, see a doctor who has experience in dealing with these problems.

Who to see

The following health professionals can evaluate symptoms of erection problems:

If it is possible that a psychological problem is contributing to your erection problem, your doctor may refer you to a health professional such as a:

  • Psychiatrist.
  • Psychologist.
  • Certified licensed social worker.
  • Counselor with special training in sexuality or relationship problems.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 27, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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