Talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction may be embarrassing for some men, and obviously it is a delicate subject. You may be surprised to learn that 75% of ED causes are physical in nature. So what you may be most worried about may have nothing to do with the cause. Unless and until you discover the “why,” you won’t be able to focus on the “how” to fix the problem.
Start With Honesty
Many primary care physicians will refer you to a urologist, like Dr. Wierschem in Dallas, TX, who treats erectile dysfunction. So you may be seeing a physician for the first time. Come clean and tell the doctor everything. They have heard it all before, so there is really no need to feel uneasy.
Some of the important facts to relate to your doctor include the following:
- When it started
- How often it happens
- Explain if there are issues in your relationship now
- Briefly review your sexual history
- If you have had any sexually transmitted diseases
- Whether you get an erection while asleep or when masturbating
- Whether you are currently under a lot of stress or having anxiety
- Whether you feel depressed
- How much alcohol your drink on a weekly basis
- Smoking and drug use
- Rate how important your sex life is to you
It might be a good idea to write all these things down ahead of time so you won’t forget when sitting with the doctor.
Bring a list of all your medical prescriptions and all over-the-counter medications. In some cases, even prescription meds can interfere with an erection.
The Cause Leads To The Treatment
The severity of the problem and the cause determines any treatment the doctor might recommend. After blood work and tests, the cause may be apparent, or there may still be an underlying condition.
Many times the treatment may be as simple as taking a pill. Other available treatments are injections, surgical implants, or medical devices like a pump.
If Dr. Wierschem determines the cause is diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, or cardiovascular disease, these can all be treated appropriately which will most likely improve the ED symptoms. Other contributing health problems including low testosterone, chronic inflammation, and obstructive sleep apnea can also be the culprits.
ED can also be caused by medical treatments for prostate cancer such as surgery or radiation therapy. Once found, these can be overcome.
If the ED is due to anxiety, depression, or stress, Dr. Wierschem may refer you to a mental health specialist.
One Last Caution
It has been found that erectile dysfunction is linked to future cardiovascular disease. ED can predict this disease as accurately as other risk factors including smoking, family histories of heart attacks, and high cholesterol.
Regular follow up with your doctor may be beneficial to protect you from these issues later in life.