Many people with erectile dysfunction don’t want to talk to their doctor about it because they are embarrassed. They would rather dismiss erectile dysfunction as something that is not important. But erectile dysfunction can have a large impact on people’s lives, and usually is easily treatable with a proper diagnosis.
Effects of ED on Relationships
Erectile dysfunction doesn’t just affect one person, it affects their relationship with their partner. When a person experiences erectile dysfunction, it can affect their self‑esteem, leading to depression or anxiety. This, in turn, can lead to a person avoiding sexual situations with their partner. The lack of physical intimacy often leads to a lack of emotional intimacy as well, since people usually want to avoid talking about the subject.
These problems can be worked out through communication. By having an open and honest conversation with one’s partner, emotional intimacy can be restored in the relationship, even when they are searching for solutions for physical intimacy.
ED Can be a Sign of Something More Serious
Erectile dysfunction can also be a sign of a serious medical condition. Because the nerves and blood vessels triggering erection are so delicate, if a person has a disease that affects their vascular system or nervous system, such as heart disease or Parkinson’s, erectile dysfunction will often be one of the early symptoms.
By knowing the exact cause of the erectile dysfunction, a doctor can help find a better solution. The causes are not always serious. Erectile dysfunction can be a normal side effect of many medications, in which case a doctor can prescribe a lower dose or an alternate medication. There may also be some simple lifestyle changes that a person can make, such as cutting back on alcohol and getting more exercise.
If possible, it’s a good idea for both partners to attend the consultation with the doctor so they can both be informed. This will make it easier for partners to communicate throughout the process of finding a solution.
Find a comfortable way to bring up the subject. People are often uncomfortable talking about erectile dysfunction because it is not something they discuss often. When making the appointment, it is okay for a person to simply say they have a “sexual health concern” or a “male health issue.” Once the conversation begins and people become more familiar with the topic, their discomfort usually goes away.
Discussing Your Concerns with a Doctor
At the doctor’s office, it is important to always be honest and provide as much information as possible so the doctor can give the most accurate diagnosis. Be prepared to talk about the symptoms in detail, including when they first started occurring, whether it began suddenly or slowly developed over time and how often it happens.
In addition to information about the symptoms, people experiencing erectile dysfunction should be prepared to discuss their medical information and personal information with their doctor. Medical information would include any medications they are taking and any other symptoms or health problems they have noticed. Personal information would include lifestyle activities such as whether they smoke or drink, how much physical activity they do, and if they have been feeling anxious or depressed recently.
The doctor will also likely perform a physical exam and possibly blood tests to rule out certain conditions or diseases that could lead to erectile dysfunction.
People discussing erectile dysfunction with their doctor should come prepared with questions of their own for the doctor to answer over the course of the meeting. Some possible questions are:
- Is this normal for my age?
- Could erection problems be a sign of an underlying condition?
- Is this a physical or psychological problem?
- What are the treatment options?
- What should we do if the first option doesn’t work?
- Is this likely to be chronic or temporary?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to improve the quality of my erections?
- Do I need to see an urologist or other specialist?
It is important to be able to discuss the issue comfortably. If a doctor does not make the patient feel comfortable, for whatever reason, then that patient should consider finding a different doctor who they would be comfortable having this conversation with.
For more information about erectile dysfunction, including the possible causes and treatments, explore the various eBooks and other blog posts available from Rejoyn Medical Systems, Inc.