Erectile dysfunction is not exactly the kind of thing you itch to talk about with your health-care provider. However, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a very real, legitimate, and even common health problem. Some men are tempted to simply ignore it or hope it improves on its own, but it’s a medical issue with far-reaching consequences.
ED can have a negative impact on your personal relationships, mental health, and self-esteem. What’s more, it can be a sign of a more serious condition. So you deserve to have it checked out by a doctor.
What is ED?
ED is when you have difficulty achieving and/or sustaining an erection. Here are some facts you should know about ED:
- Men of any age can get ED, but it’s more common among older men.
- ED is not regarded as a normal part of aging.
- ED is quite common. In fact, about 30 million American men have it.
- You may be more at risk of ED if you smoke, have other health conditions, are overweight, or take certain medications.
ED is also linked to mental health. A common cause for ED in young men is anxiety, such as fear of not being able to please one’s partner. ED can also cause anxiety.
Preparing Mentally for Your Doctor’s Appointment
Talking to your doctor about trouble in your sex life can get awkward. It may help to remember that your doctor is a professional who is trained to discuss difficult subjects with patients. Here are other things you should remember:
- Just like proper exercise and diet, a healthy sex life is part of healthy living in general. Seeing a doctor about ED means you want to take responsibility for and take care of your body.
- This issue affects more than you. By bringing ED up with your doctor, you’re also showing concern for the well-being of your partner.
- ED may be a sign of other, more serious health problems. So you should check in with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy even if you’re not sexually active.
Talking to Your Doctor
It may help to know what to expect during an appointment about ED. Your doctor may ask you questions related to the following:
- Your medical history
- Other medical conditions you may have
- The medication you take
- Your lifestyle, including whether you drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illicit drugs
- How you feel about your sex life, including how you rate your sexual confidence and how satisfied you feel during sex
- Whether you wake up with an erection in the morning
Try to be as honest and thorough as you can when answering your doctor’s questions. This will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. If talking about the answers to these questions makes you anxious, or if you’re afraid you’ll leave something out, make notes to bring to your appointment.
Types of Tests You Might Go Through
After discussing your condition, your doctor may conduct a few tests. These may include the following:
- A physical examination to determine your penis’ sensitivity and any abnormalities in its appearance
- Examining other areas of your body for signs of a hormonal problem, such as abnormal hair or breast growth
- Examining your blood pressure and pulse
- A blood test to rule out other causes like atherosclerosis and kidney disease
- Other tests, such as a nocturnal erection test or an injection test
You may even be referred to a urologist, which is a specialist who has completed additional training in treating the urinary tract system and the male reproductive system.
ED treatment will depend on the cause. You may have heard of medication such as sildenafil (VIAGRA®) and tadalafil (CIALIS®). These drugs increase blood flow to the penis.
- Sildenafil (VIAGRA®) can be taken as-needed, ideally one hour before engaging in sexual activity.
- Tadalafil (CIALIS®) can either be taken as-needed or daily. It can allow for more spontaneity.
Do note, however, that these drugs may not be suitable for everyone, especially people who take certain medications or who have certain conditions. These drugs are also not performance-enhancing drugs. Taking a pill alone will not give you an erection.
You can find affordable ED medication, including both brand-name CIALIS® and generic CIALIS®, right here at Canada Pharmacy Depot, which connects patients to licensed pharmacies outside the United States. Medications from other countries are often substantially cheaper due to stricter government price controls.
Other Treatment Options
If ED has psychological roots for you, such as performance anxiety, consider psychotherapy. You can attend psychotherapy with or without your partner.
Other treatment options include natural remedies, injections, vacuum devices, and hormone therapy. Surgery is usually a last resort.
Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life Afterward
Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to prioritize nurturing a healthy sex life. Remember, everybody is different, so not every solution listed here will work for you. While you’re searching for an answer, keep communication open with your partner. Your partner may feel neglected even if your feelings about them have not changed, so including them in the conversation can prevent misunderstanding.
At the end of the day, remember that just because you have ED, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fulfilling sex life or intimate relationship. There are many more ways to express intimacy. Don’t be afraid to get creative, continue living a healthy lifestyle, and maintain good communication with your partner.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.