Having trouble getting or maintaining an erection is not an uncommon problem, but that still doesn’t make it any easier to talk about. Let’s face it--it’s not a topic that normally comes up in everyday conversation! Many men are hesitant to discuss symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) with their doctor because they feel embarrassed or just don’t know what to say. While it may feel a little awkward, it is important to discuss symptoms of ED with your doctor so that they can rule out any underlying medical issues and determine the best course of treatment.
If you are worried about your erectile dysfunction symptoms, but don’t quite know how to get the conversation started with your doctor, here are some helpful hints that can help you feel more comfortable.
Do Your Research
There is a lot of information out there about erectile dysfunction and the treatment options that are available. First of all, make sure that you are getting your information from a reputable source, such as www.mayoclinic.org or www.health.harvard.edu. Completing this research will show just how common this issue is for men. In fact, about one-half of American men older than 40 have experienced difficulty with erections. You can also gather information on underlying conditions that can contribute to ED and medications that can be related as well.
Track Your Symptoms
In addition to a detailed medical history and information about any medications that you may be taking, your doctor will want to know details about how long you have been experiencing symptoms and how often your symptoms occur. Writing everything down or keeping a log of your symptoms to bring to your visit with the doctor will help ensure that you don’t forget any important information.
Read More: 7 Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Provide Your Medical History
Erectile dysfunction is often related to other medical conditions, such as heart disease, stress, or medication use. Providing a detailed medical history can help your physician evaluate any underlying issues that may be contributing to your symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment. Being open and honest about your medical history, including smoking and alcohol or drug use, will help guide your doctor in choosing the most appropriate course of action.
Write Down Questions
Have you ever had an issue that you wanted to discuss with your doctor, but then after you get home from your visit, you realize you forgot to ask half the questions that you had been wondering about? Write them down! You may come up with questions while you are doing your research or going through your symptom log. Jot down some notes and make sure to take it with you for your appointment so you won’t forget anything important.
Breaking the Ice
Many doctors will ask about ED symptoms as part of the medical history, but if not, make sure to bring it up during your visit. Thinking about what you want to say beforehand can help. It can be something as simple as “I’m having trouble with erections,” or “I’m having issues in the bedroom”. Your doctor should be able to guide the conversation from there. Primary care physicians are usually well-versed in evaluation and treatment of erectile dysfunction, but if you prefer, you could see a urologist, who specializes in this area and is very accustomed to talking about ED.
Without a doubt, deciding to discuss ED with a physician is no small decision. By researching and tracking your symptoms, jotting down questions, going over your medical history, and seeking the right doctor, you should hopefully feel more at ease when initiating the discussion with a physician to get the treatment you need.