If you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed talking to your doctor about your erectile dysfunction you are not alone. Many men, around 30 million in the United States alone, find it difficult to talk about something so intimate and personal – even to their doctor.
Society has played a large part in making it difficult for men to discuss certain types of health problems, ED being one of them. The unrealistic and unfair perception that a man’s worth lies in his virility is one of the biggest barriers for many men to seek treatment. Their shame and embarrassment causes them to hide the problem and avoid situations where it may become evident.
We get it. It’s hard to talk about these things. But it is an important conversation that you need to have with your healthcare provider. Your life could depend on it.
Why should you talk to your doctor about ED?
Sexual performance is often one of the first things people think about when they hear “erectile dysfunction.” However, there is more to it – a lot more.
Common causes of ED include stress, anxiety, nervousness, certain medications, too much alcohol, and just plain being tired. Sometimes though it can point to a more serious condition.
If you notice that you have ED, more than about 25% of the time then talking to your doctor about it is imperative. There are several health conditions that can contribute to our cause ED, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hormonal disorders, or nerve damage. It could be your body telling you that something is wrong.
If you already have a diagnosis of another health condition, that leaves a natural opening for a discussion with your physician about your erection problems.
Aside from the health issues, only a doctor can evaluate your health and diagnose any medical issues. It is a doctor who performs diagnostic testing to identify the root of the problem and if medical intervention such as medication or surgery is needed, only a doctor can do these things. In other words, your doctor is your first step in getting help for your ED.
How to start the conversation
Mustering up the courage to talk about ED isn’t easy. However, it is important. Try planning your conversation, thinking ahead about what you want to ask. If it helps, make a list or write down your concerns and questions.
And if speaking the words is just too uncomfortable, it’s OK to simply hand them your written questions and concerns. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make the conversation easier and more comfortable.
If your physician has a patient portal that allows you to send messages, it may be easier for you to open the conversation that way.
Do what makes you comfortable, but don’t ignore the issue. This is your health. The effects of ED are not just physical or physiological. They are psychological as well. ED can affect every part of your life, including work and relationships. Don’t put it off.
If you are struggling to find a good opener, try something like “I have been having problems in the bedroom” or something more direct like “I have been having problems with my erection.” What is important to keep in mind is that ED is a medical issue. It’s your doctor’s job to treat your medical issues. Your doctor is your partner in ensuring that you are healthy so let them help you. And even if your ED is not part of another more serious conditions, a satisfying sex life is still a part of being healthy.
Questions to ask your doctor about your ED
As you prepare for your appointment you should be thinking about questions you want to ask. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to or cause ED. Treatments may vary depending on the cause of the condition or your own body chemistry.
The questions here are a good place to start, but you may have your own questions as well. Jot them down and have them ready when you sit down with your doctor.
- What could be the cause of my ED?
- Could any of my medications be causing my ED? (bring a list of any prescription medications, over the counter medications, and supplements – including vitamins – that you are taking)
- Can my ED be treated?
- What treatment options are available to me?
- Are there any changes I could make to my lifestyle that would help?
- Do I need medication?
- What are the potential side effects of ED medication?
- Are there other drug free, non-invasive treatments available to me?
- Will my insurance cover my treatment?
Include your intimate partner in the conversation.
If you have an intimate partner, you may want to ask your doctor to talk to them so that they can better understand your condition and treatment options. Bringing them into the conversation can help make it easier for you to seek treatment and get the help that you need. It will also give them the tools they need to provide support for you as you work through this difficult health problem. Yes, ED is a health problem just like any other health problem.
If your relationship with your partner is a close, loving one they will naturally want to help you and give you the support you need because they care about you. And when it comes to your health, support is important.
Talking about something as personal as erectile dysfunction is hard, but it doesn’t have to be something you are ashamed of. Your doctor needs you to be open and honest so that he or she can provide you with the best care possible. If you are having problems with your erection and you’ve been reluctant to talk to your doctor, let today be the day that you step up and do something good for yourself. Let today be the day that you take a major step in improving your health and mental wellbeing. You deserve it.
At ARC Men’s Health we offer a drug free, needle free, surgery free treatment for ED. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn about our acoustic wave therapy that is helping hundreds of men overcome their erectile dysfunction. Let us be part of your success story too.