Although deciding to seek medical care for erectile dysfunction, or ED help, can feel like a nerve wracking experience, you give yourself the best chance at getting treatment by involving your doctor. Unfortunately, many men avoid medical care for this condition. In fact, only about 25% of the millions of men with ED symptoms ever seek medical assistance for their issue. Thankfully, you can calm your nerves and acquire the results you seek by approaching the appointment with purpose. Your direct approach to acquiring care will help your doctor diagnose and treat your symptoms using the least invasive options available.
For more information, check out our “Guide to Erectile Dysfunction“.
Preliminary ED Questions Before You Go
You must ask yourself a few questions before you see your doctor to determine your preferred course of treatment. These questions will help you determine your tolerance for your ED symptoms and overall treatment goals. Here are a few you should consider:
- How important is sexual intimacy to me and my partner?
- Can I happily practice an abstinent lifestyle?
- Are there any treatment alternatives I prefer?
- How would I like to approach the treatment process?
- Are there any treatment options I am not open to pursuing?
Involve your partner in this process to gain an outside perspective from someone looking out for your best interests. Encourage your partner to consider their best interests as well to see the whole picture. Once you square away your preferences, you can work toward a resolution of your erectile dysfunction symptoms with your doctor’s help.
Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor for Stronger Erections
At your appointment, your doctor will encourage you to ask questions about erectile dysfunction, in general, and the tests and treatments available for this condition. You should take full advantage of this question and answer session to better understand this difficult condition and the available paths to wellness.
The questions you should ask your doctor include:
- Do you suspect any underlying conditions as the cause of my ED?
- What is the severity of my erectile dysfunction symptoms?
- What tests will reveal the best treatment option for my ED symptoms?
- What the pros and cons of these treatment options?
- What treatment methods do you regularly employ for ED?
- Do you start with the least invasive options or follow another treatment path?
- Do I need to consider any risks or complications during the treatment process?
- What discomforts come with each treatment option, and how will those be addressed?
- Will my condition worsen without treatment?
- Are there any side effects of the treatments to consider?
- How much does treatment cost?
- What impact will treatment have on my life, and what would be the impact if I were not to seek treatment?
In addition to preparing yourself for the erectile dysfunction diagnosis and treatment process, this line of questioning will also help you gauge your doctor’s comfort and expertise levels. Do not be afraid to be completely direct with your doctor, and expect the same in return. Your doctor should relay the facts to help you make the best medical decision possible for your situation. If your doctor does not adequately answer the questions with confidence, you may want to seek a second opinion.
Diagnostic Erectile Dysfunction Tests
Your ED risk factors and symptoms will help your doctor determine the best tests to use for the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Beyond confirming the suspected ED diagnosis, the tests will also help pinpoint the severity and causes of this condition.
Common tests used for ED include:
- Complete blood count
- Metabolic panel
- Duplex ultrasound
- Rigidity measurements
- Penile biothesiometry
- Vasoactive injection
You may need to undergo one or more tests to establish a diagnosis and identify the best available treatment options. Your doctor will usually perform the blood and urine tests in office and refer you to have the remaining tests performed by a specialist or lab.
Available Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
Doctors can utilize the following treatments to mitigate or eliminate ED symptoms.
- Vacuum pump therapy
- Penile injections
- Urethral Suppositories
- Oral medications
- Implant surgery
Of all the treatment options, vacuum pump therapy carries the lowest risk of complications while offering the fastest results. Implant surgery carries the highest risks, so it is often used as a last resort after trying all of the other available treatments first.
The results of the diagnostic tests for ED will help your doctor create a suitable treatment plan for your consideration. Your overall comfort level with the available treatments will also help determine the best option to select. You will play an integral role in the selection of the best ED help for your situation.