Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common issues in men’s health.
But, regardless of how common it is, many men may still feel uncomfortable discussing ED with their doctor, or not quite know how to start the conversation.
Considering that ED can take a toll on your relationships, confidence, and self-esteem, delaying the conversation should not be an option.
Read on for six of the biggest signs that you should have the ED conversation with a healthcare provider to get some advice, tips, or treatments.
You are unable to get an erection
Not being able to get an erection at all or not being able to achieve one that is strong enough it one of the main symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
It is normal to on rare occasions not be able to get an erection, but if it seems to be much of the time, or this is something new for you, it may be worth reaching out to a doctor to have everything checked out.
You have trouble maintaining an erection
Getting everything going fine, but then not being able to maintain an erection is another big red flag for ED.
As men age, it is normal for erections to progressively become shorter, but if this is a new development, or came on suddenly, it is possible that this is ED.
In general, you want to aim for an erection that lasts long enough to sufficiently conclude intercourse, so if this is a length of time that is commonly a struggle for you, it is time to have the ED conversation.
Your partner has talked to you about it
If your ED issues are becoming the norm instead of a one-off bad night, it can be frustrating for both you and your partner.
Partners may avoid discussing the issue in order to not hurt your feeling or make you feel embarrassed, but some partners may express concern or urge you to bring the issue up to your doctor.
In your relationship, you likely want your partner to feel satisfied, so if they are talking about the ED issues, it may be a good idea to speak with a medical professional about options.
You may even want to bring your significant other along for the doctor’s visit so that you can learn about the options together.
It developed rapidly
When ED develops rapidly, it can be a sign of a medical condition beginning or worsening.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, low testosterone, atherosclerosis, depression, high stress, smoking, and excess alcohol use can all contribute to ED.
If your ED symptoms seemed to come out of nowhere, you should speak with a doctor to ensure that nothing else may be going on that is putting a damper on your sex life.
If you do have a chronic medical condition that is contributing to your ED, often if you treat the condition and add in lifestyle changes to improve your health, your ED may improve as well.
You started a new medication
Certain medications can have the side effect of contributing to or worsening ED or normal sexual functioning.
If you have recently started a new medication, and it coincided with the time you started noticing your ED symptoms, you may want to speak with your doctor or pharmacist to see if sexual side effects are common with what you are taking.
Once your doctor has identified that a medication may be the source of your sexual issues, they may be able to switch you to a similar medication that has less or no sexual side effects, or adjust your dose to help resolve your sexual issues.
Even if you do identify that a medication you are taking can have sexual side effects, you should never stop a medication or adjust your dose on your own without talking to your doctor first.
ED symptoms are bothering you
This should be the number one reason that leads you to speak with a medical professional about your sexual issues.
Being unhappy in your sex life can lead to frustration, depression, relationship issues, and low self-esteem, so making sure that you get the help you need is important.
You deserve to feel good about yourself, your relationship, and your performance, so having 1 quick talk with your doctor is definitely worth it.
Your doctor can help you identify if your ED symptoms are stemming from a mental, stress-related, or physical issue and may recommend solutions like sex therapy, lifestyle changes, or medications like Sildenafil or Tadalafil.
Having that ED conversation may feel uncomfortable, but making sure that you are happy with your sex life and relationship is important to your mental and physical health.
If you are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection, your partner has mentioned your sexual issues, the problems developed quickly, you started a new medication, or the symptoms are bothering you, it is a sign that you should reach out for medical advice.