If it's temporary and only happens occasionally, problems getting or keeping an erection aren’t cause for concern. There could be any number of reasons. It could be fatigue, stress, drinking alcohol, or even side effects of a medicine you just started taking.
But some men have a more frequent, longer lasting problem called erectile dysfunction (ED).
It’s more common in older men, but aging isn’t the cause. In nearly 75% of ED cases, there’s a physical cause. That means it’s time to see your doctor.
How Your Doctor Can Help
There are three main reasons you shouldn’t try to deal with erectile dysfunction on your own:
It can be treated: Sometimes, it’s as simple as taking a pill your doctor prescribes. There are drugs just for ED. Other options your doctor can help you explore include:
Surgical penile implants
Special devices, like vacuum pumps, which boost blood flow to the penis
It can be linked to more serious health conditions like:
High blood pressure
Hardening of the arteries
It can also be linked to other medical treatments, such as:
If your doctor can find the cause, treating that may also help you in the bedroom.
If stress, anxiety, or depression is causing it, your doctor can help you find a licensed mental health professional to talk with.
Getting Ready for Your Visit
The first thing to do is to make an appointment. If you don't want to tell the receptionist why you’re coming in, just say you want to talk to the doctor about a male health problem.
Next, make a list of information your doctor will want. It should include:
All medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, supplements, and vitamins.
Facts about your symptoms. When did they start? Did they come on slow or fast? Does it happen every time you want to have sex? Is it random? Is it only under certain circumstances?
Key personal information. Are you going through a stressful time? Have there been any major changes at home or work?
Are you drinking heavily, or using cocaine, cigarettes, or opioids?
Think about asking your partner to come along. Your partner can fill in details that you may forget or may not have thought of.