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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Erectile Dysfunction Evaluation: What to Expect

If you have made an appointment to see your doctor about erectile problems, you have taken the hardest step. Now, you need to make the most of your medical evaluation so that you receive the right treatment. It helps to know what to expect and what your physician will ask of you in order to make an accurate diagnosis. 

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, has multiple causes. Even if you suspect the reason in your case, your doctor needs to do a thorough assessment. The exam entails asking you many questions about your sex life, erectile function, and overall men's health. As the questions are quite personal, you may want to prepare for the most likely ones. Expect to explain in detail when you noticed your erectile problems and whether the onset was sudden or gradual. You will also need to describe exactly what is occurring and whether it coincides with a particular situation.

In addition to questions, your doctor will take a thorough medical history. You will want to have information handy about any medical conditions, their diagnosis and treatment, and surgery dates. If you have copies of records or prescriptions from another doctor, bring those along. You should also be prepared to discuss overall health such as sleep, diet, and exercise habits.
Typical evaluation questions include:
  • The nature and onset of your erectile problems
  • When and how you achieve erections
  • Whether sex is painful
  • Past and present medical conditions
  • Medications and supplements taken regularly
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine intake
  • Drug use including overuse of prescription drugs
As psychological factors can cause or exacerbate ED, your doctor will ask you screening questions. Be prepared to discuss these topics:
  • Mood changes such as anxiety or depression
  • Stressful personal situations
  • If in a stable relationship, issues such as tension or a partner’s sexual problems
  • Whether you can achieve erections on your own
  • Spontaneous morning erections
  • Premature ejaculation
In addition, your doctor will perform a physical exam to check for physiological issues. The evaluation typically includes penile nerve function and circulation, structural abnormalities such as a curved penis, and a prostate exam. You will likely be asked questions to help determine whether your testosterone levels are low. For example, your doctor may inquire whether your sex drive has changed.

Some men have a silent medical condition, such as early diabetes or high blood pressure, that is causing ED. If you have not had a recent health screening, your doctor may order lab work in addition to taking your blood pressure. As lab results are critical to treatment, take the tests as soon as possible and follow all preparation instructions.

Talking about ED is never pleasant, but seeking medical help is a smart move. By knowing what to expect at your evaluation, you can better partner with your doctor to regain a satisfying sex life.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 12:27 AM

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