Even though erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual complaint among men, and the marketing of oral medications to treat erectile dysfunction (like Viagra) has made it a topic discussed on news programs and TV sit-coms, if you're experiencing difficulty with erections, or think you have erectile dysfunction, knowing where to turn for help can be a challenge. And even if you know where to turn, an equal or greater challenge can be actually asking for help when it's a topic that can feel embarrassing or shameful.
It's important to start by understanding the difference between expected erectile difficulties that everyone with a penis will experience, and the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Because erectile dysfunction is known to be an early warning sign for other potentially serious health problems; your body's way of saying something is not quite right with the system, it is highly recommended that the first place you go for help is your doctor. Talking with your doctor may or may not help you with your erection problems, but they will be able to rule out other causes, and provide important information for you to have if you choose to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction.
If you are in a relationship talking with your partner will be another important part of getting help. Often when one person in a relationship stops being able to get erections, the other person blames themselves. If you think you are eventually going to want to ask for help with erectile dysfunction, home may be the place to start. For others it might be the last place they want to start, which is okay too. If you don't have a partner or don't feel ready to talk to them yet, there are other people and places to turn for erectile dysfunction help.Sex therapists are trained to diagnose and treat sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction, and they are an appropriate place to start looking for help with erectile dysfunction. They will almost certainly want you to have a physical exam, but they will also be able to talk you through myths and facts about ED, what some of the common causes of erectile dysfunction are, as well as your treatment options. Depending on your particular situation, talk sex therapy may provide an effective treatment, or it may be part of an overall approach that includes other forms of treatment.