Urologist, sexologist, andrologist, or cardiologist – there are many medical specialists who can diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Sometimes it is after only 2-3 visits at a doctor’s office that a solution to the problem a man has been struggling with for a long time can be found. Therefore, it is worth consulting a doctor as soon as you see the first symptoms of some sexual disorders.
Sexual dysfunctions are still considered a taboo, while sexual performance is a synonym of masculinity. This discourages men from seeking help from specialists and they do not undergo any treatment at all or they just reach for over-the-counter dietary supplements. What is worse, they also buy black market preparations which have no proven therapeutic effects, but can pose a serious risk to their health and life. It is not only embarrassment that is a barrier in seeking specialist help, but also just a lack of knowledge about who to see for the problem. Men often wonder what types of doctors treat ED.
It is worth seeking help from specialists though, as problems with erection will not go away on their own and it turns out that just 2-3 visits at a proper doctor may bring desirable effects.
Read also: Natural aphrodisiacs for men
Men’s health doctor – start from your GP
First of all, it is worth telling about your problem to your GP, who can recommend local doctors treating problems with erection. The GP alone may turn out very helpful, as erectile dysfunction very often stem from developing systemic diseases and may be the first symptom allowing them to diagnose such diseases. For example, ED may precede an imminent heart attack. General practitioner may, then, order basic diagnostic tests to rule out such diseases as:
- arterial hypertension,
- liver diseases,
- kidney diseases,
- multiple sclerosis,
- neurological disorders.
It is worth telling your GP about your intimate problem also because it is mostly a GP who prescribes medications for chronic diseases, the side effect of which may very often be erectile dysfunction. The disorder may occur during the use of preparations for cardiac, vascular, or antidepressant treatment.
Erectile dysfunction is also very frequently caused by an inappropriate lifestyle, so sometimes it is enough to change it to achieve the desirable effect. In such a situation, a GP can recommend giving up smoking, reducing the consumption of strong alcoholic beverages, losing weight, changing dietary habits, and introducing large amounts of vegetables, fruit, wholegrain products, lean dairy products, meat, and fish. The GP may also suggest regular physical exercise, at least half an hour per day. If those changes are ineffective, other causes of erectile dysfunction should be sought.
Men’s health doctor – urologist
Diseases of the urinary and reproductive system are the main point of interest for an urologist, but remember that urology is only concerned with physiological causes of male impotence. Visit at the specialist involves an interview, a visual check of lesions and, in some cases, a per rectal examination. An urologist may also perform an ultrasound scan of the testicles and the pelvic blood vessels, which may help diagnose improper blood supply to the cavernous bodies of the penis.
Men’s health doctor – andrologist
Problems with erection, as well as associated hormonal disorders, can be dealt with by an andrologist. It is worth consulting an andrologist not only when you have health issues concerning your sexual life, but also when:
- your semen test results are below reference values,
- you have fertility problems,
- you have a reduced level of male sex hormones,
- you have a history of inflammation or injuries of your reproductive parts,
- you have used or are using anabolic steroids and have problems with erection,
- you are or have been chronically exposed to ionizing radiation or harmful chemical substances,
- you have functional or developmental disorders of the reproductive system that are not directly associated with the urinary system,
- you have genetic, vascular, or endocrinological dysfunctions,
- you are undergoing andropause.
During an appointment, the doctor will conduct an interview, examine your reproductive organs, and order diagnostic tests, including general tests, a hormone level test (testosterone, prolactin, or thyroid hormones), and an ultrasound scan.
Erectile dysfunction – a sexologist
A list of problems you can see a sexologist for is long. They include:
- libido disorders,
- orgasm disorders,
- lack of erection or premature ejaculation,
- sexual aversion,
- no pleasure from sex.
In contrast to doctors of other specializations, a sexologist is not only interested in the physiological aspects of human sexual life, but also mental aspects. It is extremely important, especially for young men with erectile dysfunction, in whom most problems stem from psychological factors. In a purely psychological problem, the erection mechanism is blocked regardless of whether there have been any physical injuries or organic diseases. That is why, the lack of erection may affect even a young and healthy male.
Psychogenic potency problems may result from:
- the fear of specific situations, e.g. HIV, unwanted pregnancy,
- complexes, low self-esteem, the fear of embarrassment – often because of a one-time failure,
- hidden and denied homosexual preferences,
- relationship disagreements, e.g. frequent quarrels, overprotective attitude of the partner, excessive control, criticism, lack of trust, hidden grudges, infidelity, monotonous sexual life.
A sexologist will explain in detail the causes of the problems and will help find a solution. The doctor may order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, refer for a psychotherapy or for an extended consultation with an urologist, andrologist, cardiologist, diabetologist, or a psychiatrist.
Erectile dysfunction – a therapy needed
A psychotherapy for such disorders always starts with a detailed interview. Several psychotests need to be filled out and standard questions answered. The partner is also very often engaged in the therapeutic process, as they can help the man to feel more comfortable and be more open during sessions. Honest conversation about problems strengthens their mutual relations. Therefore, psychotherapy can be and often should be combined with other – pharmacological – treatment methods.
The main goal of psychotherapy is restoring sexual performance of a man by finding the root cause of the disorders. It is important for a man to open up because this is the only way to overcome barriers, resolve internal conflicts, and break the defective mechanisms of behaviour and reactions to situations related to erectile dysfunction.
Such a therapy is also aimed at restoring self-esteem and forming reasonable expectations towards a sexual life. The treatment is divided into consecutive milestones allowing comprehensive approach and elimination of the problem. The therapist will inform you about the disorder, outline the entire treatment process, and work with you to eliminate fears concerning sex and sexual behaviours, while defective schemes and destructive beliefs will be modified.
Furthermore, you will learn how to solve problems in your relationship constructively and how to deepen your relations and mutual trust. The final stage of a potency problem therapy is concerned with preventing the relapse of erectile dysfunction.
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