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September 1, 2005
When You Visit Your Doctor Erectile Dysfunction Impotence
Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:
Do you smoke cigarettes?
Have you been screened for other medical problems such as high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes?
Do you have a neurologic disease or sickle-cell disease?
Are you taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)?
Has your erectile dysfunction worsened since starting any new
What effect is your erectile dysfunction having on your relationship?
How long have you had erectile problems?
Do you have erectile problems sometimes or all of the time?
Have you ever had any psychologically stressful sexual experiences?
Are you less interested in sex (diminished libido)?
Are you having difficulty achieving an erection or sustaining
Do you ever awaken with early morning or nocturnal erections?
Do you have pain with erections?
Penile bumps or lumps?
History of penile trauma?
History of pelvic surgery?
What are your goals in receiving treatment?
What therapies have you tried?
Do you know how much benefit you can expect from medical therapies?
Do you know the side effects and important drug interactions?
Do you know the pros and cons of a penile prosthesis?
Do you know the types of penile prosthesis and how they work?
Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:
Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:
Blood tests (complete blood count or CBC, glucose, cholesterol
panels, thyroid function tests, prolactin level)
Blood testosterone level (if libido is decreased)
Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) (see p. 1093)
Neurologic testing (nerve condition studies)
Your doctor may decide to do some vascular tests to establish
whether the arteries that supply blood to the penis during erections
Your doctor may do some tests to establish whether there is
an abnormal blood flow out of the penis during erections leading
to short-lived or partial erections.