5 Reasons To Talk To Your Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction

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Contrary to what popular culture may have you believe, most men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) at some point in their lives. But that doesn’t mean it is something you should ignore. Recurring ED can be detrimental to your love life and cause embarrassment and frustration.

And though it’s not always an easy topic to talk about, here are a few key reasons why it’s important to have an open discussion with your doctor about any issues you’ve had with ED, according to Ali Dabaja, M.D., a urologist and reproductive medicine and sexual health expert:

  1. Your Sex Life Can Improve (Obviously)
    Our sexual health and relationship with sex evolves as we age. Consequently, it’s not at all uncommon to experience challenges along the way, but just because you experience an issue at a certain point in your life doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy sex again. Besides, multiple studies have shown that a healthy sex life can provide a variety of mental and physical health benefits so it's definitely worth addressing any issues you may be having.
  2. ED Can Indicate Other Health Problems
    While there are many physical, emotional and mental reasons why you experience ED, it can also be a sign of other serious health issues. These can include:
    Diabetes
    • Heart and vascular disease
    • High blood pressure
    Low testosterone
    • Chronic inflammation
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Stress, anxiety and depression
    Alcohol, drug or tobacco use
    • Medication side effects
  3. Improving ED Can Improve Mental Health
    As mentioned, ED can be linked to anxiety and depression, and the symptoms of those conditions may interfere with your sex life. In some cases, though, ED may be the cause of depression, as the condition can lead to the development of low self-esteem, sadness or frustration. Discussing how to approach ED with your doctor may alleviate negative thoughts and help boost self-esteem.
  4. ED Is Linked to Greater Risk for Heart Disease
    This risk is worth reiterating. Did you know that erectile dysfunction can just as accurately predict future cardiovascular problems as smoking, family history of heart attack and high cholesterol? Addressing your regular occurrence of ED with your doctor, you may be able to better monitor your risk for heart disease and seek preventative treatments for it.
  5. You Can Help Break The Stigma Surrounding ED
    While ED may in fact be more common among older men, it still affects younger men too, who are often embarrassed to talk about it with their doctor. By going through the process, you can provide helpful advice for others who may be too uncomfortable to come forward to their doctors about their sexual health.

Related Topic: 7 Important Health Screenings Every Man Should Get

Regardless of your reasons for discussing ED with your doctor, he or she can recommend a variety of treatment approaches to not only address your erectile dysfunction but to also help treat the underlying — potentially serious — men’s health problems.

Treatment options for ED don’t always involve a little blue pill. Lifestyle changes, like losing weight and limiting alcohol consumption, and counseling to address emotional and psychological issues are known to help achieve the best results.

Getting regular check-ups and establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor is also key to a healthy life.


To find a doctor at Henry Ford and schedule an appointment, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).

Dr. Ali Dabaja is a urologist who sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Centers in Dearborn and Sterling Heights, at Henry Ford Reproductive Medicine in Troy, and at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and West Bloomfield.

Categories: FeelWell

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