Erectile dysfunction doctors

The doctors who treat erectile dysfunction vary based on the cause of the ED. Seeing a family practitioner, general practitioner, or internist is a good start. Occasionally, a specific reason for a man’s ED requires he see a urologist, an endocrinologist (hormone specialist), a neurologist, cardiologist, or psychologist.

Before 1990, doctors thought that erectile dysfunction was either due to age or psychological problems. Now, it is known that in men over 40, in particular, simmering medical conditions like diabetes, atherosclerotic vascular disease, hypertension, alcoholism, or smoking causes ED. Also, significant psychiatric diseases like depression can be responsible, as well, along with a myriad of hormonal, neurological conditions, and other medical issues.

The fact is the ability to achieve an erection is an indication of a man’s general health.

Essentially, Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by any condition that impairs blood flow to the penis, interferes with the nerves that supply messages and sensation to the penis, or that interrupts the function of the hormones needed to moderate the processes of desire and sexual function. Look at the partial list of potential issues and the occasional need to see a specialist becomes clear.

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis (Another name for Clogged Arteries)
  • Hypercholesterolemia (High cholesterol)
  • Obesity
  • Neurological Conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS))
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking Tobacco
  • Illegal Drugs (e.g., Cocaine, Marijuana, Barbiturates, Narcotics like Heroin)
  • Sleep Disorders (e.g., Insomnia, Narcolepsy)
  • Peyronie’s disease (Scarring that causes the penis to have a sharp angle)
  • Treatments for prostate cancer (e.g., Radiation and Surgery can cause ED)
  • Surgery that injures nerves in the pelvic region or the spinal column
  • Trauma damaging nerves anywhere in the spinal column or the pelvis
  • Trauma damaging muscles or vessels of the penis
  • Prescription Medications (e.g., meds used to treat High Blood Pressure, Allergies, Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Ulcers, and so on. The list is long!)   
  • Over-The-Counter Medications (e.g., Antihistamines, Sudafed, Anti-inflammatory Medications)
  • Depression: Depression is recognized as having effects far beyond mood. It can compromise someone’s immune system or even increase the likelihood of having a heart attack. Erectile dysfunction can affect someone with depression even when he is in a stable and loving relationship. Unfortunately, the drugs used to treat depression can cause erectile dysfunction, as well. The good news is that erectile dysfunction medications work whether the difficulty is from the depression itself or from the medications.
  • Anxiety: People think of Performance Anxiety (worry about “performing” sexually) but anxiety over any issue that is distracting can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Stress: Stress can be job-related, money-related, or the result of marital problems, among other factors.
  • Loss of Desire: This is called loss of libido by doctors. It means that a person no longer desires sexual intimacy as they once had. Hormone changes as in low testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction, but so can so can neurological or psychological conditions, medications, or relationship issues. The reason should be investigated to resolve the issue. Erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs will not work for many of these patients. A person must feel a desire for sex to kick off the process that allows the medications to function properly.
  • Sense of Inadequacy: Feeling bad about oneself (Low Self Esteem) can stem from a man being unable to fulfill the role he believes gives him value as a man. It can be a failure to provide as he hoped for his family, an inability to gain acceptance in a peer group, or being unable to engage in sexual intimacy with a spouse or partner.
  • Guilt: Guilt over having an affair, losing the family’s money, having a hidden compulsion like gambling or drug use, or being unable to satisfy a partner, as examples, can all interfere with being able to get aroused or engage in sex.
Getting an erection is a complex biological process. So many things have to go right for men to achieve a strong erection that it is a wonder it happens at all. For starters, a man’s hormones must be released on demand (almost instantly), his arteries need to carry 6 times the normal amount of blood to the penis with perfect efficiency, his nervous system’s commands must be transmitted without a hitch, and his mind must be working in perfect harmony with his body. That’s a lot to ask. If a man has difficulty getting the kind of erection he and his partner expect, it may be because a problem is brewing and Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the first sign.  

As funny as it sounds, paying more attention to the strength of your erection could save your life. Because the blood vessels of the penis are small, serious underlying conditions often manifest themselves first with ED. According to “The Artery Size Hypothesis” those small vessels are more likely to reveal changes long before slightly larger arteries in the heart are affected. That’s why changes in the penis are a warning sign that heart disease may be on the horizon. Men are fortunate that these tiny vessels are responsible for something as visible as an engorged penis. If a failing erection is like the check engine light going off in a car, then the body has chosen the perfect place to put that sign.

Depending on what may be causing the issue, a referral to the doctor who can help in the treatment can be made. In some men it might be a urologist, in others an endocrinologist or a psychologist. Most often a general healthcare provider can manage the case; specialists are available for the more unusual or difficult cases.