Health Information

Talking to Your Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed healthcare decisions. Our health library gives you the information you need to take charge of your health.

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with erectile dysfunction. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • What is the cause of my erectile dysfunction?
  • Is there more than one cause?
  • Do I have a medical condition that is affecting my sexual function? If so, how can we treat it?
  • Are any of my medications affecting my sexual function?
    • If so, can we change them?
    • Is there an alternative medication that will not affect my sexual function?
  • Could any of my lifestyle habits be affecting my sexual function, such as smoking?
  • What are the possible treatments for erectile dysfunction?
  • Which treatment is appropriate for me? Why?
  • What should I do to prepare for treatment?
  • What risks and side effects should I expect?
  • Will treatment affect my normal activities?
  • Will I be able to father children after treatment?
  • What is likely to happen without treatment?
  • What medications are available to me?
    • What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
    • Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
  • Can you recommend a counselor to help with this problem?
  • Can you recommend a program to help me quit smoking?
  • Can you recommend a program to help me stop using recreational drugs?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
  • Should I change my diet? If so, what dietary changes should I make?
  • What are my chances of returning to satisfying sexual function?

Revision Information