Thinking of talking to a doctor about ED? Here’s a sneak peek into your visit

Written with
Dr William Fowler

We get it.

Going to the dentist is enough of an ordeal. So the thought of going to see a random doctor to talk about your penis can be completely horrifying.  

But if you’re having erection issues, it’s important to rule out any physical causes that might be stopping your erections from improving.

And because no one likes going into the unknown, Mojo is here. We’ll take you on a three-part tour of what to expect when visiting the doctor’s office to talk about ED – from the moment you walk through the door, through to any follow-ups needed.

By the time you’re ready to see a doctor in real life, you’ll feel fully equipped to discuss your equipment.

Part 1: Before your visit

When to see your doctor about ED  

It’s always a good idea to get checked out if you’re regularly experiencing any of the main signs of erectile dysfunction:

  • finding it hard to get an erection
  • struggling to keep an erection
  • discovering your erection isn’t hard enough to enjoy sex

These things happen to most men at some point and can be perfectly normal.

But if it persists and anything at all feels off with your erection, the first step should be to speak to your doctor to identify any potential ED causes.

Why seeing your doctor matters

When it comes to erectile dysfunction, it can seem like you’ve only got two choices: put up with it, or get pills.

But this isn’t true.

There’s a whole range of ways to improve your erections, and a whole host of professionals to help you do it.  

ED can also be a sign of another health issue, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis – even if it’s just to give you some peace of mind.

“It can never hurt to get a better understanding of your body, and can put your mind at ease that you don’t have more serious health problems.”

Dr William Fowler, Medical Doctor & Urology Registrar

Avoiding the doctor is not uncommon

Only a quarter of ED sufferers seek medical help, according to research.

Many guys would rather turn to fake, knockoff medication in secret. Often this is because they feel too embarrassed to get help.

We asked Dr Matthew Chan to put one man’s particular penis problems into the context of his day:

“Before you, I’ve had visits from hundreds of men with penis problems and other issues that you might find embarrassing to bring up.

No matter the shape or size, I’ve seen it all before, so try not to feel too stressed or embarrassed!

For doctors, examining another penis is just the equivalent of a barman pouring another beer.”

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Things to think about beforehand

  • write down any specific worries or concerns – that way you’ll have a reminder when the conversation gets going
  • if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can request to see a male or female doctor
  • there’s a questionnaire called the IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function) that you can fill in, to help your doctor understand the issues you’re experiencing. It’s not essential, but might just help get you thinking and make sure your appointment is even more productive

Part 2: During your visit

What will happen at the appointment?

You’ll work with your doctor to understand whether the cause of your ED is physical or psychological (or a mixture of both).

Every doctor will examine you slightly differently (it will also vary from country to country), but we’ve talked to a few doctors who have let us know that this is a pretty standard order of events that you can expect:

The stuff for everyone

Your doctor will:

If you’re over 50

  • men over 50 may require a prostate check. We promise it will be over before you know it
  • for anyone under 50, if you have any specific urinary symptoms (frequency, urgency or poor stream), or have any perineal pain or discomfort, your doctor may also want to check your prostate (but this isn’t very common in younger men)

If you need it

  • sometimes your doctor may need to run further tests (like a blood test) to help get the most helpful diagnosis
  • some doctors will choose to look at your testicles and penis, to help rule out anything physical. The more thorough the examination, the more thorough the diagnosis. But of course, if you’re not comfortable with this then you don’t have to!

Once your doctor has a complete picture, they can give you a diagnosis, and talk you through specific treatment options – to help you get back to great sex.

Question time

What questions will your doctor ask you about ED?

Dr Chan and Dr Fowler shared a list of the possible questions you may be asked during your appointment.

The basics:

Physical/lifestyle ED questions:

Psychological ED questions:

Questions to ask your doctor about erectile dysfunction

Your doctor will have probably covered a lot by this point, but now is a good time to ask any extra questions that are on your mind.

Key questions:

Part 3: After your visit

What will happen after the appointment?

If your doctor identifies a physical issue that’s causing your ED, you’ll be given treatment to help with the ED directly, or the underlying cause.

Depending on the initial information gathered, your doctor may need to carry out further checks or refer you to a specialist – like a urologist, sexual health specialist, or endocrinologist.

You may also be encouraged to make some lifestyle changes to improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Your doctor will be able to provide you with some advice, and may also refer you to specialists that include nutritionists or wellbeing coaches.

If anything physical has been ruled out, your doctor may confirm that it’s a psychological issue causing your erectile dysfunction.

Before you go… Mojo’s ED appointment checklist

✅  Prepare your list of questions and answers (we recommend you write these down!)

✅  Make a note of your current medications (for ED or other underlying health issues)

✅  Think about how long you’ve been experiencing problems, and how frequently it’s been happening

✅  Look out for erections when you wake up (but don’t fret if you don’t notice them)

✅  Make a mental note about how much you masturbate and/or watch porn

✅  Jot down how often you smoke, drink and take drugs. Also think about how frequently you exercise and what your typical eating habits are

✅  Finally, take some deep breaths. You’ve got this

Feel free to screenshot or print out this checklist, as your mind will probably be a little preoccupied on the day.

Mojo is here for you

If you’re being impacted by psychological causes, you may be referred to a different type of expert, such as a psychologist or sex therapist.

For some people, that’s awesome. You can make amazing progress with the right person.

But for others, sitting down with a total stranger to talk about your privates is like… “umm, nope!”. Plus, it can be expensive.

Mojo brings together some of the best sexual health professionals out there. All our content mirrors the advice they would give you in a 1-2-1 session, but with the added bonus that you can dip in and out anonymously whenever you want.

You can also join the Community (this is one of our favorites). Here you can chat to other guys, ask questions and get advice (also all anonymously).

Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.

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