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When should I see a doctor?

If it only happens occasionally or temporarily, trouble getting or keeping an erection may not be a cause for any concern. It may be that you are tired or stressed or have been drinking alcohol, for example, and the issue will resolve on its own.

However, if the problem is persistent, it may be time to speak with your doctor.

While erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common as you age, it could be linked to an underlying physical cause so speaking with your doctor will ensure any other health conditions are also addressed.[1]

What will happen at my doctor’s appointment?

Men can sometimes feel that seeing a doctor to discuss ED can be embarrassing but it is important to remember your doctor is a professional and is there to help.

Your doctor will ask you some questions around your ED to help them build a complete picture of your health and decide what next steps are best for you.

Questions you may be asked could include:[1]

When did your symptoms start? Does this happen every time you have sex or under certain circumstances?

Can you tell me all medications you are taking?

Are you going through a stressful time at the moment?

Can you tell me about your alcohol intake, if you smoke and about any other drug taking?

Your doctor may ask you further questions with regard to your sexual health and will review your medical history as well to look for other conditions which may be causing the ED. They may also give you a questionnaire to fill out in private to understand more about your condition. They will then decide what is the likely cause of your ED and carry out some further tests.

Because ED can be associated with more serious health conditions, it is important to see your doctor and have your ED investigated.[1] It may be helpful if you ask your partner to also attend the appointment for support.


1. Sooriyamoorthy & Leslie. Erectile dysfunction. StatPearls. Accessed: May 2022.