Frequently Asked Questions
Erectile Dysfunction, ED
Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, is quite common, particularly in men aged in their forties.
Erectile dysfunction occurs when you are either unable to obtain or maintain an erection long enough to have sex. You may still be able to get an erection at other times, such as when you wake up, depending on the cause. You may also experience reduced libido (sex drive).
It is normally nothing that should spark concern, however, if it persists, you should speak to a GP.
Is erectile dysfunction normal?
ED can occur at any age and the reasons for the issue will differ per individual. It can be a source of frustration and embarrassment for individuals who experience it, however, there are treatments available to help.
The occasional bout of erectile dysfunction is usually nothing to worry about. It can be put down to a number of passive lifestyle factors, for example, increased stress or increased alcohol consumption. Generally, these factors are not experienced for extended periods of time, therefore, issues with ED should subside accordingly. If this is not the case, you should consult your doctor, or see a GP online.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
ED can be caused by either physical or emotional issues. Some known risk factors include:
- Being over the age of 50
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having cardiovascular disease
- Having high cholesterol
- Being a smoker
- Using drugs
- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical activity
Although ED can become more common as men age, it’s not a definite part of growing older. Some men remain sexually active into their eighties. ED may be a precursor to a more serious condition, therefore, it is important to identify the trigger or cause of your ED.
Here is more information on The Most Common Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction.
How can I get tested for erectile dysfunction?
Finding the cause of your ED will enable you to find the most suitable treatment option. If you have ruled out lifestyle factors, for example, stress and the issue persists, you should speak to a doctor.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and lifestyle. It will be beneficial to discuss information regarding any drug use, whether you smoke, and how much alcohol you consume. He or she will enquire about recent stressors or pressures in your life. You should communicate truthfully and be fully transparent with your doctor so that he or she can assist you in determining the best treatment options.
The doctor may refer you for further testing with a urology specialist if required, or prescribe appropriate treatment for you.
Is erectile dysfunction permanent?
Generally, ED is not a permanent issue. The condition is usually reversible, but the chances of completely curing ED depend on the underlying cause. It’s important to note that in cases where ED cannot be cured, there are treatments available to improve the condition. If you are concerned, you can book an online GP appointment.
How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?
A doctor or GP can diagnose ED. They will examine your medical history as well as your current physical and mental wellbeing. Knowing your history will assist them in determining the cause of the issue. Some of these queries may appear to be personal or even embarrassing. However, your doctor is a professional, and your factual responses will help in determining the cause and best treatment or course of action for you.
Can stress cause erectile dysfunction?
Stress can be a contributing factor when an individual experiences erectile dysfunction. Choosing techniques to deal with stress can have a positive effect on your ability to obtain or maintain an erection.
Stress and anxiety, for example, can have an impact on how your brain transmits your body’s physical response. In the case of an erection, stress and anxiety can interfere with how your brain sends messages to the penis to allow more blood flow.
Stress and concern over ED might also contribute to a continuing ED cycle. Experiencing ED might result in behavioural changes that contribute to anxiety and ED occurrences.
What lifestyle changes can help with erectile dysfunction?
Taking care of your general health can help in the prevention or management of ED. If you suffer with ED, there are a number of lifestyle factors that you should try, to help to alleviate the issue, such as:
- Stop smoking
- Go for daily walks – even 30 minutes! Research shows that moderate exercise can help to restore sexual performance in men suffering from ED
- Try to lose weight (only if you are overweight or obese. If you are struggling with weight loss, you can seek help from our Weight Management Service)
- Make an effort to eat a healthier balanced diet
- Aim to reduce stress and anxiety
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Stop using recreational drugs
Can erectile dysfunction be a sign of heart disease?
Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of heart disease or other circulatory problems. The restriction of blood vessels in the penis, preventing an erection, can be an early indicator that there is a more serious cardiovascular issue before other symptoms occur. Therefore, it is vitally important that if ED persists, you speak to a doctor.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
How To Request A Prescription For Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Request a prescription for Erectile Dysfunction Treatment via our online prescription service. No GP appointment needed!
To request your prescription, simply fill in a short questionnaire. It is important to be open and honest with the information included. One of our Irish-registered doctors will review your request, and if medically suitable, the prescription will be sent to an Irish pharmacy of your choosing via secure Healthmail.
If you would prefer to speak to one of our 40+ experienced GPs about your options, and concerns, or if you have any questions about this service, you can book an online GP consultation.
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