Sunday, September 2, 2007

When To Call a Doctor

Seek care immediately if you use medication to treat an erection problem (erectile dysfunction) and the erection lasts longer than 4 hours.

Do not use any form of nitroglycerin if you have chest pain and have taken Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis in the past 24 hours.

Call a health professional if erection problems occur with:

  • Any type of injury to the back, legs, buttocks, groin, penis, or testicles.
  • A loss of pubic or armpit hair and an enlargement of the breasts.

Make an appointment to see a health professional within 1 to 2 weeks if an erection problem occurs more than 25% of the time and the problem:

  • Occurs with a persistent backache.
  • Occurs after you start taking a new medication or change the dose of a medication.
  • Is affecting your self-image or sense of well-being.
  • Has not improved despite self-care.

If your erection problem is occasional, there is no reason to call your health professional. If it occurs frequently but does not bother you or your partner, you may or may not choose to call your doctor. However, an erection problem that develops suddenly may be a sign of a disease; it is recommended that you see your doctor.

Watchful Waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your health professional observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. A single episode of an erection problem is often a temporary and easily reversible problem. Do not assume it will happen again. If possible, forget about it and expect a more successful experience the next time. If you or your partner is concerned about it, talk about the problem and openly discuss your fears and anxieties.

If self-care has not helped after 2 weeks and you are concerned about your inability to have an erection, see a health professional who has experience in dealing with erection problems.

Who To See

Some health professionals, including doctors and mental health professionals, may not feel comfortable discussing sexuality and erection problems. Ask your health professional if he or she feels comfortable with and has experience in working with men who have erection problems.

The following health professionals can evaluate symptoms of erection problems:

  • Family medicine doctor
  • Internist
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant
  • Urologist

If it is possible that a psychological problem is contributing to your erection problem, your doctor may refer you to a health professional such as a:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Certified licensed social worker
  • Counselor with special training in sexuality or relationship problems

No comments: