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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the medical term for trouble getting or maintaining an erection that is satisfying for sexual activities. Doctors for ED include urologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and mental health professionals.
A quick look at the best doctors for ED
- Best for sexual health: Urologist | Skip to details
- Best for heart and cardiovascular conditions: Cardiologist | Skip to details
- Best for hormonal conditions: Endocrinologist | Skip to details
- Best for psychological support: Mental health professionals | Skip to details
- Best company for branded and generic medication: Roman | Skip to review
- Best company for chewable medication: Hims | Skip to review
- Best company for fast doctor consultations: Lemonaid | Skip to review
Occasional ED is not always a cause for concern, but if trouble with erections is frequent or getting worse, the cause may be an underlying health condition that needs treatment.
This article describes which medical specialists and telehealth options can help people with ED. It also explains what may happen at the appointment and lists some questions a person can consider asking the doctor.
A person may speak with a primary care physician or family doctor if they have any concerns about erectile dysfunction. A medical professional can do an examination, diagnose ED, and prescribe treatments. They will also suggest which specialist to see if a person needs further tests to determine the cause of their ED, which may include urologists, endocrinologists, or cardiologists.
A person may wish to consider seeing a primary care physician who specializes in male sexual health.
People usually first raise concerns about ED with their primary care physician or family doctor.
The doctor may order simple blood work to help determine if the ED stems from an underlying health condition.
Depending on the consultation and blood test outcomes, the doctor may refer the person to a specialist. The type of specialist depends on the most likely cause of ED at this point.
Below is a look at some of these medical specialists in more detail.
Best for sexual health: Urologist
A urologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the urinary tract and is an expert in male sexual health.
They may help diagnose and treat:
A person with ED may receive a referral to a urologist if:
- Their current treatment is not working.
- Their primary care physician suspects a health issue is affecting the urinary or reproductive system.
- They have a long-term urinary or reproductive condition that increases their risk of ED.
Learn more about how a urologist can help with ED.
Best for heart and cardiovascular conditions: Cardiologist
Heart disease and ED share many risk factors. ED can sometimes signal an underlying issue with the heart, and cardiovascular problems can increase the risk of developing ED.
A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels. A person may receive a referral to a cardiologist if:
- They have preexisting heart or cardiovascular disease.
- They are at risk for this kind of health issue.
- They have a family history of heart or cardiovascular disease.
- Their primary care physician or urologist cannot diagnose another cause of ED.
Best for hormonal conditions: Endocrinologist
An appointment with an endocrinologist usually involves blood work and answering questions about lifestyle and sexual history.
Depending on the cause of ED, the doctor may prescribe or recommend:
- lifestyle changes to help manage diabetes
- medications to help manage diabetes
- hormone injections to treat conditions such as low testosterone
Best for psychological support: Mental health professionals
For example, the following are sometimes the primary cause of ED:
Read our in-depth review of the best online therapies.
Medical News Today chooses telehealth providers for ED that meet the following criteria:
- Licensed in the United States: We only choose companies that use U.S.-licensed healthcare professionals who review all assessments and prescribe medication.
- Legitimate medication: We only select companies that provide ED medication with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
It is possible to receive help for ED via an online or telehealth platform. Many of these companies advertise ED services because speaking with a doctor in person can make some people uncomfortable.
However, many health conditions that can cause ED
As a result, doctors offering online services may prescribe medication as a short-term ED treatment. They will usually recommend an in-person follow-up appointment with a specialist. This is especially likely if a person has other symptoms or is at risk of conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Below are some telehealth companies offering prescription ED medication that a person can consider.
The table below provides a comparison table for the telehealth companies discussed in this article.
• generic Viagra
• generic Cialis
• daily generic Cialis
|• hard mints
• chewable sildenafil
• chewable tadalafil
• generic Viagra
• generic Cialis
|• generic Viagra
• daily generic Cialis
|$2–$90 per dose
|$4–$32 per dose
|• from $2–$8 per dose
• $25 consultation fee
|2–4 business days
|5–7 business days
|2–3 business days
Read our in-depth review of the safest ED pills.
A person may answer a wide range of questions during their first appointment for ED. The more information a person can provide, the greater the likelihood that the doctor can diagnose the cause of the ED.
The doctor may ask:
- When did the ED begin?
- Does the ED occur all the time or only some of the time?
- Does it occur before or during sex?
- Do you have problems with arousal?
- Is it possible to ejaculate or orgasm during sexual activity or masturbation?
- Are your erections painful?
- Have you noticed any lumps in the penis?
- Is penetration difficult?
- Typically, how firm are your erections?
- Do you wake up with an erection?
The doctor may also ask about lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise habits.
To diagnose ED, a doctor may perform the following tests:
- a prostate examination
- a penis examination, which may include tests to see how fully a person perceives sensations
- an ultrasound scan to measure blood flow to the penis
- an examination of the heart and lungs using a stethoscope
- blood pressure monitoring
- blood tests to check for health concerns such as infections, hormonal imbalances, and diabetes
When seeing a doctor about ED, it may help to ask:
- What are the most likely causes of ED in someone my age, with my overall health?
- Will treating an underlying medical issue fix the ED? How long will it take to see results?
- Are there any other symptoms I should watch for?
- What are the risks and benefits of ED medication?
- Are there any other treatment options?
- Could lifestyle changes help?
The treatment options for ED depend on its cause. The sections below describe some potential treatments in more detail.
One popular ED treatment is Viagra, and its active ingredient is sildenafil. This works by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Sildenafil may be a suitable treatment option when ED:
- is occasional
- is age-related
- has no underlying cause that a doctor can find
A doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes to help treat ED:
- quitting smoking
- avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption
- getting regular exercise
- having a balanced diet
- receiving treatment, including counseling, for any mental health conditions that may be contributing to ED, such as:
- going to couples counseling to explore ways of managing ED with a partner
Treatments for underlying health conditions
ED can sometimes result from a medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease. In some cases, treating the underlying health issue resolves the ED or keeps it from getting worse.
Some other options for ED treatment include:
- Testosterone injections: For those with low testosterone, testosterone injections may be a suitable ED treatment. Research shows that long-term treatment may be effective for alleviating ED. The researchers also state that this treatment reduces cardiometabolic risk factors and the risk of prostate cancer.
- Vasodilator injections: A person can self-administer an injection of a vasodilator drug into the penis, which helps promote blood flow. This additional blood flow allows for an erection.
- A penis pump: A penis pump is a handheld device that a person holds over their penis. The vacuum mechanism pulls blood into the penis to help develop and sustain an erection.
- Penile implant surgery: In cases of ED that have not responded to other treatments, a doctor may recommend penile implant surgery. During this surgery, surgeons place an inflatable or rigid rod device inside the penis. This allows a person to maintain an erection.
ED can be difficult to live with, and it can affect a person’s self-esteem, sex life, and relationships.
However, it is often treatable. If they have one, a person may wish to be open with their partner and involve them in the treatment process. Research has shown that involving partners during medical treatment for ED can
Learn more about how to deal with ED in a long-term relationship.
If ED is having a significant effect on a person’s mental health, they may want to consult a doctor. A medical professional may suggest seeing a therapist to learn about techniques for coping with the psychological effects of ED.
A person may want to seek medical advice about ED as soon as possible to move their diagnosis and treatment process forward quickly.
The best doctor for ED will depend on the cause of a person’s ED. A person may initially see a primary care physician or family doctor to discuss ED. A medical professional can carry out a full examination and prescribe treatment.
They can also suggest seeing specialists if necessary. The type of specialist a person sees will depend on the suspected cause of ED. For instance, urologists are experts in male sexual health, while endocrinologists are specialists in hormones, and cardiologists will understand if a heart condition is causing ED.
Yes, a doctor can fix a person’s ED in most cases. They may prescribe medication or refer a person for surgery in more severe cases. They will also treat any underlying conditions that are causing ED.
Urologists specialize in the urinary tract and male reproductive system. These specialists will take a medical history and physical exam. They may also order blood, urine, or injection tests and perform an ultrasound on the penis.
A urologist may address ED with medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery. They will recommend the most appropriate treatment depending on what is causing a person’s ED.
A person needs a prescription for medications such as Viagra or Cialis. A primary care physician or a doctor at a telehealth company may provide it.
The healthcare professional will review the person’s symptoms and medical history. They will then prescribe a medication that best suits the person’s needs.
Some companies sell herbal remedies for ED, but people can speak with a healthcare professional before taking any of these.
The FDA warns that many over-the-counter ED products have undisclosed amounts of prescription medications, which may cause severe side effects.
It can help to go to an appointment prepared with a list of questions, especially if ED is causing any anxiety. A person might ask:
- Which medication or treatment is most suitable for me?
- Does my insurance cover the cost of any treatment?
- Will the medication interact with anything else I am taking?
- What are the possible side effects?
- How long does it take for the treatment to start working?
- What are the next steps if this does not work?
- Will I need to see a specialist?
- Could any lifestyle changes help?
A healthcare professional is comfortable discussing ED. If anyone feels their doctor is not taking their concerns seriously or is not providing the expected level of care, they can ask for a different doctor.
A person may contact a primary care physician or family doctor first, as seeing a specialist may not always be necessary. A doctor can often diagnose ED and prescribe treatments. They may only suggest seeing a specialist if more tests are needed or if they cannot confirm an ED diagnosis.
ED is common and can occur at any age. It may cause frustration, worry, and embarrassment.
An occasional inability to get or maintain an erection is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, frequent ED could signal an underlying mental or physical health condition that requires treatment.
Anyone with ED symptoms may wish to consult a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. An online doctor may prescribe a short-term treatment, but diagnosing the cause usually requires in-person testing. This diagnosis is necessary for treating ED in the long term.