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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

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  • 1


    I am a European Certified Psycho-Sexologist and a trained Counsellor/Therapist with over 20 years experience, holding Clinical/Level 4 membership of the Australian Counselling Association, one … View Profile

    Erectile dysfunction, or impotence as it used to be called is a condition best diagnosed by a professional like a psychosexual/sex therapist, GP, or sexual health physician.

    Erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve or maintain an erection to complete satisfactory intercourse or other desired sexual activity.  Not all sexual activity requires an erection.  An erection is not always necessary to achieve an orgasm, with or without ejaculation.  Some men have issues getting an erection, while other men may experience difficulties maintaining an erection.

    Many men will experience occasional erection difficulties at some stage in their life.  In these situations the issue may stem from stress, tiredness, anxiety or excessive alcohol or other drug consumption. Worrying about erection difficulties may then set the scene for a more persistent problem due to “fear of failure” known as performance anxiety.

    Data from the Australian Study of Health and Relationships (Sex in Australia) undertaken by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society found 9.5% of 8,517 men who participated reported having trouble keeping an erection for at least one month, and 1.6% of the men had used some form of treatment to aid erections (Richters, Grulich, de Visser, Smith & Rissel, 2003).  Erectile issues increase with age.

    There are treatments available for erectile dysfunction.  These can range from psychosexual (sex) therapy and may include using medications (prescribed by a GP or physician) plus other assisted technologies like penis rings and vacuum erection devices (pumps) in more extreme cases.

    Erectile dysfunction needs to be treated.  When you attend a therapy session with me (or other psychosexual therapist) you will be asked questions about your health, sexual history and life history generally.  It is also recommend you have a general check up with your GP, particularly for heart health as erectile dysfunction is a potential indicator of heart problems later in life.

    Remember a healthy life includes a healthy sex life.

    Dr Christopher
    Sex & Relationship Therapist

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