7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Erectile Dysfunction

by John Riddle Patient Expert

Medical researchers estimate that between 18 and 20 million American men experience some type of erectile dysfunction. If a man has an occasional problem achieving an erection, it is nothing to worry about. However, if he is having a problem more than half of the time when trying to have sexual intercourse, he should make an appointment with his doctor.

Overweight man

Are you overweight?

Overweight men are more likely to have ED. If you are carrying too many pounds, it is time to get serious about losing weight; check with your doctor and begin the journey back to a healthy life.


Are you a smoker?

Often men who smoke will experience problems getting and maintaining an erection. Smoking can damage blood vessels, and restrict the flow of blood.

Stressed man holding a bottle of an alcoholic beverage

Do you consume a lot of alcohol?

While you might think that drinking a lot of alcohol makes you sexy, it can actually keep you from having an erection. If you want to enjoy an evening of sexual intercourse with your partner, try and limit your alcohol consumption to only one or two drinks.

Testing blood sugar levels

Do you have any related conditions?

Coexisting conditions can include diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, or kidney disease. If a doctor has not diagnosed you with any of these conditions, it may be wise to ask at a future appointment for testing.

Senior exercising

Do you get enough exercise?

Can you honestly say that you exercise for 30 minutes a day at least five days a week? Regular exercise can greatly reduce the risk of ED; but be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

Stressed man rubbing his head

Are you stressed?

If you are experiencing any type of stress, do you know how to manage it before it affects you? Even simple stress can cause sexual dysfunction. Anxiety, additionally, takes both an emotional and physical toll on your body. It is among the most common contributors to psychological ED.

Various medications

What medications do you take?

Some drugs could interfere with your ability to have an erection. Check with your doctor and ask about possible side effects for any medications you are taking, especially drugs for high blood pressure. Other drugs that can affect performance include heart or cholesterol medications, some depression and bipolar drugs, medications for GERD, and hormone drugs.

John Riddle
Meet Our Writer
John Riddle

John wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Allergies, Anxiety Disorders, Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction, and Sleep Disorders.