If you're a Boston sports fan, you likely listen to sports radio, at least some of the time. And if that's the case, you've likely heard commercials about erectile dysfunction.
As with anything else you're thinking about purchasing from a radio or TV commercial, remember this sage advice: buyer beware. Because when it comes to erectile dysfunction (or any other urologic condition), it makes sense to consult with a board-certified urologist like the ones we have at Greater Boston Urology rather than self-diagnose and self-medicate.
Here are five reasons why...
1. Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition.
As such, it makes sense to discuss your options with a board-certified urologist since urologists are trained in diagnosing and treating ED. Urologists also "get" that ED is an incredibly sensitive topic and difficult for many men to talk about. So not only do urologists understand the medical condition, but also the emotional distress that often accompanies it.
2. Working with a doctor can help unravel the root cause and/or underlying health condition(s).
Not all ED is created equal. While age is one of the biggest contributing factors, other factors exist as well, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Medical doctors are trained to recognize a wide-range of underlying causes. Even if you present with symptoms that are beyond a urologist's purview, he or she can refer you to another specialist (such as a cardiologist) for additional treatment.
And because ED often affects older men, there are other critical health issues men should be discussing with their doctor, such as prostate health, incontinence, and low testosterone (just to name a few). When a person is already in the office talking about ED, he and the doctor can address these other relevant health issues at the same time.
A "whole body" approach is a smart approach to medicine, and not one you'll receive from storefronts doling out subscription-based plans for ED "cures."
3. Many ED treatments are covered by insurance.
The commercials that air on sports radio and other places are often for subscription-based services (either through snail mail or through subscriptions set up through walk-in storefronts). Some of these subscriptions are incredibly pricey (and difficult to cancel). Why shell out thousands of dollars if you don't have to?
Not all treatments are covered by insurance, but urology practices, like ours, make an effort to ensure patients take advantage of the coverage that's available to them.
4. There isn't a one-size-fits-all treatment for erectile dysfunction.
For some men, oral medications might work well. Others might have better success with injections or penis pumps. Still others might opt for penile implants. In other words, many ED treatments are available and the right one for you will depend on any number of factors.
Keep in mind that therapies evolve over time as well. Urologists will have a better understanding of newer treatments, such as shockwaves, compared to lay people.
5. When you work with a doctor, you'll receive appropriate follow-up care.
Any time you undergo a new treatment for a medical condition, you should do so under the watchful gaze of a physician. Why? Because the physician will be there if you need follow-up care. For example, if you take oral medications for ED and experience an adverse reaction, such as priapism (i.e., erections lasting longer than four hours), you can contact your doctor for help.
Bottom line: don't give your health over to just anyone or any ol' business advertising on the radio or TV. If you're in the greater Boston area, learn the facts about ED and make an appointment with one of our board-certified urologists.
Watch: Do You Have Erectile Dysfunction?