Do Urologists Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2021
Urologists are erectile dysfunction (ED) doctors
Urologists are the doctors that can examine, diagnose and treat your erectile dysfunction (ED).

Yes, urologists treat erectile dysfunction (ED). They are specialized doctors who treat disorders of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. Since ED is an inability to get or maintain an erection for penetrative sex, that would fall under the urology category.

Urologists evaluate erectile dysfunction through the following ways:

Physical exam

Your urologist will perform a physical examination to check your health. They will examine your genitals (testes and scrotum) for any signs of injury or problems that point to erectile dysfunction. They will also check your heart rate and blood pressure to know about your cardiovascular health. They may even perform a rectal examination to check your prostate.

The urologist may want to know about your sex life, particularly the amount of time you need for sexual arousal and how long you can maintain erections. They will also like to know how satisfied you are with your sex life and if you have other problems with orgasm.

Laboratory tests

  • Blood tests that measure:
    • Testosterone and other male hormones
    • Blood sugar
  • Urine test

Special tests

These tests are only done in certain patients who have not responded to initial therapies, and may include:

  • Ultrasonography (penile Doppler) to check blood flow in the penis
  • A special injection into the penis to check erection
  • Arteriography (an imaging test that uses X-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence or NPT (using a special electronic device to monitor nocturnal erections)

What questions will the urologist ask?

Be ready to answer certain questions that will help the urologist know the cause of your erectile dysfunction (ED), such as:

  • If you suffer from any other health issues
  • If you are taking medications for any illness
  • If you are into using recreational drugs
  • If you smoke
  • Your alcohol intake per day
  • If you have any history of surgery or other treatments targeted at the pelvic area
  • If you have any problems with urination
  • Your stress levels
  • Your mental health status
  • Your relationship with your partner

How do urologists treat erectile dysfunction?

Depending on the cause of your erectile dysfunction, your urologist will suggest lifestyle changes that include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

If your urologist suspects a particular medication to be the root cause of your erectile dysfunction (ED), they may offer an alternative drug. However, do not stop taking medications without their advice.

Oral pills called phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors are the most commonly prescribed medications for ED and include:

If these medications fail to work or if you are deemed unfit to take them, your urologist can recommend one or more of the following therapies:

  • Penile pump (vacuum erection device [VED] or vacuum constriction device [VCD])
  • Penile injections (intracavernous injection [ICI], intracavernosal alprostadil)
  • Intraurethral (IU) medication (alprostadil)
  • Surgical procedure involving fitting a penile implant into the penis

Additionally, your urologist may start testosterone therapy if your blood reports show low levels of testosterone.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2021
References
Khera M. Treatment of Male Sexual Dysfunction. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-male-sexual-dysfunction

Kim ED. Erectile Dysfunction Treatment & Management. Medscape, https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/444220-treatment#d9