Why it’s critical for PCPs to talk to their patients about erectile dysfunction

A clinician’s guide to better treatment of E.D.

In a recent survey, 74% of men indicated they believe primary care physicians should ask patients about erectile dysfunction as part of regular care. Yet, research indicates many PCPs don’t consistently address sexual dysfunction in routine screenings or health conversations. According to one study,1the reasons for this common omission vary from lack of knowledge or skill when it comes to treatment of E.D., to concerns about the complexities of treatment in the primary care setting with the added pressure of reimbursement limitations.

At the same time, the clear connection between erectile dysfunction and many common health conditions makes it more imperative than ever for primary care clinicians to increase their awareness and knowledge of E.D. symptoms and treatment options

Prevalence and severity of E.D.

Up to 30 million U.S. men are estimated to suffer from erection problems, yet less than 10% ever seek treatment.1 Although often associated with older demographics, a study by Boston University School of Medicine found that as many as 26% of men younger than 40 suffered from E.D. Also of significance for primary care providers: A 2016 study found that men with E.D. diagnosis or treatment had a higher prevalence of any comorbidity (63.1% vs 29.3% for men without E.D.).2

Interested in learning more about treatment of E.D. in the primary care setting? Download the free Primary Care Physician E.D. Kit for additional resources and education to help you improve care for your patients.

Association with other health conditions

Erectile dysfunction has been tied to a number of other medical conditions often treated in the primary care setting, offering yet another reason for clinicians to be knowledgeable about symptoms and treatment protocols. Among the most common associations are:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart and Blood Vessel Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Kidney Disease/Renal Failure
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Abnormal Thyroid Production
  • Anemia
  • Liver Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Peyronie’s Disease
  • Anxiety/Depression

Recognizing the symptoms of E.D. and awareness of these commonly linked conditions can help PCPs provide more effective treatment for improved patient outcomes. Interested in integrating an E.D. screening protocol into your patient care? Download this Primary Care Physician Kit for a guide.  Kit You can also learn how to provide your patients with fast, convenient and less expensive E.D. medications by prescribing to MediSuite. Learn more.

 

Sources:

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557658/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5540144/

3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28032424/

4 https://fammedarchives.blob.core.windows.net/imagesandpdfs/pdfs/FamilyMedicineVol46Issue2Clark124.pdf