When a patient plucks up the courage to go and see their doctor because they have erection problems, this is probably one of the only times that they’ve been to their doctor and is an opportunity therefore to screen for various common diseases. It is important to take the blood pressure, to make sure that they’re not diabetic, these are just common things that are in Western society that can be assessed but also to check the blood cholesterol and the various lipids, because this again is something that’s very common in patients that have erection problems and of course very easy to treat with just simple medication, which will prolong life. It is well known that heart disease is quite common in patients with erectile dysfunction, particularly if they’ve already known to have diabetes or high blood pressure and so, then they would be perhaps best seen by cardiologists, first of all we would see them as a urologist, we would do our various investigations and that often includes an ultrasound measuring the flow of the the blood of the penis at the time of an erection.
If this is abnormal, the penile vessels are quite small and likewise the coronary artery vessels of the heart are small, if you have one condition you might have the other, and so it is a risk factor if you have poor arterial blood flow to the penis causing the erection problems, you probably got poor blood flow within the heart and indeed it is not unlikely to have then have a subsequent heart attack in these patients.
So although we don’t want to scare patients it is a recognised association and it’s very simple just to assess and to prevent any major illnesses. So, make sure it’s a good screening tool for diabetes, general health and weight of course. You just have to lose weight and your erections will improve, you have exercise and your erections will improve, and likewise a general checkup for blood pressure and that as I’ve said that cardiac association which men are quite prevalent to have. Remember it’s the first time that you’re going to your GP because of erections, probably the only time you’re going to go to see your GP, so just ask them what about these other conditions could you give me a general checkup. .