A very common complaint of male aging is erectile dysfunction [ED]. This disorder is characterized by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Men are bombarded daily by advertisements from pharmaceutical companies on the television, radio and even in magazines. Whether watching a sporting event, surfing the Internet, listening to the radio or even riding the bus to work, the public is subjected to countless ads for medications to treat the disorder.
It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans suffer from erectile dysfunction. ED is never an easy topic for a patient to discuss at an office visit. Usually, it is brought up at the end of a visit for an unrelated complaint. Men are often embarrassed and although they will seek guidance for this condition, they are not comfortable discussing the specifics of the disease. Nevertheless, a comprehensive history and physical may help diagnose and treat the problem.