Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

by | Mar 19, 2023 | Men's Health, Sexual Health | 11 comments

Treating erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, remains a subject many men struggle to talk about.

And understandably so.

Experiencing a problem downstairs can be pretty distressing. ED can affect your self-esteem, relationships, and mental health and deprive you of the enormous benefits of regular sex.


Yet, erectile dysfunction means different things to different people.

Many describe it as the inability to get an erection. More commonly, medical professionals view ED as an inability to maintain an erection for a reasonable length of time.

Who Does ED Affect?

If you’re suffering from ED, trust me when I say you’re not alone. We estimate the condition affects more than one in five Australian men over 40.

Men with pre-existing medical conditions make up a large proportion of sufferers. The main culprits here are obesity and diabetes.

Many people find it surprising that we only attribute around 3% of ED cases to hormonal problems. It’s largely a myth that low testosterone levels affect erections.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The internet will steer you towards any number of ridiculous theories as to the causes of erection problems. However, let’s talk facts.

causes of ed

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction, with most falling into either the physical or psychological category.

Physical causes include:

  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries that supply the penis with blood)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Age

Cigarette smoking, alcohol, drugs, medication side effects, and insomnia are other contributing factors.

Psychological causes include performance anxiety, relationship problems, depression, and stress.

In almost all cases, a combination of factors are at play.

How is ED Diagnosed?

Rest assured, your GP will rarely ask you to drop your pants for an ED diagnosis.

If you haven‘t recently injured your penis or noticed any visible changes, there’s no need for a GP to conduct a physical examination.

erectile dysfunction diagnosis

However, discovering why you’re experiencing erection issues is essential, especially when considering symptoms of ED may indicate a problem with another part of your body.

Diagnosing erectile dysfunction can be simple once I’ve identified the critical problems you’re experiencing. It’s also important to highlight that it’s not all about a quick fix.

Diagnosis may involve a blood test and a chat about the most effective next steps.

An ultrasound scan can help in some cases. It’s painless and noninvasive and can provide helpful information about what might be causing the problem.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Once we’ve figured out what factors are at play, we can discuss any combination of treatments, including:

  • Medications to increase blood flow to the penis, such as Viagra.
  • Counselling for those who may benefit.
  • Talking about how lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol, and diet could be contributing factors.
  • Referring you to a urologist if we feel surgery is appropriate.
erectile dysfunction treatments

In more acute cases, vascular surgery may need to be considered, as well as penile implants. However, such cases are few and far between.

Some men find talking about their ED embarrassing. Rest assured, I have far more awkward medical discussions every day.

Without fail, patients tell me how relieved they are to finally be talking about it.

Start With a Visit to Your GP

We’re best placed to have open and honest conversations about what’s happening and the impact it’s having on you.

My job is to listen to you and find the best way to tackle the problem. Let us know if you’d like to chat.

Doctor James Redwood blog

Dr James Redwood is a local GP at Doctors of South Melbourne.

He has special interests in men’s health and sexual health.

James is on leave and will return on Monday, 6 May.

In the meantime, you’re in good hands with any of the other GPs practising at our clinic.

Feel free to make an appointment online or call us on (03) 8579 6838.


  1. Toby

    Need to book a appointment please

    • Doctors of South Melbourne

      Hi Toby,

      You can make an appointment with Dr James by clicking “book an appointment with James online” above or calling the clinic on (03) 8579 6838.

      Kind regards,
      Doctors of South Melbourne

      • Phil

        Post prosectomy erections. Can you help?

        • Doctors of South Melbourne

          Hi Phil,

          You’re more than welcome to make an appointment with Dr James, yet we feel your urologist would be best placed to advise on any post-prostatectomy questions.

          Kind regards,
          Doctors of South Melbourne

  2. Lucky


    Is Dr. James able to help in Erectile dysfunction and premature Ejaculation?

    • Doctors of South Melbourne

      Hi Lucky,

      Yes, Dr James treats both conditions.

      You can make an appointment with her by clicking the BOOK ONLINE button at the top of this page or by calling us on (03) 8579 6838.

      Kind regards,
      Doctors of South Melbourne

    • Ashar

      Have booked an appointment with Dr Michael Macpherson, will he be able help me with ED and lower drive

      • Doctors of South Melbourne

        Hi Ashar,

        Dr Michael is an experienced men’s health GP who will talk with you about a range of treatment options tailored to your specific circumstances.

        He’s also a lovely bloke I’m sure you’ll find very easy to discuss your needs and concerns with.

        Kind regards,
        Doctors of South Melbourne

  3. Sundara

    I had an operation for prostate enlargement called TURF about two years ago. After that I could not get any erection.
    Can you treat and how much it cost

    • Doctors of South Melbourne

      Hi Sundara,

      For your condition, we usually start by trying medications. If this is unsuccessful, a referral to a urologist for surgical options would be the next step.

      Costs depend on whether you have private insurance and what type of treatment option you’re considering; a urologist would be able to provide more detailed information.

      You’re more than welcome to make an appointment with Dr James or any of the other GPs at our clinic to discuss this. Alternatively, you can get a referral to a urologist from your regular GP.
      Men’s Health Melbourne might be a good place to start:
      This link outlines the treatment options for erectile dysfunction:

      Kind regards,
      Doctors of South Melbourne

  4. Trevor

    I have been taking viagra for 20 years and most of the time this has worked until recently. For past 6 weeks I’m not getting aroused enough to get full erection


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *