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Why is erectile dysfunction a vastly underreported problem?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

About 80% of erectile dysfunction goes unreported. Here's one important reason: The biggest problem many people have with sex is talking about it.

A few years ago, researchers asked a group of men with erectile dysfunction who had never spoken with a doctor about the problem a simple question: why? How come they had never sought help for the condition? Three-quarters of the men said they felt too embarrassed to bring it up.

Other men in the survey said they thought that erectile dysfunction was a natural part of aging. If these men don't bring up erectile dysfunction, the only way they're likely to get treatment is if a doctor asks: How is your sex life? However, there's also good reason to believe that many doctors never get around to asking, maybe because they're too swamped with patients. Or because they're too embarrassed to bring it up.

Whatever the cause, the underreporting of erectile dysfunction in the United States is unfortunate. We have excellent treatments for erectile dysfunction. Don't let shame or misinformation keep you from getting help for this frustrating problem.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is under reported because men have difficulty discussing this very personal topic with their doctors. However, ED is not just about sex. Rather, ED is an outward warning sign that something else may be going on inside you that needs medical treatment, including serious conditions such as heart disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.