Feature Article

Erectile dysfunction: a guide for GPs

Douglas W Lording



Erectile dysfunction is a serious matter. Not only can this cause great distress for a man and his partner, but it is an important marker of underlying comorbidities, including future cardiovascular disease.

Key Points

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common symptom, which increases in incidence with age.
  • All men with ED need to be assessed, even if there is no desire to restore sexual function, because there may be serious comorbidities.
  • For those men with ED who desire restoration of sexual function, effective and safe treatments are available.
  • It is important that GPs fully understand the role of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors for ED and be confident prescribing them and monitoring their effectiveness.
  • Patients with ED should be referred to an appropriate specialist if more specialised treatments are necessary.