Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 4/20/2021
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a common condition in which you may find it difficult or impossible to get or maintain an erection.
ED affects about 30 million men in the United States. If you’re one of the many men affected by erectile dysfunction, you may have thought about meeting with a healthcare provider to discuss your options.
One way to seek professional help for erectile dysfunction is to book an appointment with an ED clinic.
Below, we’ve explained more about what ED clinics are and how they can help you to deal with erectile dysfunction. We’ve also discussed the other options that are available if you’re affected by ED and want to take action and treat it.
ED clinics are medical clinics staffed by healthcare professionals that specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.
The term “ED clinic” typically isn’t used in medicine. Instead, it’s a marketing term that might be used by a clinic that specializes in male sexual health issues such as ED.
ED clinics are usually staffed by urologists and other specialists. In addition to ED, some clinics may also deal with other aspects of men’s sexual health, such as premature ejaculation (PE) or low testosterone.
Erectile dysfunction is a common issue. Although it’s usually associated with older men, you can develop ED at any time in life, regardless of your age or background.
Although many people associated erectile dysfunction with a total inability to get an erection, the reality is that ED can vary in severity. You may have ED if you:
Can’t get an erection every time you want to have sex
Can’t maintain an erection for long enough to have satisfying sex
Can’t get an erection at any time, even when sexually aroused
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact a qualified healthcare provider for advice and assistance.
If you’re located near a clinic that specializes in ED, you can reach out for help by contacting the clinic and scheduling an appointment.
There are also several other ways to seek professional help for ED. You can:
Contact your primary care provider. Most healthcare providers can diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction. If your primary care provider thinks it’s appropriate, they can refer you to a urologist or other healthcare provider that specializes in ED.
Schedule an appointment with a urologist. Many urologists specialize in treating ED, but don’t market their practices as ED clinics. You can find local urologists by searching for “urologist” or “urology clinic” and your city’s name using Google.
Talk to a healthcare provider online. We offer ED treatment online. You can talk to a healthcare provider and, if appropriate, receive a prescription for FDA-approved ED medication online.
In order to diagnose ED, your healthcare provider may ask you questions about your symptoms, sexual performance and general health.
They may ask you how often you’re able to develop an erection that’s firm enough for sex, or if you’re generally able to maintain your erection during sex. You may also need to answer other questions about your medical and sexual history.
Although talking about your sexual performance can feel embarrassing, it’s important to provide accurate information. Remember that the person you’re talking to specializes in diagnosing and treating ED, meaning they’ve likely helped many people with similar issues before you.
In addition to answering questions, you may need to complete one or several tests to give your healthcare provider the information they need to make an accurate diagnosis.
We’ve talked more about these tests and the typical process you’ll experience in an ED clinic in our detailed guide to how erectile dysfunction is diagnosed.
If you’re affected by ED, your healthcare provider may recommend using medication to improve your erections and sexual performance.
Currently, several medications are approved by the FDA as treatments for ED. These belong to a class of medications called PDE5 inhibitors. They work by increasing the flow of blood to your penis, making it easier for you to get and maintain an erection when you’re aroused.
Popular medications for ED include:
Sildenafil (generic Viagra). This is the active ingredient in Viagra®. It’s a fast-acting ED medication that works for approximately four hours per dose.
Tadalafil. This is the active ingredient in Cialis®. It’s a longer-lasting medication that can provide relief from ED for up to 36 hours per dose.
Vardenafil. This is the active ingredient in Levitra®. It’s a fast-acting ED medication that lasts for a similar amount of time to sildenafil.
Avanafil. This medication is sold as Stendra®. It’s a newer ED medication that starts to work quickly and is less likely to cause certain side effects than older drugs.
All of these medications come in tablet form and are designed for use before sex. Our guide to what to expect from ED medication discusses how these medications work and the effects they can have on your erections and sexual performance.
In addition to prescribing medication, your healthcare provider may suggest making changes to your habits and lifestyle to treat ED. These may include maintaining a certain weight, changing your eating habits or quitting smoking.
Our guide to improving and protecting your erections naturally talks more about the habits and lifestyle changes you can use to improve your sexual health.
ED clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction. Many also treat other male sexual health issues, such as premature ejaculation and low testosterone.
If you’re one of the tens of millions of men affected by ED, you can visit an ED clinic to talk to a healthcare provider. Alternatively, you can talk to your primary care provider, visit a urologist or access FDA-approved, science-based ED treatments online.