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Erectile Dysfunction:
What to Ask Your Doctor

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is extremely common; in fact, 52% of men from ages 40-70 years have some form of ED. If you have ED, it can be embarrassing to talk to anyone about your condition, let alone a doctor. However, getting the right information about ED can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with a treatable condition. Preparing for your next visit to the doctor can also make it easier to talk about ED. Consider the following questions and talking points before your visit.

1 Questions Your Doctor Might Ask You

Asking a Doctor about Erectile Dysfunction

Although it is common to feel uncomfortable when talking about erectile dysfunction, doctors need to know what symptoms you’re experiencing before giving advice or prescribing certain medications. Think about the following questions before your visit and how you would answer them.

  • Do you ever get erections?
  • Are your erections firm enough for sex?
  • When you are having sex, do you ever lose your erection?
    If you do, does it ever come back?
  • If you masturbate, do you get an erection?
  • Do you ever get erections at random times during the day?
  • Do you ever wake up with an erection?
  • Are you currently taking, or have you ever taken, an erectile dysfunction medication? If so, did you experience any side effects?

2 Information Your Doctor Will Want to Know

Patient information sheet for talking to your doctor

Doctors can’t read your mind, so it is important to come prepared and write down important information beforehand.

This list of information should include:

  • All medications that you take, including prescriptions, supplements, herbal remedies, and vitamins.
  • An up-to-date medical history record that highlights events like recent surgeries or trips to the emergency room.
  • Information about the symptoms you have been experiencing. Review the questions your doctor might ask you and have answers prepared.
  • Personal lifestyle information, like diet and exercise habits, as well as any major changes happening in your life.
Erectile Dysfunction: What to ask your doctor cover photo

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3 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Talking to a doctor

Doctors see many patients throughout the day. Use your time with them wisely and get the information you need to take control of erectile dysfunction. Start by asking these questions:

What physical health conditions can cause ED?

There are many physical causes of erectile dysfunction, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, alcoholism, and sleep disorders, among others. If you are suffering from ED caused by one of these conditions, you may need to treat the underlying condition instead of your ED.

I have high blood pressure.
Is this affecting my erectile function?

High blood pressure can affect the way the arteries carry blood to the penis, which could result in a weak erection. If you suffer from hypertension and ED, tell your doctor.

Heart disease can contribute to Erectile Dysfunction

If I have ED, should I consult a cardiologist?

Your doctor will look for heart disease during your visit if you show signs of ED. Oftentimes, a visit to the cardiologist is not necessary.

Are there medications that can contribute to ED?

Some medications can cause ED. Common culprits are medications for high blood pressure and antidepressants. Talk to your doctor about medications you are currently taking.

Pressure gauge - stress can cause Erectile Dysfunction

Could psychological factors like stress and anxiety be affecting my erectile function?

10-20% of all erectile dysfunction cases are caused by psychological ED. Stress and anxiety can both negatively affect erectile function, so ask your doctor if you believe your mental health is causing ED.

Does having ED mean that I have low testosterone?

Not exactly. Low testosterone is just one of many factors that can cause a low sex drive and could lead to erectile dysfunction.

Dice - If you can get an erection most of the time, you do not have ED

I sometimes get an erection, but not always.
Could that be erectile dysfunction?

If you can get an erection most of the time, you do not have ED. If you regularly lose your erection when trying to have sex, you should consult your doctor.

Are my symptoms long-term or temporary?

Symptoms depend on the underlying cause of your ED. In some instances, treating the cause can also treat your erectile dysfunction. Consult your doctor to understand how long your symptoms may last.

Can my ED be treated?

There are various treatment methods ranging from invasive solutions, like surgery, to less invasive solutions, like medication. Treatment options include penile implants, penile injections, vacuum erectile devices, and PDE-5 inhibitors. PDE-5 inhibitors are prescription medications that enable blood flow to the penis.

Stendra (Avanafil) is the next-generation PDE-5 inhibitor that works in as little as 15 minutes and is effective for up to 5 hours, with a low rate of common side effects. Ask your doctor if Stendra is right for you.

erectile dysfunction medication

How effective are medications for ED?

In a study run by Harvard Health, roughly 70% of men who reported taking medications for ED said they could have an erection suitable for intercourse. You should consult your doctor to see what medication options are right for you.

What are the side effects of ED pills?

Most ED pills have a lengthy list of side effects, such as headaches, blurred vision, back pain, and low blood pressure. More extreme side effects include blue vision and spinal damage. Stendra is the next-generation alternative with a low rate of side effects. Ask your doctor for more information about Stendra.

You're allowed up to 3 alcoholic drinks with Stendra

Can you drink alcohol with ED pills?

Many ED pills advise against consuming alcohol when taking the pill because alcohol can cause dangerous effects, such as fainting and severe heart problems. The ingestion of alcohol while on ED medication can also reduce the efficacy of the drug. Stendra is an alternative prescription ED medication that allows you to enjoy up to 3 servings of alcohol. Talk to your doctor about Stendra for more information.

Erectile Dysfunction medicine with food

Do I need to eat food before I take my ED medication?

Some ED pills advise against eating greasy food. Other pills require you to take them with water. Stendra can be taken with or without food. Consult your doctor to see if Stendra is the right option for you.

What if the treatments don’t work?

You won’t know until you try, but if none of the treatments are effective, consult your doctor for further advice.

Remember that each person is different. Your doctor is the best person to evaluate the severity of your erectile dysfunction and can create a treatment plan for you.

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If you think Stendra would be a great fit for you, ask your doctor for more information today.

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Important Safety Information

What is the most important information you should know about STENDRA?

STENDRA® (avanafil) is a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

STENDRA is not for use in women or children. It is not known if STENDRA is safe or effective in women or children under 18 years of age.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information you should know about STENDRA?

STENDRA® (avanafil) is a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

STENDRA is not for use in women or children. It is not known if STENDRA is safe or effective in women or children under 18 years of age.


Do not take STENDRA if you take any medicines called “nitrates” or “guanylate cyclase stimulators”, as these combinations can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly to unsafe levels. A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy, faint, or have a heart attack or stroke.

Tell all of your healthcare providers that you take STENDRA. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it will be important for your healthcare provider to know when you last took STENDRA.

Stop sexual activity and get medical help right away if you experience symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex. Sexual activity can put an extra strain on your heart, especially if your heart is already weak from a heart attack or heart disease.

Who should not take STENDRA?

Do not take STENDRA if you:

  • take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain (angina), as this may cause a sudden, unsafe drop in blood pressure
  • take guanylate cyclase stimulators such as riociguat (Adempas®), which are often used to treat pulmonary hypertension
  • take street drugs called “poppers” such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate
  • are allergic to STENDRA (avanafil) or any of the ingredients in STENDRA. Seek medical attention right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STENDRA?

Before you take STENDRA, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have or have had heart problems such as a heart attack, irregular heartbeat, angina, or heart failure
  • have had heart surgery within the last 6 months
  • have pulmonary hypertension
  • have had a stroke
  • have low blood pressure, or high blood pressure that is not controlled
  • have a deformed penis shape
  • have had an erection that lasted for more than 4 hours
  • have problems with your blood cells such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia
  • have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic (runs in families) eye disease
  • have ever had severe vision loss, including an eye problem called nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
  • have bleeding problems
  • have or have had stomach ulcers
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems or are having kidney dialysis
  • have any other medical condition

STENDRA may affect the way other medicines work.

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including any of the following:

  • medicines called nitrates
  • medicines called guanylate cyclase stimulators such as riociguat (ADEMPAS)
  • medicines called HIV protease inhibitors such as ritonavir (NORVIR), indinavir (CRIXIVAN), saquinavir (FORTAVASE or INVIRASE) or atazanavir (REYATAZ)
  • some types of oral antifungal medicines, such as ketoconazole (NIZORAL) and itraconazole (SPORANOX)
  • some types of antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (BIAXIN), telithromycin (KETEK), or erythromycin
  • medicines called alpha-blockers. These include HYTRIN (terazosin), FLOMAX (tamsulosin HCl), CARDURA (doxazosin), MINIPRESS (prazosin HCl), UROXATRAL (alfuzosin HCl), JALYN (dutasteride and tamsulosin HCl), or RAPAFLO (silodosin). Alpha-blockers are sometimes prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure. In some patients, the use of STENDRA with alpha-blockers can lead to a drop in blood pressure or to fainting
  • other medicines that treat high blood pressure
  • other medicines or treatments for ED

Do not drink too much alcohol when taking STENDRA (for example, more than 3 glasses of wine, or 3 shots of whiskey). Drinking too much alcohol when taking STENDRA can increase your chances of getting a headache or getting dizzy, increasing your heart rate, or lowering your blood pressure.

What are the possible side effects of STENDRA?

The most common side effects of STENDRA are headache, flushing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and back pain.

Rare but serious side effects of STENDRA may include:

  • an erection that will not go away (priapism). If you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away
  • sudden vision loss in one or both eyes. Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes can be a sign of a serious eye problem called nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Stop if you have sudden vision loss in one or both eyes
  • sudden hearing decrease or hearing loss. Some people may also have ringing in their ears (tinnitus) or dizziness

STENDRA does not protect against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

How should I take STENDRA?
  • The starting dose of STENDRA is 100 mg taken as early as approximately 15 minutes before sexual activity.
  • The dose may be increased to 200 mg taken as early as approximately 15 minutes before sexual activity, or decreased to 50 mg taken as early as approximately 30 minutes before sexual activity. The lowest effective dose should be used.
  • STENDRA may be taken with or without food.
  • Moderate consumption of alcohol is allowed (up to 3 drinks). Do not take more than 3 drinks (e.g. 3 glasses of wine or 3 shots of whiskey) when taking STENDRA.
  • Sexual stimulation is required for an erection to occur after taking STENDRA.
  • Do not take STENDRA more than once per day.
  • The safety and efficacy of combinations of STENDRA with other treatments for ED has not been studied. Therefore, the use of such combinations is not recommended.

Reference: 1. Selvin E, Burnett AL, Platz EA. Prevalence and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in the US. Am J Med. 2007;120(2): 151-157.


These are not all the possible side effects of STENDRA. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information or for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or by visiting

For more dosing information, please see accompanying full Prescribing Information and Patient Information.