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Erectile Dysfunction Clinics: What Are They?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Vanessa Gibbs

Published 04/19/2021

Updated 03/27/2024

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when you can’t get or keep an erection. If you’re battling this problem, you might find yourself checking out an erectile dysfunction clinic.

ED clinics specialize in treating ED (shocker, we know). But if you’re not feeling an in-person visit, they’re not the only way to get treatment.

Below, we’ll explain what ED clinics are, who should visit them and how you can get started with the many ED treatments out there.

First up, WTF is an erectile dysfunction clinic? 

An ED clinic is exactly what it sounds like: a clinic specializing in the treatment of ED. 

This type of medical facility is staffed by general practitioners who focus on ED and urologists (healthcare professionals who deal with diseases of the urinary tract and male reproductive organs). 

Beyond ED, a men’s clinic for erectile dysfunction might treat other sexual health problems like premature ejaculation or low testosterone. 

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You can visit an ED clinic if you’re experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction

These include

  • Not being able to get an erection

  • Not being able to keep an erection 

A healthcare provider at an ED clinic can diagnose ED and recommend suitable treatment options for you. To get started, reach out to a local ED clinic and schedule an appointment.

Learn more in our guide on when to visit an ED doctor

Don’t have an ED clinic nearby or don’t want to visit one? Good news: visiting an ED clinic isn’t your only option.

To treat ED, you can: 

  • Contact your primary care provider. Your primary care provider (PCP) is knowledgeable about a range of issues, including men’s health and sexual problems. They’ll be able to diagnose ED and recommend treatment options. If needed, they can also refer you to a urologist or ED specialist. 

  • Schedule an appointment with a urologist. You can skip your usual doctor and schedule an appointment with a urologist outside of an ED clinic. Urologists may not market their services as “ED clinics.” Try Googling “urologist” or “urology clinic” with your zip code.

  • Talk to a healthcare provider online. We offer ED treatment online, so you can get erectile dysfunction sorted without visiting an ED clinic or even leaving the couch. Connect with a healthcare provider who can diagnose ED and prescribe FDA-approved medication online. 

The important thing is that you reach out to someone. ED can be a sign of an underlying health condition — like high blood pressure, heart disease or Peyronie’s disease. And it’s treatable, so you don’t need to suffer through it. 

We know it can feel embarrassing to talk about any sex life problems. But trust us, medical professionals have heard it all before — ED affects about 30 million men in the U.S., after all.

So, you think you’ve got ED because of how you perform (or don’t perform) in the bedroom. How will an ED clinic or healthcare professional diagnose it? 

To kick things off, you’ll probably be asked a few questions about your medical history and sexual function. Don’t panic — they’re easy enough. 

You might be asked: 

  • How often you can get an erection 

  • How often you can keep an erection 

  • How often you find sexual intercourse satisfying 

  • Whether you take any over-the-counter or prescription drugs  

  • Whether you drink, smoke or use illegal drugs (no judgment here) 

A healthcare professional may also do a physical exam to help diagnose ED. This may include taking your blood pressure or examining your penis. 

Further tests — such as a blood test, an imaging test or checking your fasting glucose levels or testosterone levels — can help determine if a medical condition is causing your ED. And if you have a high risk of prostate cancer or lower urinary tract symptoms, a healthcare provider may screen you for prostate cancer.  

Beyond the physical side of things, you might also get a mental health exam. Why? Erectile dysfunction is often a result of psychological factors like anxiety or depression. 

Don’t believe us? Research shows that ED is caused by psychological factors in a whopping 85 percent of men under 40. For those over 40, it’s about 40 percent. Once you’ve passed the big 4-0 milestone, you’re more likely to have organic ED (ED caused by health issues or medication side effects, for example). 

Figuring out the cause of your ED will help a healthcare provider determine the best course of action to treat it.

Choose your chew

Whether you visit an ED clinic or connect with a healthcare provider online, a medical professional can recommend the best treatment to get you back on your A-game. 

Many ED treatments are out there, including: 

  • Medications 

  • Lifestyle changes

  • Therapy

  • Vacuum erection devices

  • Surgery

Let’s dive into each option in more detail.

Erectile Dysfunction Medications

First up, medication. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors) are a first-line medical treatment for ED. These oral medications work by increasing blood flow to the penis, making it easier to get an erection.

You won’t just get an erection, though. You’ll still need sexual stimulation to get hard.

FDA-approved PDE5 inhibitors include: 

  • Sildenafil. Sildenafil is the generic version of and active ingredient in Viagra®. It lasts about four hours per dose.

  • Tadalafil. Tadalafil is generic Cialis®. It’s nicknamed “the weekend pill” because it lasts up to 36 hours. 

  • Vardenafil. This is the generic for Levitra®. Like Viagra, it also lasts about four hours. 

  • Avanafil. This is the generic for Stendra®. It’s the newest kid on the block out of these four drugs and can start working in as little as 15 minutes. 

Check out our guide to what to expect from ED medication for the nitty-gritty details.

Lifestyle Changes for Erectile Dysfunction

Next, lifestyle changes. A healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes on their own or alongside other treatments to improve your ED. 

These may include:

  • Exercising regularly 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight 

  • Reducing stress levels (don’t stress about ED? Thanks, Doc) 

  • Limiting or avoiding alcohol 

  • Quitting smoking 

  • Not using illegal drugs 

We’ve covered more natural ways to treat ED.

Talk Therapy for ED

Beyond meds and lifestyle tweaks, therapy may help by addressing any psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.

For example, a therapist can help you manage stress and anxiety. And a couple’s therapist can help you work through any relationship problems.

Vacuum ED Devices  

Vacuum erection devices are another treatment option. They work by pulling blood into your penis to create an erection via a plastic tube and pump.

Vacuum erection devices can help men with all different types of erectile dysfunction, whereas ED meds aren’t suitable for everyone.

Erectile Dysfunction Surgery

Finally, surgery is an option. This is usually reserved for those who don’t respond to medications, can’t take ED medications or experience side effects, for example. 

Surgical treatments include penile prosthesis (a penile implant inserted into the penis to help with erections) and penile revascularization surgery, which may involve repairing narrow arteries in the penis, if that’s the cause of ED. 

Again, speaking to a healthcare provider — either at a clinic, at your usual doctor’s office or online — is your first step in getting ED treatment. They can recommend the best options for your needs.

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ED clinics specialize in treating erectile dysfunction, but the most important thing to know about them is that they’re not your only option.

Here’s a quick recap: 

  • ED clinics treat ED. Yup, it’s that simple. These clinics are staffed by urologists or other healthcare experts who specialize in ED. They sometimes also treat other sexual dysfunction problems like premature ejaculation and low testosterone. 

  • You don’t have to visit an ED clinic to get treatment for ED. If you don’t live near an ED clinic or would rather not go to one, you’re in luck. You can speak to your primary care provider, see a urologist outside of an ED clinic or connect with a healthcare provider online.

  • There are soooo many ED treatments available. Medications like Viagra and Cialis, lifestyle changes like exercise and quitting smoking, therapy, vacuum erection devices and surgery can all help treat ED. A healthcare provider can recommend a personalized treatment plan.

The first step in fixing ED is speaking to a healthcare professional — whether at a clinic or not.

Skipping the clinic? We offer ED treatments online. You can connect with a healthcare provider from home and, if appropriate, get erectile dysfunction medications delivered to your door.

11 Sources

  1. Why Urology? (n.d.). https://www.auanet.org/about-us/aua-overview/why-urology
  2. Yafi, F. A., et al. (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Nature reviews. Disease primers, 2, 16003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
  3. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. (n.d.). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
  4. Definition & Factors for Erectile Dysfunction. (n.d.). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  5. Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction. (n.d.). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/diagnosis
  6. McMahon C. G. (2019). Current diagnosis and management of erectile dysfunction. The Medical journal of Australia, 210(10), 469–476. https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/210_10/mja250167.pdf
  7. Ciaccio, V., & Di Giacomo, D. (2022). Psychological Factors Related to Impotence as a Sexual Dysfunction in Young Men: A Literature Scan for Noteworthy Research Frameworks. Clinics and practice, 12(4), 501–512. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9326597/
  8. Pastuszak A. W. (2014). Current Diagnosis and Management of Erectile Dysfunction. Current sexual health reports, 6(3), 164–176. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394737/
  9. Huang, S. A., & Lie, J. D. (2013). Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors In the Management of Erectile Dysfunction. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 38(7), 407–419. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776492/
  10. Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. (n.d.). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/treatment
  11. Mollaioli, D., Ciocca, G., Limoncin, E., Di Sante, S., Gravina, G. L., Carosa, E., Lenzi, A., & Jannini, E. A. F. (2020). Lifestyles and sexuality in men and women: the gender perspective in sexual medicine. Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E, 18(1), 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025405/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown was previously Medical Director of a male fertility startup where she lead strategy and design of their digital health platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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