How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When you see your doctor about erectile dysfunction, be prepared to answer a number of questions about your health and your symptoms. In some cases, erectile dysfunction has an underlying cause that can be treated. Depending on your condition, you may need to see a doctor who specializes in treating urinary and reproductive disorders (urologist).

To determine whether a penis pump is a good treatment option for you, your doctor may ask about:

  • Any illnesses you have now or have had in the past.
  • Any injuries or surgeries you've had, especially those involving your penis, testicles or prostate.
  • What medications you take, including herbal supplements.
  • What erectile dysfunction treatments you've tried and how well they worked.

Your doctor will likely do a physical exam, which typically includes checking your genitals and feeling your pulse in arteries in different parts of your body (peripheral arteries). Your doctor may perform a digital rectal examination (DRE) to check your prostate gland. During a digital rectal exam, your doctor will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum to feel the surface of the prostate.

If the cause of your erectile dysfunction is already known when you see your doctor, your appointment may be less involved.

Choosing a penis pump

Some penis pumps are available without a prescription, but talk to your doctor before purchasing one. Your doctor may recommend or prescribe a specific model. That way you can be sure it suits your needs and that it's made by a reputable manufacturer. Penis pumps available online, in magazines and sex ads may not be safe or effective. Make sure whatever model of penis pump you use has a vacuum limiter, which keeps pressure from getting too high and injuring your penis.

Penis pumps for penis enlargement

Many advertisements in magazines and on the Internet market penis pumps with the claim that they can be used to increase penis size, but there's no evidence that they work for this purpose. In some circumstances using a penis pump may help your penis maintain its natural size and shape after surgery or if you have Peyronie's disease. But attempting to use a penis pump specifically to enlarge the penis could cause injury.

Aug. 25, 2011