Discover five online support forums where men struggling with ED, cancer, and other men’s health issues can share experiences, get answers, and find support.
An estimated 30 million American men have experienced erectile dysfunction at some point. If you’re one of those 30 million, you may feel alone, and you may even feel uncomfortable discussing the situation with your physician.
While a doctor’s office is the right place to go for answers as to why you are experiencing ED and what you can do about it, being able to talk through your experience with others in a private, respectful space can help with the emotional side of ED.
Here are five online erectile dysfunction sites where you can ask questions or talk with others about ED in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment.
Patients Like Me is a vast online resource covering virtually every conceivable medical disorder and disease. Its Erectile Dysfunction section is packed with some unique features that give men with ED points of comparison between themselves and other men who find themselves suffering from impotence.
At the top of the section’s homepage is a straightforward definition of erectile dysfunction, describing it quite simply as “the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual performance.” An adjacent graphic offers a look at some of the common related conditions suffered by men with ED. These include anxiety, depression, fatigue, pain, and stress. It also offers insights into the various medications with which men with ED treat those comorbid conditions.
Also available is a lengthy list of the many medications taken by men with ED. At the top of the list, unsurprisingly, are sildenafil and tadalafil, the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis, respectively.
But also on the list are such unexpected entries as cannabis, sedative-type drugs, and other medications that have helped ED patients deal not only with their symptoms of impotence but with side effects and related conditions as well.
We recommend never taking medication advice of this type without speaking first to your medical practitioner. That said, some users may find these suggestions helpful as conversation starters with their doctors.
Of particular interest to newly diagnosed ED patients is a graphic that indicates the age at which other visitors to the site first experienced symptoms of ED and also shows the distribution of ED diagnoses by age group.
As might be expected, the biggest concentration of new ED diagnoses occurred among 50-year-olds, followed by those in their 60s, those in their 40s, 30s, and then those 70 and over.
A potential drawback to this site: The primary ED discussion area on Patients Like Me is the Men’s Health Forum. To access the forum, you are required to sign up with an email address. As the website seems legitimate, we don’t see this as a significant problem. However, some people may prefer to browse the threads without committing to a sign-up.
ED Questions can be a helpful resource to get answers to your ED questions. The site invites users to submit questions, which appear to be answered by real doctors.
The questions submitted cover a broad range of topics, including the best books about ED, the influence of testosterone levels on erectile function, anxiety, drug side effects, and cognitive therapy for ED.
The site includes sections on each of the most popular ED medications, as well, and offers videos that answer common questions such as “What are the side effects of Viagra?”
One potential drawback: ED Questions doesn’t appear to be a true support group because it’s not clear whether users can leave comments and thus begin discussion threads. At the time of our review, comments appeared to have been turned off for all of the questions we accessed.
Still, the site is a good bet for men looking for answers from others who are travelling the same path.
3. The Howling Place
At The Howling Place, a private Facebook group administered by Man Up To Cancer, men who are facing cancer can discuss the emotional side of their diagnosis, including ED issues they might face due to prostate surgery or other cancer treatments.
Doctors rarely discuss the sexual side effects of cancer treatment, the emotional whirlwind surrounding the diagnosis and treatment, or living with post-cancer complications, which is what this private space was built for.
The Howling Place is a true support group. As founder Trevor Maxwell notes in the page’s founding notes: “Many of us are just too proud, angry, ashamed, or depressed to seek [support] out. Early in my own journey, I was in that place, too.”
So he founded The Howling Place. The name is a reference to wolves and Maxwell’s belief in the importance of “the power of the pack” to help men through their most difficult issues with cancer and ED.
According to Maxwell, “These are the three principles of our community:
- DON’T CHECK OUT. Take action and resist the instinct to withdraw.
- BRING YOUR FIERCE HEART. If you lack toughness, cultivate your inner badass. If you’re too macho, cultivate your loving nature.
- PAY IT FORWARD. Accept help and give back to others.”
Man Up to Cancer also produces a podcast, which you can check out here.
Here’s just a brief sampling of the many topics discussed at the erectile dysfunction forum PE Gym (the Penis Gym):
- Books on ED
- Loss of sensitivity
- The cost of Cialis in Canada
- Pornography and ED
- Difficulty maintaining an erection with a partner
- The dangers of self-diagnosis
This site has sections on various ED topics such as penis exercises, penis extenders, and penis pumps. It also has a section on premature ejaculation.
PE Gym has a few additional features we found interesting, including a blogging feature, the ability to join groups, and a photos section. We weren’t able to find out what types of photos are offered, as users need to register to access them. If you’re interested, we’ll let you discover that on your own.
Daily Strength’s Impotence & Erectile Dysfunction Support Group hosts frank discussions about every aspect of ED, including its effects on relationships, alternative ways of seeking sexual satisfaction, and what happens when you can no longer afford ED drugs.
Discussion threads cover a broad range of topics, including helpful information about topics like counterfeit ED drugs. For example, in a thread about Cialis and erectile dysfunction, a user brings up the topic of counterfeit ED drugs.
Other threads cover health problems that correlate with ED, like diabetes, heart problems, and clinical depression. These threads are good sources of encouragement from people who have been through similar situations:
A drawback of this site: Many (if not most) threads are packed with advertisements, most for questionable supplements with little to no proof of efficacy. Still, the main ED thread can be useful as a place to find answers and support.
The Role of Online Forums
Erectile dysfunction is a topic that many men are hesitant to discuss, even with their partners. Online discussions allow them to freely and anonymously discuss what’s going on with their sex lives while learning about what does and doesn’t work for others.
Participating in an online erectile dysfunction forum isn’t a substitute for consulting with a physician and possibly trying prescription ED drugs, but it can be a safe way for men to feel less alone and to discover that ED affects men of all ages in all life situations.
Many men are more likely to open up to a doctor after discussing the issue with people who’ve been through it already.
How eDrugstore Can Help
Once you’ve accepted that you’re suffering from ED, particularly that caused by insufficient blood flow to the penis, you’ll find that popular oral ED drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra can quickly and safely relieve your symptoms.
If the convenience of ordering these drugs online appeals to you, check out the many services, including a complimentary medical consultation, offered by longtime online facilitator eDrugstore.com.
Based in the United States, eDrugstore supplies FDA-approved drugs sourced exclusively from licensed U.S. pharmacies. And you can rest assured that your privacy and vital contact information will be safeguarded. To learn more, check out our medication guide, or visit eDrugstore’s erectile dysfunction page.
Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies “beyond the headlines,” reading the study to more closely examine the results.