Men`s knowledge about erectile dysfunction and its management options: Results from primary care study in Latvia

Kamila Pankova, Vija Silina

Keywords: Latvia, men, erectile disfunction, family doctor

Different level of erectile dysfunction (ED) problems affects nearly 17 % of men in Latvia (Lietuvietis, 2016). The urgency of problem grows with the age. To objectify data we used The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). The study purpose is to figure out awareness of erectile dysfunction symptoms, treatment opportunities and relevance of this topic among men in Latvia.

Research questions:

This cross-sectional study was conducted in 6 family practices in Latvia, in both urban and rural settings. We invited 300 (50 per practice) randomly selected 40 to 65 old men to fill in an anonymous online questionnaire using online randomizer ( To quantify self-reported ED the IIEF-5. Score below 22 was considered as ED. Patients with Diabetes mellitus type 2 were excluded.

Out of 300 men 246 completed the questionnaire (response rate 82%). According to the collected data 13 % (n = 31) men think they have problems with erection and 18 % (n = 44) found it difficult to answer this question. According to IIEF-5 index, 29% (n=78) of respondents scored < 22 points, which corresponds to ED. However, only 23 out of 78 respondents from this group acknowledge that they have erection problems. Our data shows that most respondents (n= 231) have never consulted family doctor about ED. According to the multiple choice question reasons were different: in 152 cases respondents thought that they do not have ED; 20 admitted being too shy; 27 replied that they can solve the problem without family doctor and other causes).

Despite accessible medicine only nearly every 3rd respondent with decreased IIEF – 5 considered that he had erection function problems. Our study implies that men in Latvia rarely talk to a family doctor about ED and that awareness about symptoms and treatment options is still insufficient.

Points for discussion: