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Erectile Dysfunction Test

Erectile Dysfunction Test

Erectile Dysfunction

In making a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED), your doctor will start by taking a detailed medical and psychosexual history and conducting a thorough physical examination. If possible, interviewing your partner also is very helpful in obtaining an accurate history, planning treatment and a successful outcome.

ED is often associated with various medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, spinal cord compression and pituitary tumors. Therefore, your doctor may conduct a variety of laboratory tests to determine the cause of your ED. These tests may include the following:

Complete blood count

Urine test

Fasting blood glucose test

Serum creatinine test

Lipid profile

Morning serum testosterone test

Prolactin level test

Diagnosis

For many men, a physical exam and answering questions (medical history) are all that's needed for a doctor to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend a treatment. If you have chronic health conditions or your doctor suspects that an underlying condition might be involved, you might need further tests or a consultation with a specialist.

Tests for underlying conditions might include:

  • Physical exam. This might include careful examination of your penis and testicles and checking your nerves for sensation.
  • Blood tests. A sample of your blood might be sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels and other health conditions.
  • Urine tests (urinalysis). Like blood tests, urine tests are used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.

Alternative medicine

Before using any supplement, check with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you — especially if you have chronic health conditions. Some alternative products that claim to work for erectile dysfunction can be dangerous.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about several types of "herbal viagra" because they contain potentially harmful drugs not listed on the label. The dosages might also be unknown, or they might have been contaminated during formulation.

Self-Report Tests for Measuring Sexual Function

A variety of self-report measures for assessing the levels of your sexual function are now available. These measures can be conducted on your own at home or in a private room at your doctor's office. The most commonly used test is the International Index of Erectile Function. It has 15 items and assesses erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction, as well as the severity of your ED.

Advanced Testing for Erectile Dysfunction

Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) Test:

Nocturnal erections occur in healthy males of all ages. Eighty percent of these happen during REM sleep. The average man has three to five episodes of NPT per night, lasting for 30 to 60 minutes each. With age, total nocturnal erection time decreases.

There are a variety of methods available for monitoring NPT. The monitoring is generally conducted with a simple outpatient device, rather than in NPT sleep labs. These devices electronically record the number, duration, rigidity and circumference of penile erections.

Psychological Evaluation:

Psychological conditions, such as performance anxiety, a strained relationship, lack of sexual arousability and mental health disorders, including depression and schizophrenia, may cause erectile dysfunction. Therefore, your doctor may recommend an interview with a psychologist that focuses on current sexual problems, partner relationship and any psychiatric symptoms you may be experiencing.

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