Early diagnosis of ED helps prevent additional emotional and physical discomfort for men having trouble with erection. Many men experience this problem, but may be too embarrassed to talk about it. While having erectile dysfunction may cause anxiety to you and possibly to your partner, having a diagnosis can help you take the steps toward a more satisfying sexual life.
For a preliminary diagnosis, you can see your family doctor, who might refer you to a urologist. Your doctor will need to take your medical and sexual history in order to make a diagnosis. You can help your doctor make a diagnosis by recounting the situations when your symptoms occurred. It helps to prepare yourself before an appointment by recording the times and dates during which you experiencing difficulty controlling erection or ejaculation.
Because most cases of erectile dysfunction occur due to physical reasons, your medical history is important. Additionally, your doctor will want to know what drugs you take, or how much alcohol you drink, because drug-related reasons for erectile dysfunction make up 25% of all diagnoses. In addition to your medical and sexual history, your doctor may request one of the following medical exams:
Dynamic infusion cavernosometry and cavernosography (DICC) - A dye is injected into the blood vessels in the penis, which allows your doctor to detect abnormalities of the blood flow and blood pressure of the penis. A urologist specializing in erectile dysfunction may apply local anaesthesia for this test.
Laboratory Tests - Used to determine what amount of free testosterone is in the blood, in addition to blood counts, lipid profile, urinalysis, and more.
Nocturnal tumescence test - Because most men get erections in their sleep, a nocturnal tumescence test can determine if non-physical causes are the reason for erectile dysfunction. To conduct this test, special tape is placed around the penis before sleeping. If the tape is found broken in the morning after sleep, than an erection has occurred, indicating a psychological cause.
Physical Examination - This is used to determine if a systematic problem is causing the erectile dysfunction. Lack of sensation, for example, in the penis may indicate a nervous system problem. Or, as another example, hormonal problems might be detected through enlargement of the breast.
Psychosocial Examination - An interview and questionnaire is taken that may reveal psychological factors. Because some cases of erectile dysfunction can occur due to stress, sexual partners may be asked about sexual anticipations and perceptions during sexual activity.
Ultrasound - Used to detect blood flow to your penis, your doctor will use sound waves before and after the injection of a stimulator similar to a hormone. These sound waves will produce an image, allowing your doctor to see if blood flow is insufficient for maintaining an erection.
Erectile dysfunction can be frustrating both physically and emotionally, as the condition can interfere with sexual satisfaction of a man and his partner. However, most cases of erectile dysfunction are physically related and can be treated successfully.
Whether you are young, middle-aged, or older, your doctor may be able to identify if you have erectile dysfunction through one or more of a number of different tests. Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor can provide treatment. Scientific advances in treatment options-such as implants, injectable medications, suppositories and vacuum devices-have greatly expanded, so you can choose what is best for you. To learn more about the most common methods for fixing erectile dysfunction, read the How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction section now for more information.