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How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Diagnosing erectile dysfunction usually begins with a review of your symptoms and a physical exam. In some cases, this may be all a doctor needs to prescribe treatment. However, if a more serious underlying cause is suspected, there are other tests that may be performed. Doctors may run blood tests or urine tests to look for things like diabetes, hormone problems, and heart disease. Ultrasounds may be used to look for problems with blood flow to the penis. Some men may undergo overnight erection testing, which uses a simple test to see if erections occur during sleep. If it does, this suggests a psychological rather than physical problem.

First, doctors usually perform a physical exam to help determine if underlying medical problems with the nervous or circulatory systems might be the cause of erectile dysfunction. Blood work, lab tests, and measurements of testosterone may help with the diagnosis. To determine if medication side effects could be the cause, your doctor will also want to know about any medications you are currently taking.

Your doctor might also ask questions about your emotional health and will want to know if there are any personal matters that might be affecting your sex drive. After determining the cause of your issues, your doctor may recommend any number of ways to treat the problem, depending on your circumstances.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.