When a man is said to have ED or erectile dysfunction, this means they have difficulty getting an erection and keeping that erection.
There are numerous causes of erectile dysfunction which might be psychological or physical.There are tests that can help diagnose ED.
Once the cause of the erectile dysfunction is established by a physician, various treatment options can begin.
Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction:
If you feel that you have ED, you need to consult your physician.Your doctor will look at your medical history as well as your sexual activity in the present and past.
You might feel a bit uncomfortable about this, but by being honest this will help your physician diagnose your problem correctly.
Questions given by your physician might include:
How often and how much do you drink alcohol?
Do you smoke?
You exercise often?
Do you take recreational or prescription drugs?
When did you first notice that you had erectile dysfunction?
Has your penis ever been injured?
Do you have stress at home or work?
You have any depression issues?
Do you suffer from anxiety?
You may also be asked questions about your sexual history and your sex life.This might include questions about your sex drive, sexual orientation, and sexual partners.
The doctor may also ask under what circumstances are you able to get an erection.This might be on your own, with your partner, first thing in the morning, or at some other time.
They may also ask you if you’re able to have an orgasm or ejaculate.
If you can’t get an erection at any time, then there’s probably a physical cause for your symptoms.
If you only experience erectile dysfunction during sexual intercourse, the problem is probably psychological.
There are certain conditions such as a diabetes, or cardiovascular disease that can cause erectile dysfunction and these will need to be treated before your issue with ED can be corrected.
If the underlying cause of the erectile dysfunction is treated, in some cases the ED will go away.
At the doctor, you’ll have your blood pressure taken, your weight taken, and your height measured as well as your waist circumference.
There may be urine tests as well as blood tests taken as this will help determine any physical conditions you might have.
When you have erectile dysfunction, you usually have restricted blood flow to this area.
These tests will determine if you have restricted blood flow which can indicate a health condition is causing your erectile dysfunction.
In some cases, a physical examination of the penis is done to ensure there’s no structural problems with the penis which can impact the blood flow to the penis.
One disease called Peyronie’s disease, can cause scar tissue to form which can result in erectile dysfunction.
If the physician feels that you have erectile dysfunction due to some health condition, there may be other tests carried out such as:
Complete blood test – This will look for things such as anemia which can cause a lot of fatigue and lead to erection difficulties.
Blood glucose – This test looks at the level of sugar in your blood into determine if you have diabetes.When you have diabetes a common side effect of that condition is erectile dysfunction.
Lipid test – This test looks at the fats in your body.If you have a higher level of fat in your bloodstream this may indicate you have high cholesterol.This can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries which restricts blood flow and results in erectile dysfunction in many cases.
Blood hormone test – This sort of test will look at hormone levels in the body especially testosterone which is the male sex hormone.There may be other tests done to rule out any hormonal conditions that could be a factor in your ED.
Urine test – This test looks at the urine for testosterone levels, protein levels, and sugar levels.This can help the physician identify any health condition that might be leading to erectile problems.
Blood hormone tests: these measure levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the blood. If the level is too low, your doctor may recommend further tests to rule out hormonal conditions that can be a factor in ED.
In some cases, you may be referred to a urologist.This specialist will carry out specific diagnostic tests to determine your problem and then work on the best treatment plan for you.
If they determine that your ED is caused by a psychological issue they may recommend treatment such as counselling.
Other Erectile Dysfunction Tests:
There may be other tests conducted depending upon your issue which might include:
Intracavernous Injection Test, During this test, a synthetic hormone is injected into the penis which will increase blood flow and this can determine if you have problems with blood flow to your penis. An ultrasound scan is done and then the images of blood vessels and tissue or examined to see if they leak or are narrow.
Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) Test, This test will determine if you have any erection when you’re sleeping. Elastic bands will be placed around the base and the tip of your penis. If these bands snap during sleep, then you’re getting an erection when sleeping. If this does not occur, then medication might be causing it or some other physical problem. Blood flow may be restricted to your penis which blocks nerves which are responsible for an erection.
Arteriography and Dynamic Infusion Cavernosometry, This is where a special dye is injected into the penis blood vessels. When a scanner is used, the diet will show up and the physician can see how the blood vessels are working in the penis.
Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction:
Testosterone is the male sex hormone and responsible for male sexual responses.If a man has low testosterone, they may experience erectile dysfunction and lower sex drive.
If you have ED, this doesn’t mean that you have low testosterone.
If low testosterone is determined to be the cause of your erectile dysfunction, then testosterone replacement therapy can be given which will raise your testosterone levels and may correct erectile dysfunction.
If other tests done are inconclusive, a blood test can be done to measure your testosterone levels.You may need a couple of tests as testosterone levels can vary at different times.
If you have fatigue, low libido, and low testosterone then a test will be done to see if you have any hormone problems.
If you do have low levels of testosterone, then this can factor in your erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a complex problem which you cannot solve on your own. If you experience ED, that doesn’t go away or is chronic, you need to see your physician.
Your doctor will put you through a series of tests to determine the cause of your erectile dysfunction.Once the cause is determined, treatments and medications will be given to correct the issue.
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