How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed? It is typically done through the process of elimination. There are so many factors involved in getting and maintaining an erection firm enough to have sexual relations, your doctor will test one possibility at a time to finally reach the real cause. Only then can proper treatment be provided.
Process of Elimination
When there is difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection long enough for sex, the suspect is erectile dysfunction. When everything is working right, erections can come and go without a thought. You never think about everything that has to go “right” to get and keep one.
There happen to be multiple parts of your body and mind that have to be in sync. With occasional ED or if it becomes more common, suddenly you need to become aware of “what parts” need to be in sync. Contacting your urologist for an appointment in Covington is your first step toward getting the answers.
The causes of ED can be due to physical issues, mental/psychological issues, or emotional problems.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis: The Physical Test
Your urologist will begin by taking your medical history and asking lots of questions.
Blood tests and a physical exam will indicate any physical issues that can cause ED like the following:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Low testosterone
Any of these can contribute to erectile dysfunction. If one or more is identified, your urologist may begin treating those particular issues. Several of these physical problems can affect blood flow throughout your body. This, in turn, can be a significant cause of ED.
Your urologist may do several tests to learn more about your healthy blood flow.
Ultrasound is a test with a wand held over the penis to show blood flow. An injection can be placed at the base of the penis to induce an erection. These two tests may be used together.
In addition, your doctor may suggest an overnight erection test. A device is placed around your penis as you sleep. Since most men have multiple erection at night, this will show whether you can get an erection and how strong. As long as this test shows you can get an erection, then something else is the problem.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis: Emotional and Mental Issues
Depression, stress, and anxiety can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Your urologist will discuss these issues with you and give a psychological screening test for depression.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis: Other Risk Factors
Smoking, drinking to excess, lack of exercise, and use of recreational drugs can also contribute to ED. Being over the age of 50 can be a contributing factor, but men in their 80s can still have a satisfactory sex life.
There may not be only one cause of ED, but a combination of factors.
Getting a thorough evaluation from a urologist like Louisiana Healthcare Associates Urology in Covington will help pinpoint the cause and provide direction on which treatment option is best for you.