How is Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed or evaluated?

Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed or evaluated

Patient History

If your physician suspects that you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction, they will review your medical and sexual history. In many cases, your medical history will reveal a few clues as to the cause of your ED. Learning about a patient's sexual history and practices will also assist the physician. There may be problems associated with the patient's sexual desires, ability to maintain an erection, ejaculation or orgasm.

Reviewing any drugs that have been prescribed for other medical conditions may also suggest a cause of erectile dysfunction. Drug interference with a man's ability to have an erection accounts for one-fourth of all ED related cases. Your physician will be able to decide if substituting certain prescription medications will solve the problem.

Physical Examination

When your physician performs a physical examination, they may discover the cause of your erectile dysfunction. In some cases, a man's penis may not respond to touching, which may indicate a problem in the nervous system. In other cases, abnormal secondary sex characteristics, such as hair pattern or breast enlargement, can point to hormonal issues. If that is the case, that would indicate that the endocrine system is involved.

Your physician will also check for any circulatory problems by observing decreased pulses in the wrist or ankles. Sometimes, however, the clue to your erectile dysfunction lies in the penis itself. If your penis bends or has a slight curve, the erectile dysfunction could be the result of Peyronie's disease.

Laboratory Tests

Your physician may also order several laboratory tests to help confirm the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Tests for systemic diseases include urinalysis, lipid profile, blood counts, and measurements of creatinine and liver enzymes. They may also perform a test that will measure the amount of free testosterone in your blood, which will reveal information about possible problems with the endocrine system, especially in patients who are experiencing a reduced sexual desire.

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