Erectile dysfunction (ED) is diagnosed by a doctor, such as a urologist, with a medical and sexual history, and a physical exam. You may find it difficult to talk with a health care professional about ED. However, remember that a healthy sex life is part of a healthy life. The more your doctor knows about you, the more likely he or she can help treat your condition.
The diagnostic process for ED typically includes the following steps:
- Medical history: Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, including any chronic health conditions, medications you take, and your family history of ED.
- Sexual history: Your doctor will ask you about your sexual history, including your frequency of erections, your ability to get and maintain an erection, and any problems you have with orgasm.
- Physical exam: Your doctor will perform a physical exam, including a genital exam to check for any physical abnormalities that could be causing ED.
- Laboratory tests: Your doctor may order blood tests to check for underlying health conditions that could be causing ED, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
- Imaging tests: Your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound of the penis, to look for blood flow problems or other structural abnormalities that could be causing ED.
Once your doctor has gathered all of this information, they will be able to make a diagnosis of ED and recommend a treatment plan.
Here are some of the tests that your doctor may order:
- Blood tests: Blood tests can be used to check for underlying health conditions that can cause ED, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Hormone tests: Hormone tests can be used to check for low testosterone levels, which can cause ED.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound of the penis or a penile Doppler study, can be used to look for blood flow problems or other structural abnormalities that can cause ED.
- Psychological tests: Psychological tests can be used to assess for depression or other psychological conditions that can contribute to ED.
The specific tests that your doctor orders will depend on your individual symptoms and risk factors.
If you are concerned about ED, it is important to talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve your quality of life.