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Most males who suffer from erectile dysfunction (impotence) symptoms will definitely strive for medical appointment in order to reveal the underlying cause. Although this can be pretty unpleasant and time-consuming process, it’s a key thing needed to understand causative factors and develop appropriate treatment.

An Introduction to ED Diagnosing Methods in Medicine

Healthcare professionals use a multitude of methods to clarify whether a male is suffering from impotence. Understanding techniques used can be task, so it is a good idea to learn more about available assessment techniques before visiting a healthcare facility. This would be helpful for reducing anxiety prior to doctor’s consultation, which makes the visit much more relaxed, as well as improves efficiency of the session. The following procedures are most commonly used (or sometimes applied) for diagnostic analysis:

Psychogenic or Physical Origins of ED? Nocturnal Erections

Healthcare professionals always ask the patient if they have ever had an erection during the lifetime (this especially concerns nighttime erections). For instance, if a male experience the so-called nocturnal erections but cannot get hard before sexual intercourse, that may signalize psychogenic problems. If he feels embarrassed and anxious when having intimate conversation with a lady, psychological issue is most likely the underlying problem. So if the doctor observes some psychological problems, he or she may ask several questions which will help to identify depression / anxiety etc.

morning wood

A related article: Male Diseases and Conditions in Urology

Measuring Nocturnal Tumescence

Almost all males experience unconscious erections during the rapid eye movement (abbreviated REM) phase of sleep. Potential issues which might affect this natural condition include neurologic or vascular issues which negatively influence penile structures. A snap or a special strain gauge (penile plethysmograph) might be used to find out such erections. However, in rare cases, men may not have nighttime wood but experience a sufficient erection when having sex.

Urine and Blood Tests

A sample of your blood may show signs (or absence) of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or other illnesses that might trigger ED. Urinalysis may also be helpful, in particular, in diabetes mellitus diagnosis.

Bulbocavernosus Reflex Test (BRT)

This is a rare manual test which may be performed by the doctor. He or she makes some manipulations with the penis parts to check its responsivity. Anus muscles should be contracted, while the time period between influencing the genitals and anal sphincter muscle contraction helps to evaluate nerve functionality.

Penile Ultrasound

Penile ultrasound is a non-invasive, pretty informative, and safe manipulation that allows to explore the internal structure of the organ. Ultrasound diagnostics provide the specialist with the opportunity to assess the internal changes that occur in the structure of the genitals, to evaluate condition of all parts of the male organ , including the corpora cavernosa, albuminous membranes, and blood vessels (veins and arteries). Ultrasound also allows authenticate if the blood is flowing properly within the penile organ.

penile ultrasound device

Corpus Cavernosometry

This is a functional diagnostic study, which consists in the introduction of a physiological saline solution into the cavernous bodies of the penis using a special roller pump. This is necessary to create an artificial erection and measure its characteristics.

Using cavernosometry, the delivery rate of saline and the time of onset of erection are estimated. This procedure is performed to diagnose and evaluate the quality of treatment for vascular erectile dysfunction associated with excessive outflow of blood from the penis or poor extensibility of the cavernous bodies during an erection. This study is usually carried out together with cavernosography (a type of radiography in which X-ray contrast drugs are injected into the erect penis, and then a series of medical photos is taken in various projections). First, cavernosometry is performed, then, its natural continuation is cavernosography.

erection tests

Magnetic Resonance Angiography

This procedure involves scanning the affected area. However, doctors use a different technology called magnetic resonance imaging. A contrast substance may be used to ensure good quality of imaging. For instance, this diagnostic method may be used to diagnose priapism, a very rare condition which may occur as side effect of Viagra.

Treatment Suggestions

If erectile dysfunction diagnosed, the next step is choosing the appropriate treatment. It usually includes oral treatment remedies belonging to PDE5 inhibitors family (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra). However, dietary adjustments, exercise regimes, abandoning bad habits should be integral parts of successful treatment.

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I’m an Oncologist and Hematology Specialist primary located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I have over 55 years of experience in the medical field and more than 20 years of practice. I’m skilled at the treatment & diagnosis of a large array of ailments & diseases in adults.

Board certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine Certification in Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Hematology Certification in Hematology
  • American Board of Medical Oncology Certification in Medical Oncology