The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Be prepared to identify every medication you are taking. As many as 25% of erectile dysfunction cases are due to medicines. Expect questions about the frequency, quality, and duration of your erections. Your answers may help determine if primarily psychological and/or physiological factors are causing your impotence.
The doctor will examine your penis, testes, and rectum. If a physical cause is suspected, laboratory tests may be ordered. The following factors will be evaluated:
- Routine laboratory tests—Blood count, urinalysis, and a battery of blood chemistry tests will evaluate your general health.
- Testosterone—If you are over 50 years old or if your doctor suspects hypogonadism (small testes and reduced bodily hair), a blood test for testosterone will be ordered.
- Endocrine tests—Other endocrine tests may be ordered, such as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, and fasting blood sugar.
- Nocturnal erections—Potent men have spontaneous erections at night. If you do not remember them because you were asleep, there are devices that can measure and record them.
- Psychology—There are always psychological factors associated with sexual functioning, whether they are the cause or just a result. You and possibly your partner may be given a questionnaire to help determine what emotional and psychological factors may be contributing to your condition.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -