Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which you find it difficult to keep an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can be a short-term or long-term problem. You are suffering from erectile dysfunction when:

  • Able to get an erection sometimes, but not when you want to have sex
  • Can get an erection but it does not last enough for satisfactory sex
  • Unable to get an erection at any time

You might find it embarrassing to talk with the doctor about your erectile dysfunction. You should remember that healthy sex life can improve your quality of life.

Also Read: Can Lifestyle And Psychological Factors Cause Erectile Dysfunction?


Complications of erectile dysfunction

The complications of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Unfulfilled sex life
  • Loss of intimacy between you and your partner which results in a strained relationship
  • Anxiety, low self-esteem and depression
  • Not able to get your partner pregnant

Erectile dysfunction- Symptoms

symptoms of erectile dysfunction

The symptoms of erectile dysfunction will include:

  • Trouble in getting an erection
  • Difficulty in keeping up the erection
  • No or reduced sexual desire

There are some conditions and diseases which can lead to erectile dysfunction, these are given below:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Blood and heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Injury to the penis, prostate, spinal cord, pelvis or bladder
  • Surgery for bladder cancer

Also Read: Erectile Dysfunction: Don’t Let the Myths Fool You!


Men who are suffering from diabetes are three times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than men who don’t have diabetes. There are some emotional issues which can make erectile dysfunction worse. You can develop erectile dysfunction if you have these things:

  • Fear of sexual failure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low-self esteem
  • Guilt about sexual performance
  • Stress about sexual performance or stress in your life

There are also health-related factors which may contribute to erectile dysfunction:

  • Drinking plenty of alcohol
  • Using illegal drugs
  • Smoking
  • When you are overweight
  • Not being active physically

Erectile dysfunction- Diagnosis

The doctor will diagnose erectile dysfunction with the medical and sexual history, by mental health and physical exam. The more doctor knows about you, more likely he or she can help to treat your condition.

Sexual and medical history

Taking your sexual and medical history is one of the first things a doctor will look at to diagnose erectile dysfunction. The doctor will ask you to provide the information like:

  • How often you find sexual intercourse satisfying
  • Rate your sexual desire
  • How often you are able to achieve orgasm
  • For long can you keep an erection
  • If you smoke, drink alcohol

This information will help doctor the problem, by reviewing your sexual activity can help the doctor to diagnose problems with erection, ejaculation or climax.

Physical and mental health exam

The doctor might ask you some personal questions and can use a bunch of questions to help diagnose any emotional issues which may lead to erectile dysfunction. The doctor will perform a physical exam which will diagnose the causes of the erectile dysfunction. During the physical exam, the doctor will check:

  • Penis’s appearance for the root of the problem. In some cases, Peyronie’s disease which causes the penis to bend
  • Body for extra hair which can point to hormonal problems
  • Pulse in your wrist to see if you are having a problem with the circulation

Imaging tests

The doctor will perform a doppler ultrasound, this can help to detect poor blood flow via the penis. The doctor will pass a handheld device over your penis which will measure your blood flow. You will get to know the speed and direction of blood is flowing via the blood vessel.

Erectile dysfunction- Treatment

You should consult a doctor for the treatment for erectile dysfunction. Choosing an erectile dysfunction treatment is a personal decision. The doctor will suggest you make some lifestyle changes which will reduce the erectile dysfunction:

If a medicine you are consuming for another health condition is causing erectile dysfunction, the doctor might suggest a different medicine. Never stop taking the dose without consulting the doctor. You will be asked to take medicines orally to help you get an erection:

  • Sildenafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Avanafil

These medicines will help you to relax muscles and increase the blood flow in the penis. The combination can lead to dropping in blood pressure which may cause you to dizzy, faint which might lead to possible injuries. You should talk to the doctor, if you are taking any alpha-blockers to treat the prostate enlargement. There are some men who get strong erections by injecting a medicine which is called alprostadil into your penis, which causes it to become filled with blood. Oral medicines are helpful to improve the response to sexual stimulation. If medications don’t help then the last resort is surgery. In surgery, the doctor will implant a device to make the penis erect, rebuild the arteries to increase blood flow to the penis. The two types of implanted devices are inflatable implants and malleable implants. You can leave the hospital for the day after the surgery is done. You can use the implant 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery. Once you have either implant, you must use the device to get an erection.


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