Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and will perform a physical exam. Be prepared to identify every medication you are taking. As many as 25% of erectile dysfunction cases are due to medications. 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: 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.
Treatments for erectile dysfunction
The treatment and management of erectile dysfunction may involve medicine, psychological counseling, lifestyle changes, surgery, and attention to other medical conditions that may be causing sexual dysfunction. The goal of treatment is to restore normal sexual function whenever possible and to discover alternatives to maintain or enhance the richness of your relationship.
Treatment may involve the following:
- Lifestyle changes
- Other treatments
Medical treatments available for erectile dysfunction may include oral pills such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, urethral inserts, and injections.
Surgery is an option when all other efforts to restore or bypass your erectile dysfunction have failed. In fact, there are several possible alternatives that will permit you to have satisfactory sexual intercourse such as the penile implant.
Another treatment modality for erectile dysfunction is a vacuum constriction device, which involves a pump attached to an air-tight chamber that fits over your penis. This treatment, which can be used daily, is optimal for men who do not want or are not suitable for drug treatment. The blood is held there by a rubber-retaining ring around the base of your penis. The success rate is between 70%-94%.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Austin fertility center to get the top-notch care you deserve from a compassionate team you can trust.
Subir Chhikara, MD
Austin Urological Associates, PA