You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. 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.
Your penis, testes, and rectum will be examined. If a physical cause is suspected, laboratory tests may be ordered. The following factors will be evaluated:
- Laboratory tests —Blood glucose, lipids (cholesterol), and thyroid function tests are likely to be advised.
- 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.
- Cardiac function tests—These tests may be considered by your doctor. Poor cardiovascular function is associated with erectile dysfunction.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 03/2016 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2015 -