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Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction (cont.)

Physical Examination

A physical examination is necessary. During this examination, your doctor will pay particular attention to the genitals as well as the nervous, vascular, and urinary systems. Your blood pressure will be checked because several studies have demonstrated a connection between high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.

The physical examination will confirm the information you gave the doctor in your medical history and may help reveal unsuspected disorders, such as diabetes, vascular disease, penile plaques (scar tissue or firm lumps under the skin of the penis), testicular problems, low male hormone production, injury or disease to the nerves of the penis, and various prostate disorders.

Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing is needed for some men. Tests such as these may be performed:

  • Your hormonal status for testosterone (the male hormone) is evaluated, particularly if one of your symptoms is low sexual desire (low libido).
    • Blood tests for testosterone should ideally be taken early in the morning because that is when levels are usually at their highest.
    • Blood may also be tested for other hormones that can affect sexual function (eg, luteinizing hormone, prolactin).
  • Your blood may be checked for glucose (sugar), cholesterol, thyroid function, triglycerides, and prostate specific antigen (PSA).
  • A urinalysis looking for blood cells, protein, and glucose (sugar) may also be done.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2014
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