Most men have problems with erections from time to time. But some men have erectile dysfunction, or ED. When you have ED, it is hard to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sex.
Erectile Dysfunction can be caused when health problems prevent good blood flow or damage nerves in the penis. ED can also be caused by stress or emotional reasons, or by a combination of health and emotional reasons. It can be an early warning of a more serious illness. Heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can all cause ED. Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can improve your overall health and well-being.
Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction
Finding the cause of your ED will help your health care provider find the best treatment choices for you. Most health care providers will ask you about your health and about the history of your erection problem. They may also give you a physical exam and order lab tests.
Health and ED History
Questions about your health history can help find diseases that may lead to diagnosing erectile dysfunction. It can also find medicine or drug use that can cause ED. Cutting back on or changing certain meds can often improve ED. Your health care provider will also ask if you smoke or drink because that can affect erections. Asking questions about your history of erectile dysfunction can help your provider find out whether your problems are with sexual desire, erection, ejaculation, or orgasm (climax).
A physical exam checks overall health and includes a check of your penis. Both can give clues to diagnosing erectile dysfunction.
To test for diseases that cause ED, your health care provider may order blood tests and collect a urine sample.
Stress and Emotional Health
Your health care provider may ask you questions about feelings such as depression or worry. They may also ask about problems in your relationship with a partner. All of these can make ED worse. Some health care providers may ask if it is okay to talk to your sexual partner, also.
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology
Our Clinical Research Department was developed to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality patient centered care. When existing treatments fail or significantly lower your quality of life we seek out new, safe methods that give you more options and make further advancements in the fields of urology and urogynecology.