Men Home > Diagnosing Impotence
A physical exam can help your doctor find the cause of your impotence. As part of the exam, the doctor will:
- Examine your testes and penis
- Take your blood pressure
- Check your reflexes.
A blood sample will likely be taken to test for:
Several laboratory tests can help in making an erectile dysfunction diagnosis. Tests for systemic diseases include:
- Blood counts
- Lipid profile
- Measurements of creatinine and liver enzymes.
Measuring the amount of free testosterone in the blood can yield information about problems with the endocrine system, and is especially important for patients with decreased sexual desire.
Monitoring erections that occur during sleep (nocturnal penile tumescence) can help rule out certain psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Healthy men have involuntary erections during sleep. If nocturnal erections do not occur, impotence is likely to have a physical rather than a psychological cause. However, tests of nocturnal erections are not completely reliable. Scientists have not standardized such tests and have not determined when they should be applied for best results.
A psychosocial examination, using an interview and a questionnaire, reveals psychological factors that may be causing impotence. A man's sexual partner may also be interviewed to determine expectations and perceptions during sexual intercourse.