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Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Be prepared to identify every medication you are taking. As many as 25% of erectile dysfunction cases are due to medicines. 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:
Guay AT, Spark RF, Bansal S, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the evaluation and treatment of male sexual dysfunction: a couple’s problem. 2003 update. Endocr Pract. 2003;9:77-95.
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases. Erectile dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/ED /. Accessed August 8, 2010.
Sivalingam S, Hashim H, Schwaibold H. An overview of the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. Drugs. 2006;66:2339-2355.
Webber R. Erectile dysfunction. Clinical Evidence. 2005;13:1120-1127.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
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