Unfortunately, men who suffer from impotence often find it difficult to seek medical advice. This is despite the fact that erectile dysfunction disorder is actually quite a common problem, faced by many men as they grow older. It's also quite simple to diagnose. Usually the doctor will perform a physical examination, some laboratory tests, and sometimes, if the case is more complex, some monitoring may be required.
A physical examination is performed in order to determine if the symptoms are caused by some type of systemic problem. It's necessary for the doctor to examine the *** closely, checking to see if it reacts the correct way when touched. Irregularities or problems with the nervous system can sometimes cause impotence, and a physical examination is often the quickest way to determine if that's the likely cause of the current problem.
The doctor will also check for what are known as abnormal or irregular secondary sex characteristics. Strange hair patterns, or abnormal growth patterns may be an indicator that the impotence problem is hormonal in nature. The circulatory system can also be responsible for impotence, and the physical examination will also encompass checks for this type of problem. For example, an aneurysm may exist in part of the body, causing an interruption to the normal flow of blood. There are also other, generally uncommon, conditions such as Peyronie's disease, which can be recognized by a distinctive bend in the penis.
Forming a correct diagnosis of the cause of impotence also relies on a number of laboratory tests. Most doctors will require several tests to be performed, so that they can examine the likelihood of a range of causes. This is particularly the case if a systemic disease is the suspected cause of the impotence. Laboratory tests will most likely include: urine analysis, blood count tests, a lipid profile, and measurement of liver enzymes and creatinine. If the patient has reported a substantial reduction in *** interest and desire, as well as impotence, then testosterone levels will be checked. If there's a problem with the patient’s endocrine system, these tests will help to reveal it.
Sometimes, however, both physical examination and laboratory tests don't reveal any obvious causes for the impotence. In that situation, other tests may be suggested by the doctor. Generally the doctor will request overnight monitoring of the patient. Healthy men usually experience involuntary erections while they're asleep. This is known as nocturnal penile tumescence, or more commonly as night erections. If the patient doesn't experience any signs of nocturnal erection, then it's most likely the impotence is caused by physical factors. The advantage of this type of test is that it can rule out any possible psychological factors that might be causing the impotence. The doctor may also suggest some psychosocial testing, to determine whether the impotence is being caused by anxiety, stress, depression, or other environmental or psychological factors.
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