Erectile dysfunction can have many different causes. All the more important is the particularly thorough diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Only the correct diagnosis paves the way for the most promising treatment. Below you will find an overview of the most important diagnostic procedures for erectile dysfunction.
Like any other medical examination, the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction begins with a thorough collection of the patient's medical history, the anamnesis. The focus is on the conversation. And that's a sticking point for some men. Because, unfortunately, potency problems are often beset by shame and insecurity. This sometimes leads to men not telling the whole truth in the patient history interview- resulting in respective risks for diagnosis and treatment.
From our point of view, there is no reason for shame or false restraint. For the experts in the center of excellence, erectile dysfunction is an everyday matter. You can be sure that your complaints will be taken seriously - and that you can rely on medical confidentiality. And another tip: Our experience has shown us that many men feel more at ease during the consultation when they are accompanied by their partners. Therefore: You are welcome to bring your partner with you.
You can use our test for erectile dysfunction to prepare for your anamnesis interview. This scientifically based test contains 15 questions that you should be able to answer as precisely as possible during the interview with our physicians.
Subsequent to the anamnesis - depending on the initial suspicion - a whole series of examination methods is carried out. At the beginning there is a physical examination. This includes, for example, a visual examination and palpation of the penis, testicles and prostate. Erectile dysfunction very often result from circulatory disorders. Therefore, blood pressure is measured or the pulse in the arteries of the pelvis or legs is palpated. The physical examination usually provides the indications that are subsequently examined in more detail, mainly by means of imaging procedures and laboratory tests.
Circulatory disorders are the most common cause for erectile dysfunction. Therefore, it is indispensable for the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction to thoroughly examine the blood vessels leading to the penis and the blood vessels in the penis.
The most commonly used imaging procedure for the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is the so-called intracavernous injection test. This examination serves mainly two purposes. Firstly, the functionality of the penile cavernous body can be tested. Secondly, this test allows the blood flow to and within the penis to be assessed by using ultrasound images.
Sometimes the intracavernous injection test gives indications of a circulatory disorder which cannot be illustrated with sufficient accuracy by using this test and ultrasound. In this case the arterial angiography brings more clarity. This is an imaging procedure that is performed as computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In arterial angiography - as in intracavernous injection test - an erection is induced by medication and the blood flow is illustrated in detail.
The urethrocystography is a special imaging procedure. During this examination a small catheter with optics is inserted through the urethra into the urinary bladder. An urethrocystography can also be performed as an X-ray examination by using a contrast agent.
Cavernosography is by now a rarely applied diagnosis procedure in order to test the functionality of the cavernous bodies. In cavernosometry fluid is pumped into the cavernous body. In doing so, it is measured how much fluid is needed to induce and maintain an erection.
Nocturnal penile tumescence is a complicated technical term for something healthy men know well: nocturnal erections. In the nocturnal penile tumescence measurement the frequency, duration and strength of nightly erections over a period of several days is measured. Nightly erections occur with healthy men as a result of relaxation in deep-sleep. Read more about the process of erection here: How do erections occur?
Standard diagnostic procedures for erectile dysfunction include a laboratory blood test. The results are used above all to determine diseases as the cause for erectile dysfunction. The blood is examined for metabolic disorders such as diabetes or lipid metabolic disorders, for instance. A suspicion of hormone metabolism disorder can be substantiated by determining the testosterone concentration or thyroid hormones. The evidence of prostate-specific antigens (PSA test) justifies the suspicion of prostate hyperplasia or even prostate cancer.
If neurological causes of erectile dysfunction are suspected, methods for the diagnosis of nerve function are used. In doing so, the smallest electrical currents can be measured, for example, on the penis and cavernous bodies, similar to an electrocardiogram. Medical practitioners call this procedure electromyography. The result is a curve diagram like the ECG, the electromyogram (EMG).
The methods depicted here are only a selection of the whole diagnostic spectrum for erectile dysfunction. In addition, there is a wide range of further examinations. You can be sure that the center for erectile dysfunction will apply exactly the diagnostic procedures that suits you best.
Would you like more detailed information in advance? Watch the following video. Dr. Diehm gives an overview of causes and treatment of erectile dysfunction (German).
At the Institute for Erectile Dysfunction you find qualified dialog partners for all questions on erectile dysfunction. If you have any questions or would like to make a consultation appointment: Call us: +41 62 544 92 49 or write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org