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Erectile Dysfunction Testing: How Is ED Diagnosed?

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Thinking about the idea of starting the ED conversation with a doctor can feel overwhelming to many men. And, the unknowns of what the process of diagnosis and treatment will be like afterward can make the situation seem even more daunting.

Arming yourself with more information on what to expect with ED diagnosis and treatment may help you feel more confident to take the first steps and get the medical care that you deserve.

Below, we will outline how ED is commonly diagnosed, which questions you might expect from an ED consultation, what testing may be required in certain situations, and generally what to expect from that first conversation through to treatment.

How is ED diagnosed?

Erectile dysfunction may be diagnosed in a few different ways depending on what might be the potential root cause.

Your doctor may ask you some questions about your sexual history, or changes in your sexual functioning, and use that information to diagnose ED. Or, your doctor may want to do some testing before making the diagnosis.

Your doctor may perform or order tests looking into penile blood flow or nighttime erections, assess if there are any underlying conditions that could be contributing to ED, look into the medications you are taking, and may try to figure out if you are dealing with ED stemming from mental stressors or relationship issues.

Your age, current health status, other health conditions, and current medications may all be factored in to help identify what could be contributing to your ED symptoms.

What questions may be asked during an ED consultation?

It is a good idea to brace yourself for some personal questions when you are planning on talking to your doctor about your ED symptoms.

You may be questioned about details of intimacy with your partner, any solo sexual activities, changes in performance or duration, your libido, or even if there are any issues within your relationship. 

Try to be as open and honest with your healthcare practitioner as possible with these questions, as correct information will help them make the best decisions for your treatment. Even if these questions are uncomfortable for you, remember that your doctors are professionals and are there to help.

What testing may be required for an ED diagnosis?

Your doctor may not require any testing for an ED diagnosis, and may just use the information you provided during the consultation to come up with treatment options or recommendations.

However, in some situations, your doctor may want to make sure your sexual issues are not connected with other health concerns. Common health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, high cholesterol, hormonal issues, thyroid problems, and obesity may contribute to erectile dysfunction, so your doctor may order some tests to assess your overall health. These may be blood and urine tests.

In addition, your doctor may want to conduct a physical exam that can measure your heart rate, blood pressure, general blood flow, and the sound of your heart. Your doctor may also take into account hair loss or breast enlargement to assess if there may be hormonal abnormalities.

Some more intensive testing that assesses the functionality of your penis specifically may include: a device to measure the strength and quantity of any overnight erections, a doppler ultrasound scan of the penile vessels to visualize any blood flow abnormalities, or an intracavernosal injection of medications into the penis to see if erections are physically possible and how long they last.

Your doctor may even suggest a mental health exam or talking with a relationship therapist to assess if your ED may be stemming from a mental roadblock, not a physical one.

What treatments might be recommended or prescribed?

If your ED seems to be tied to an underlying health condition, your doctor will likely suggest treatments and lifestyle strategies to help improve the underlying issues. Improvements in the underlying health issues may help improve your normal sexual functioning over the long term. Your doctor may also prescribe you medications to help with your sexual concerns.

If your ED seems to be stemming from mental concerns like relationship issues, excess life stressors, or performance anxiety, your doctor may suggest speaking with a professional to help you work through those.

The most commonly prescribed medications for ED are oral PDE-5 inhibitors. These medications work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide in the penile tissues once you are mentally stimulated. The end effect means that you may be able to have stronger erections that last for longer than with no treatment. These medications are normally taken as needed before sexual activity. PDE-5 medications include: Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Avanafil (Stendra). These medications are not appropriate for everyone, and they should be avoided if you use nitrate medications, or you have heart failure, heart disease, or low blood pressure.

Other treatment strategies for ED that may be used may include: 

  • Injectable or urethral medications to produce an erection: Prostaglandin/alprostadil, Bimix, Trimix
  • Testosterone replacement if your levels are low
  • Penile pumps and rings
  • Penile implants

These next-step strategies tend to only be employed if the oral medications are not suitable for you, or do not produce the desired response.

Strut Health ED medications prescribed online through telemedicine

Here at Strut, we help people with erectile dysfunction obtain prescription medications in a more discreet manner. If your ED is more straightforward and does not require additional in-person testing aside from a consultation, Strut Health may be able to help you get the ED treatment you need.

We carry Sildenafil and Tadalafil tablets, as well as compounded SuperStrut rapid-dissolve 4-in-1 Tadalafil tablets. You can have your free online questionnaire-based telemedicine consultation today in 15 minutes to see if these ED medications are a good fit for you.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or need adjustments during your treatment, our team and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.

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