Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can have a variety of causes, most of which are related to underlying conditions such as:
- Circulatory issues, including hardening of the arteries
- Neurological disorders, including MS, stroke and injury
- Hormone abnormalities or treatments for other conditions
- Scar tissue in the penis, known as Peyronie’s disease
- Prostate disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Side effect of certain medications
- Lifestyle choices, including excessive drinking, smoking cigarettes or marijuana and abusing steroids
Risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction can include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart or vascular disease
- Stress, anxiety or depression
- Taking certain medications
Diagnosing erectile dysfunction will involve a physical exam, a review of your medications and a review of your sexual history. Your physician might also order lab tests to determine your blood counts, urinalysis, cholesterol count and thyroid function.
Other diagnostic testing may include:
- Color Doppler: This test analyzes the flow of blood through the blood vessels in the penis
- Penile arteriography: This test uses dye injected in the penis to analyze blood flow.
- Ultrasound: This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the organs. In the case of erectile dysfunction, this test can indicate poor blood flow or scarring.
- Biothesiometry: This test uses electromagnetic vibration to test nerve function.
- Overnight testing: A special device wrapped around your penis can determine if you are having erections in your sleep.
- Hormone testing: Lab tests can determine hormone deficiencies that may be causing erectile dysfunction.