Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects over 30 million men in the United States.

Some men feel embarrassed talking about erectile dysfunction and nervous about the tests involved.

The good news is that erectile dysfunction is treatable. Most men lead normal sex lives even after receiving their erectile dysfunction diagnosis.

Learn how your doctor will perform an erectile dysfunction test and how treatments can help you get your sex life back on track.

What is an Erectile Dysfunction Test?

You may have erectile dysfunction if you have trouble getting or keeping an erection during sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can mean having erections sometimes, having short-lived erections, or never having erections.

Your primary care provider or urologist will be able to help you determine if you have ED. There are a few ED testing options your doctor may want to try.

At-Home Tests

You can perform at-home tests independently or with guidance and tools from your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to try a Nocturnal Penile Tumescence test, where you will place a sticker or stamps around your penis before bed.

Most men experience three or more erections every night during their sleep. If the stamp ring is moved or torn in the morning, it is a sign that the physical functioning of the penis is working correctly. Erectile dysfunction can be triggered by emotional or mental problems, like stress.

Your erectile dysfunction doctor may also ask you to use a device like RigiScan to test your erections at home. The Rigiscan will determine other qualities like erection firmness and blood flow during your sleep.

Physical Exam

Your doctor may perform an erectile dysfunction nerve test during a physical exam. The doctor will examine your penis and testicles for nerve sensation and blood circulation. The doctor may also examine your prostate, pelvic floor, spinal cord, heart, and lungs.

A physical exam can seem invasive and stressful to many men, but it can be the best way to determine the root cause of erectile dysfunction. A nervous system problem may require more extensive treatment.

Lab Tests and Ultrasounds

If needed, your doctor may want to run tests on your blood and urine. These tests can check for low hormone levels, thyroid issues, kidney function, and more.

Another test for erectile dysfunction is the Duplex Ultrasound Test or penile doppler. This test looks for scar tissue, hardened arteries, and other issues constricting blood flow to the penis. It requires a small injection into the penile tissue called prostaglandin E1, which will stimulate an erection before scanning.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

After receiving an erectile dysfunction diagnosis, your doctor will discuss possible treatment options. For most men, medication is effective in treating ED. Medications are safe for men of any age and work by increasing blood flow to the penis.

If there is a hormonal or thyroid imbalance, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy. Low testosterone can lead to a low sex drive and trouble focusing during sex.

Penile implants are available for men who do not respond well to other ED treatments. These prosthetics allow men to get and keep their erection during sex, but the surgery can be complicated.

Your doctor may also encourage you to explore more options, such as therapy and lifestyle changes. Your doctor may talk to you about your diet, drugs, and alcohol use. Stress, lack of exercise, and poor general health can contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Talk to Your Doctor Today

With so many treatment options available, you don’t have to live with erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor today about an erectile dysfunction test and join the millions of men who have found solutions and regained their sex lives.

Are you looking for more awesome advice? Check out our other lifestyle, family, and finance articles!