While ED causes can emerge from both psychological and physical conditions, the psychological factors are responsible for only 10%-20% of all cases of erectile dysfunction, and are often a secondary reaction to an underlying physical cause. The physical causes are wide ranging, and ED specialists make a thorough diagnosis of each patient in order to determine the underlying causes.
The Combined Intracavernous Injection and Stimulation (CIS) Test is the most commonly used test for evaluating and diagnosing ED. Penile injections, visual, or manual sexual stimulation is used to induce an erection. A blood test is a useful diagnostic tool for all sorts of health issues, and can be used to determine if physical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or low testosterone (low T), among other things, are contributing to ED problems. For patients with a history of prostate issues, a rectal exam may also be necessary.
For some, their erectile dysfunction is an obvious condition, with the problem of not being able to achieve an erection at all. Other men experience ED in subtler, but still problematic ways. For example, some men can achieve an erection quickly but lose hardness quickly as well, with too short a duration for sexual intercourse. Other men experience softer erections as they grow older, which also thwarts their sexual function. The are also ED related problems, such as problems in the ejaculation phase, including premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and others.
Having an erection frequently in the morning is a good sign that you are physiologically capable of achieving an erection and that you aren't affected by physical ED. It's also perfectly normal to occasionally not wake up with an erection.
Men can use a nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) stamp test at night to confirm nocturnal erections. Using a roll of stamps around the penis, a standard NPT test measures penile expansion while asleep, but a newer type of NPT test uses a device to evaluate the quality of the man's night time erection.
ED treatments range from traditional medicines such as Ginseng and Yohimbe, PDE-5 inhibitors, such as Vardenafil (Viagra), Sildenafil (Levitra), and Tadalafil (Cialis), penile surgical options for eligible patients, as well as acoustic wave therapy for ED. Companies like Shockwave and Gainswave have developed methods that employ sound waves to stimulate healthy tissue growth, increase blood flow, and promote greater sensitivity and performance.
Learn about at-home ED tests, how to check for ED, and the professional diagnostic process for ED problems.