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Laboratory Tests Used to Make an Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

Several laboratory tests can help in making an erectile dysfunction diagnosis. Tests for systemic diseases include:
  • Blood counts
  • Urinalysis
  • Lipid profile
  • Measurements of creatinine and liver enzymes.
Measuring the amount of free testosterone in the blood can yield information about problems with the endocrine system, and is often performed in men with decreased sexual desire.

Other Tests Used to Diagnose Erectile Dysfunction

Monitoring erections that occur during sleep (nocturnal penile tumescence) can help rule out certain psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Healthy men have involuntary erections during sleep. If nocturnal erections do not occur, erectile dysfunction is likely to have a physical rather than a psychological cause.
Tests of nocturnal erections are not completely reliable, however. Scientists have not standardized such tests and have not determined when they should be applied for best results.

The Psychosocial Examination

A psychosocial examination, using an interview and a questionnaire, reveals psychological factors that may be related to erectile dysfunction. A man's sexual partner may also be interviewed to determine expectations and perceptions during sexual intercourse.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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