The AUA states that for most men, a diagnosis will require a simple medical history, physical examination, and a few routine blood tests. Most patients do not require extensive testing before beginning treatment.
Diagnostic procedures for ED may include the following:
- Patient medical/sexual history. This may reveal conditions or diseases that lead to impotence and help distinguish among problems with erection, ejaculation, orgasm, or sexual desire.
- Physical examination. This is done to look for evidence of systemic problems, such as the following:
- A problem in the nervous system may be involved if the penis does not respond as expected to certain touching.
- Secondary sex characteristics, such as hair pattern, can point to hormonal problems, which involve the endocrine system.
- Circulatory problems could be indicated by an aneurysm.
- Unusual characteristics of the penis itself could suggest the basis of the impotence.
- Lab tests. These are done to help diagnose impotence and include blood counts, urinalysis, lipid profile, and measurements of creatinine and liver enzymes. When low sexual desire is a symptom, measurement of testosterone in the blood can yield information about problems with the endocrine system.
- Psychosocial examination. This is done to help reveal psychological factors that may be affecting performance. The sexual partner also may be interviewed to determine expectations and perceptions encountered during sexual intercourse.