Where To Find Help for Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

The best person to approach is your own doctor, who might be able to help you or who can recommend someone else. You may be referred to a urologist, a medical specialist with advanced training to deal with issues surrounding erectile dysfunction.

What To Expect In A Physical Examination

Because erectile dysfunction is so common and so treatable, you should try to put aside any embarrassment and answer your doctor’s questions frankly.

Your physician will perform a thorough physical examination looking for possible clues of any unrecognized illnesses or possible hormonal problems.

A physical examination should include:

  • An exam of your penis and testicles. This may include a penile blood pressure test with a special stethoscope. Your doctor may suggest more sophisticated tests, such as a nerve function test, an ultrasound study, and an X ray study.
  • digital rectal examination to check your prostate gland.
  • Blood tests to exclude various medical conditions including kidney, liver, thyroid and adrenal gland studies as appropriate, and the hormone testosterone level.
  • A test to discover whether you have erections while you sleep. Most men normally have erections while they sleep. One such test is performed with a small plastic ring that you place over your penis before bed. If you have an erection during the night, the small plastic filaments connecting this ring will break. A more common method is the Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) monitoring study. This allows a continuous recording of your penis during sleep with a small electronic recorder placed at your bedside.

If no erections occur while sleeping, then it is more likely that the problem is a physical one rather than due to psychological problems. However, these tests are not completely reliable.

The Role Of Counseling

If tests do not point to a physical cause, many men find the help they need through sexual counseling. You should choose a therapist who is a licensed and qualified psychiatrist, psychologist, physician, or social worker. For best results, your partner should be included in the counseling.

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