Tests for Erection Problems
Why It Is Done
Tests for erection problems are done to help find whether the cause of an erection problem is physical, psychological, or a combination of both.
Physical conditions that may cause erection problems include:
- Problems with the nerves of the penis. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes may cause nerve damage that affects a man's ability to have an erection. Also, surgery, injury, or radiation treatment to the pelvic area may cause damage to the nerves of the penis.
- Problems with the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. Conditions such as hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) may make it difficult for a man to have an erection. Activities such as long-distance bicycle riding on a hard, narrow saddle may increase a man's risk for having an erection problem. See a picture of Reference blood supply to the penis Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Low levels of hormones, such as testosterone or Reference thyroid Opens New Window hormones.
- Side effects of medicines, such as medicines taken for high blood pressure (hypertension) or depression.
- The use of tobacco, alcohol, or Reference illegal drugs Opens New Window.
Psychological tests may be needed if no physical cause is found for an erection problem. Psychological causes of erection problems may include:
- Anxiety about sexual performance.
- Relationship problems.
- Depression or grief.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology