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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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Tests for Erection Problems

How It Is Done continued...

While you sit or stand, your penis will be cleaned with a special soap. Then your doctor will inject a medicine into the side of your penis with a small needle. After the medicine is injected, your doctor may massage the penis for a few seconds to help spread the medicine in the penis. Some doctors may use a band that is gently tightened around the base of the penis for 5 minutes after the medicine is given to make sure an erection occurs.

A low dose of the medicine is used at first. If the low dose does not cause an erection, then a larger dose may be used. An erection should occur within 5 to 10 minutes after the medicine is given.

The medicine may also be given in a thin tablet that is put in the urethra.

After the medicine is given, you may be asked to watch sexually stimulating movies or to massage your penis to cause an erection. Your doctor will measure how rigid and how long the erection lasts. After the test, your doctor may inject a second medicine to make sure your erection goes away.

Doppler ultrasound

The Doppler ultrasound test is done by a urologist or ultrasound technician.

You will lie down on an examination table. Your doctor may need to inject a medicine or use a soft band around the penis to cause an erection to see blood flow through the vessels.

How It Feels

Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test

A nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test does not cause any discomfort, but you may feel embarrassed about doing the test. Remember that it's important to find the cause of your inability to have an erection and you don't need to feel embarrassed about the test.

Intracavernosal injection test

During the intracavernosal injection test, you will feel a sharp, stinging pain in your penis from the needle. If you feel a burning or aching pain during the erection, tell your doctor immediately.

Doppler ultrasound

The ultrasound does not cause any pain. If you get a medicine or device during the test to cause an erection, you may feel embarrassed and the shot may hurt.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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