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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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Tests for Erection Problems

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Anxiety or pain while having the intracavernosal injection test.
  • Sleep problems or the use of sleeping pills.
  • The use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

What To Think About

  • Your doctor may do a digital rectal examination to check your prostate gland. To learn more, see the topic Digital Rectal Examination (DRE).
  • Doppler ultrasound may not be widely available. To learn more, see the topic Doppler Ultrasound.
  • Occasional erection problems are normal. If you are usually able to have and maintain a full erection, tests are usually not needed. Your erection problem may be from stress or anxiety or relationship problems.
  • Psychological tests may be recommended if no physical cause is found for your erection problem. You may want to see a counselor who specializes in sexual problems.
  • An angiogram may be recommended if initial tests can't find a cause for your erection problems. An angiogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of the blood flow in an artery. To learn more, see the topic Angiogram. Experts are not sure how useful the angiogram test is because treatment to repair the blood vessels of the penis will be a choice for only a few men with this specific problem.
  • Dorsal nerve conduction test, evoked potential studies, and penile biothesiometry are extensive neurologic tests to check the nerve supply to the penis. These nervous system tests are not generally done or are not widely available.

Other Places To Get Help


National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (U.S.)
Urology Care Foundation (U.S.)

Related Information

Other Works Consulted

  • Bella AJ, Lue TF (2008). Male sexual dysfunction. In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 589-610. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Burnett AL (2012). Evaluation and management of erectile dysfunction. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 1, pp. 721-748. Philadelphia: Saunders.

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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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