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Are you constantly struggling to keep your erection before or during sex? Worried that your penile health is compromised?
If so, it’s natural to want to investigate this bout of erectile dysfunction further to bring intimacy back to your relationships. And if your libido is still going strong, you’re probably itching to get to the bottom of it fast.
Most people advocate for concerned patients to go to their general practitioner for an initial assessment. These professionals can evaluate your past medical history and thoroughly examine your symptoms.
From there, your doctor may diagnose you and either recommend you to a urologist or provide further instructions on how to proceed with your condition.
Make no mistake, scheduling an appointment with your doctor is highly encouraged as it can give you better insight into your condition.
However, for patients who want to make their own assessments, there are a few ED tests that can be performed at home. These tests can supplement your doctor’s findings and give you a better indication of what might be causing your erectile dysfunction.
Let’s look into these ED tests in more detail, as well as what steps to take following a positive ED diagnosis.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a debilitating sexual disorder that’s categorized by a persistent inability to maintain or get an erection. It appears more frequently with age, but it’s also heavily attributed to underlying medical conditions and adverse lifestyle choices.
People with ED find it extremely challenging to engage in sexual intercourse. This is because there’s a mechanical problem with achieving an erection. Attaining an erection requires healthy functioning of the brain, heart, blood vessels, and erectile chambers.
When these body parts are not functioning properly, men may experience blood flow difficulty and erectile problems. Paying a visit to the doctor is the best course of action, but for people who want to test things on their own terms, there are ways to do so.
Learn more with our comprehensive list of erectile dysfunction facts about the condition.
How to Test for Erectile Dysfunction at Home
There are two main ED tests you can opt for to confirm whether you have erectile dysfunction or not.
These are the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) stamp test and the more medically backed SHIM (Sexual Health Inventory for Men) questionnaire.
Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) Stamp Test
The NPT stamp test is a form of home test that shows whether the patient encounters nighttime erections or not. It’s a fast and straightforward procedure, involving only the use of a simple roll of stamps.
To conduct the test, you simply have to roll the stamps onto your penis shaft overnight. Men tend to have four to five erections a night when they’re in a state of deep sleep, with each erection lasting about 30 minutes.
The purpose of rolling this stamp is to determine whether your penis has become hard overnight. We aren’t always conscious of our nighttime erections, so seeing the state of the roll of stamps the following day can clear any suspicions.
If the stamp is intact, that means you didn’t get erect overnight. On the flip side, if it’s broken, it means your body is still able to get erect.
That said, the NPT stamp test isn’t something that most doctors would rely upon as the presence (or absence) of erections overnight doesn’t necessarily indicate ED. However, with the few side effects this test poses, it’s worth a shot and can be a good point of discussion with a doctor.
Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) Questionnaire
A SHIM questionnaire is a guided questionnaire that determines whether a patient is experiencing ED or not. It also helps determine the severity of erectile dysfunction.
This test can be carried out both at home and in a doctor’s setting. In fact, it’s typical for doctors to conduct this questionnaire before diagnosing a patient with ED.
The questions asked in this questionnaire include:
- How do you rate your confidence that you could get and keep an erection?
- When you had erections with sexual stimulation, how often were your erections hard enough for penetration (entering your partner)?
- During sexual intercourse, how often were you able to maintain your erection after you had penetrated (entered) your partner?
- During sexual intercourse, how difficult was it to maintain your erection to completion of intercourse?
- When you attempted sexual intercourse, how often was it satisfactory for you?
The questionnaire will have a few canned responses that the patient can choose from. Depending on their answer, they can be diagnosed with either no ED, mild ED, moderate ED, or severe ED.
How Doctors Test for Erectile Dysfunction
To diagnose erectile dysfunction, doctors first gather the facts about the patient (such as past medical and sexual history). Then, they ask questions from a guided questionnaire (like the SHIM test) before performing a physical exam.
Following that, they’ll perform a blood test and urine test to determine potential causes of ED. Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and diabetes Mellitus can all be potential sources—and they can be identified through these urine tests and blood tests.
Furthermore, doctors may also call for a technician to perform a Doppler ultrasound test. This test examines how the blood flows to the penis using a special device that’s capable of highlighting any abnormalities.
A healthcare provider also injects medicine into your penis during this time to induce firmness. This would also allow a radiologist to create a more comprehensive analysis of the results.
Improve Your Sexual Virility and Ward Off Erectile Dysfunction Today with Ft. Lauderdale, Florida’s Leading Men’s Clinic, Preferred Men’s Medical Center
If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of men around the world diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, you’re not out of luck. There are many treatment plans, from vacuum erectile devices to non-invasive therapies, that can restore erectile function in one session.
Furthermore, making positive changes in your lifestyle can also boost the probability of you improving your erection capacity. Here are some of the most effective ways that you can reverse erectile dysfunction.
By visiting a men’s clinic such as ours at Preferred Men’s Medical Center, you can get the help of experienced professionals to ensure a smooth road to recovery.