In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be diagnosed by the patient themselves after a situation where they were unable to perform to their sexual peak. However, in some other cases, it may be more difficult to pinpoint whether or not an erectile dysfunction problem is actually present.
If this is the case, there are specific medical tests which can be done to see whether or not erectile dysfunction is indeed the issue.
In this article, we will take a look at the techniques that physicians commonly use to assist them in agreeing on a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction.
Measuring the Penile Blood Flow
The inability to get an erection is due to one physiological phenomenon. For some underlying reason, and there are many, the rate at which blood is flowing through the tissue in the penis at any one time is low.
A medical exam to measure the rate of flow of this blood is referred to as a penile plethysmograph. Yes, that really is quite a mouthful – so physicians often refer to it as a “phallometry”.
Without getting too technical here, there are two different types of phallometry which can be performed:
- Air chamber measurements (volumetric chamber)
- Circumference measurements
Air Chamber Blood Flow Measurements
If you are having an air chamber blood flow measurement done in an attempt to diagnose an erectile dysfunction issue, you will soon find that a small chamber will be placed over your penis. You will be asked to attempt to get an erection, whilst no one is in the room.
As the penis enlarges, air which was previously in the chamber gets pushed out through a tube. The amount of air which is pushed out is able to be measured, and this determines your ability to get an erection.
Measuring the circumference of the base of the penis is another way of diagnosing erectile dysfunction. In this test, a flexible gauge is secured around the base of the soft penis. As in the previous test, you will then be asked to try and get an erection with no one in the room.
If successful, the degree to which your erection causes the ring to expand will be able to determine the rate of blood flow through your penis.
Both of these tests are painless, and will only take a matter of minutes.