Complete blood count (CBC)
Fasting blood glucose
Serum creatanine test
Prolactin level test
In addition to these laboratory tests, your doctor may also ask you to complete a self-report to gauge your level of sexual function. You'll be asked questions about your sexual desire (libido), your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, your ability to reach orgasm, your satisfaction level with intercourse, as well as your overall sexual satisfaction. Depending on your answers, and the results of your laboratory tests, your doctor may recommend a psychological evaluation to further explore the potential cause for your ED.
Whether you've talked to your doctor or not, there are a few signs to look for which might suggest that your erectile dysfunction is psychological in nature. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you interested in sex and attracted to your partner but have trouble performing?
Are you able to achieve an erection while masturbating?
Do you experience morning erections?
Are you under a lot of stress or experiencing an abnormal amount of anxiety?
Do you get nervous about pleasing your partner?
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, your ED may well have a psychological link. To confirm this diagnosis, you may want to complete a full psychological evaluation. This is particularly important if you suspect that your ED has something to do with a mental health issue like anxiety or depression that might require additional treatment, either medical or psychosocial.
treatment options for psychological impotence
Though psychological causes of erectile dysfunction may be more complex than medical causes, they are still treatable. You should know, however, that resolving psychological impotence may not be quite as simple as taking Viagra (sildenafil citrate). ED drugs are designed to sidestep the physiological causes for ED such as low blood pressure or vascular damage - they won't help you with issues of anxiety, stress, or low self-esteem. The best treatment for psychological ED will address the problem at its root.
Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT is a common and highly effective treatment for psychological issues in general, but also for ED. Facilitated by a therapist, this type of treatment helps you to identify and change unhealthy patterns of thought and action which may be contributing to your erectile issues. This kind of treatment is based on the idea that the situation itself (your inability to achieve or maintain an erection) is not the core problem, but rather your reaction to it. If you can learn to better understand yourself and your thought patterns, you can change them in a positive way to resolve your issues.
If you aren't quite ready to talk to a therapist about your psychological impotence, there are some alternative therapies you can try at home. Relaxation techniques, for example, can be beneficial for many of the causes of psychological ED including stress, anxiety, and depression. Here are a few ideas you can try on your own:
Rhythmic breathing - Concentrating on your breathing while taking long, slow breaths can help you take a step back from your stress and anxiety to live in the moment. Try inhaling slowly and deeply over a count of 5 then hold your breath for 5 seconds before exhaling slowly over another count of 5.
Meditation - Just ten to fifteen minutes of meditation a day can drastically reduce your stress and anxiety. There are many different ways to practice meditation, so try a few options to see what works best for you.
Guided imagery - This practice involves calming your mind and slowing your breathing while creating peaceful imagery in your head. It may also involve positive self-talk, giving yourself affirmations and dispelling negative thoughts.
If you suffer from psychological impotence, you probably have a lot on your mind and the thought of sharing your problems with your doctor, let alone anyone else, can be overwhelming. It is important to realize, however, that discussing your problem with your partner is an important part of the healing process. You may find that the simple act of acknowledging your issues and being honest with your partner takes some of the weight off your shoulders. Give your partner the opportunity to ask questions to help them understand - you may even be able to give them some tips on how to help you when you are experiencing difficulties.
Once you have talked to your partner about your issues, you may want to consider taking things one step further with psychosexual therapy. This is a form of therapy in which both you and your partner see a therapist together. The therapist will help you and your partner break out of the cycle of stress and disappointment that has been coloring your sex life and contributing to your ED. Going to a therapist with your partner may also help you work out any relationship issues that have been affecting your sex life so the both of you will be more satisfied.
While erectile dysfunction is a deeply personal issue, it is not something you should suffer through alone. Psychological ED can be particularly damaging to your confidence but opening up to someone about your issues can help. Today is the day to take the first step toward seeking help and resolving your issues.