Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED) now largely rests on the medical, sexual, and psychosocial history of the patient, ideally involving the man's partner. The medical history is crucial because ED is associated with so many common disorders and their treatment. A range of validated questionnaires may be used in taking the history. They can provide an objective and systematic record. The history helps identify whether the ED is largely physical or psychogenic. In particular, gradual onset suggests a physical cause, and sudden onset suggests a psychogenic cause. Physical examinations are not usually necessary. Taking blood pressure and physical examination of the genitals for signs of Peyronie's disease and hypogonadism may be helpful. Laboratory tests that identify diabetes (glycosylated haemoglobin), hyperlipidaemia (lipids), and hypogonadism (testosterone) may identify causes of ED. A range of specialized investigations, such as ultrasound and nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity assessment, is also available, but is not used routinely in most patients with ED.
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