There are a number of reasons why patients can have erectile dysfunction.
And in some cases, it can be difficult to distinguish actual medical causes, versus psychological causes. In our very hectic and busy lives, we have many factors that can affect us psychologically. Things such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
All of these factors can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. In many cases, it can be difficult to tell if erectile dysfunction is actually caused by a medical problem, what we call organic erectile dysfunction, versus an actual psychological component. Also, in many cases, it may be multi-factorial.
There may be multiple causes for patients to have problems with their erections. One way in which we can tell whether there is a psychological factor, we need to know if the plumbing actually works properly. And the way to tell that is checking for what we call nocturnal erections.
So patients who are able to have erections in the middle of the night, as this is a normal, natural process, most men will have multiple erections throughout the course of the night. In cases where patients are unaware of whether they are having those, there is some testing that can be done to test for actual nocturnal erections. And this is called a nocturnal tumescence test.
But, if a patient is able to have erections that are 100 percent normal throughout the course of the night, then chances are the plumbing is working properly. And there may actually be a psychological component contributing to the erectile dysfunction.
So it's important to consider these when talking about potential causes for erectile dysfunction. And it's important to discuss this with your physician, prior to determining what should be done about your problem.