Erectile dysfunction is a disorder which may be either physical or emotional in its cause. Rigidity tests are performed to determine whether a person has erectile dysfunction or not. This test can also help find the exact cause of the dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a common problem amongst men and is usually associated with problems of the blood vessels and nerves, along with emotional and psychological issues. There are several steps to determine causes of erection problems and the rigidity test is one of them. The doctor will usually check the patient's blood pressure before physically examining the penis and the testicles. The doctor may also order for several tests to examine hormone levels in the body. Sometimes, a urine test and a complete blood count may also be asked for.
Some of the rigidity tests that are usually conducted on a person are the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test, the intracavernosal injection test, and the Doppler ultrasound, and a little less popular, the cogwheel rigidity test. These tests may also be used to find out the cause of the dysfunction.
In the nocturnal penile tumescence test, the man is checked for erection at night. A man usually has 3-5 erections during sleep. This is a test that checks whether the man continues to have these erections. If a man is having erectile dysfunction due to psychological problems, he will have erections in sleep time. However, only if the man is in deep depression or has a physiological problem, there can be problems with erection in the nighttime.
This is a simple test which can be done either at the patient's home or at a special sleep lab, under observation. A snap gauge, which is a ring like device, is fitted around the penis. This device is made up of a plastic film which breaks off at a certain pressure point. When the person gets an erection, the film snaps and the ring breaks. Another way to test for rigidity is to get a monitoring device. Though the monitoring device is more expensive, it is also more accurate than the snap ring test.
The NPT test is known by many other names out of which, the stamp test and rigidity test are the most common ones.
In another test, known as the Intracavernosal Injection Test, a medicine is injected into the penis through its base. This medicine may alternatively be placed on the urethra. This medicine induces erection and the fullness of the erection and the time that it lasts can be measured.In the Doppler ultrasound test, a handheld ultrasound device is passed over the penis. This device helps to show the direction in which the blood flows.
A Doppler ultrasound method uses ultrasonography to identify the path of blood flow within the penis. The doctor may inject a medicine to cause an erection before the test. The ultrasound method is painless; however, if an injection is used to create an erection, it may cause some stinging sensation.
It is also important to know that most erectile problems may be due to stress and anxiety and a simple routine of rest and a good diet can help to resolve it.