Abstract

To properly assess men and women with sexual dysfunction, evaluators should take a biopsychosocial approach that may require consultation with multiple health care professionals from various fields in order to get to the root of the sexual dysfunction; this multidisciplinary methodology offers the best chance of successful treatment. For males, this article focuses on erectile dysfunction (ED) and hypogonadism. The initial evaluation of ED involves a thorough case history, preferably taken from the patient and partner, physical examination, and proper laboratory and diagnostic tests, including an acknowledgment of the subjective complaint. The diagnosis is established on the basis of an individual's report of the consistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse. Initial workups for ED should entail a detailed history that can be obtained from a validated questionnaire such as the International Index of Erectile Function and the Sexual Health Inventory for Men. Hypogonadism is evaluated using the validated Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male questionnaire and laboratory testing for testosterone deficiency. Treatments logically can begin with the least invasive and then progress to more invasive strategies after appropriate counseling. The last and most important treatment component when caring for men with sexual dysfunction—and, arguably, the least practiced—is close follow-up.

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