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Testing Yourself for Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

Updated on April 26, 2011

If you've ever suffered from erectile dysfunction symptoms, then you know that they usually don't surface until you're with a partner. This particular aspect of the problem is not only frustrating and embarrassing, but is also likely to create anxiety and other psychological barriers to future sexual performance. The addition of this psychological element is further problematic in that it makes it difficult to determine whether the original ED was caused by a physiological problem.

Fortunately, there is an effective self-test for erectile dysfunction than can be easily administered at home, which will help determine whether or not the affected man is physically capable of having an erection. This test, called the Nocturnal Penile Tumescence test (NPT for short), can be performed by anyone (no special training is involved), and requires only a roll of basic postage stamps, and the willingness to follow the required routine for a period of three-consecutive nights.

How the NPT Works

The basic purpose of the NPT test is to determine if the man is having normal erections while he sleeps. Because many men wake up unaware of whether or not they have had a nocturnal erection, this simple test is amazingly useful. The presence of erections during sleep indicates that the man's erectile dysfunction symptoms are not the result of impotence (wherein the affected individual is physically incapable of having an erection), but rather the result of some psychological issue. It's as simple as that.

Taking the NPT Test

In preparation for administering the NPT, the man must be sure to avoid drinking alcohol, or imbibing any other sedatives or depressants during the two days prior to the test. This will help to eliminate any outside variables that may influence the test results.

Furthermore, achieving accurate test results requires the man to either sleep nude, or wear loose-fitting underwear (boxers are preferable). This eliminates any unintended impediments to blood flow through the penis.

Administering the NPT is a simple matter of wetting four postage stamps, and applying them around the middle of the penis shaft in an inter-connected ring. This process should take place with the penis sticking out through the fly of the underwear, or prior to putting the boxers on. After allowing the stamps to dry, the man may then return his penis into the undershorts (if applicable), and go to sleep - all the while being careful not to make unnecessary contact with the stamps.

The process described above is then repeated over three-straight nights of sleep.

Determining the Results of the Test

Identifying the test results for the NPT requires an examination of the ring of stamps. If the ring was broken by the penis expanding during the night, then an erection took place. So long as the visual evidence indicates that the ring broke apart in this manner, and not from tearing (as would happen if it was caught on another surface), then it may be concluded that the man is physically capable of achieving an erection.

If the man goes three-straight nights without breaking the ring of stamps, however, then there is possible cause for concern. This may very well be an indication that his erectile dysfunction symptoms are caused by some underlying physical problem. At this point, consulting a physician is advised.


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