Our Member Services Representatives are unavailable Thursday, November 26, and Friday, November 27, due to the holiday. (Medium)

Diagnosis and Treatment of Male Sexual Dysfunction

Section: Miscellaneous
Effective Date: November 01, 2019
Last Reviewed: September 26, 2019


Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve a sufficient erection for satisfactory sexual performance. Erectile function requires competent arterial blood inflow as well as a reduction of venous blood outflow. Disease and other risk factors may affect the arterial and venous systems in a manner that impedes erectile function and may lead to erectile dysfunction.

Oral and topical pharmacological treatments are not addressed in this policy.


Diagnosis of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The following procedures and tests for the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction may be considered medically necessary:

  •    Comprehensive history and physical examination
  •    Lab tests for testosterone levels
    •   Abnormal testosterone levels may necessitate further endocrine testing for hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal dysfunction.
  •    Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) testing
    •   NPT testing may be considered medically necessary when the following criteria are met:
      • Clinical evaluation, including history and physical examination, is unable to distinguish psychogenic from organic erectile dysfunction; and
      • Any identified medical disorders have been corrected.
    • Types of NPT testing that may be considered medically necessary:
      • Postage stamp test
      • Snap-Gauge Device
      • RigiScan
        • NPT testing using the RigiScan may be considered medically necessary only:
          • When NPT testing is indicated; and
          • The results of postage stamp or Snap-Gauge testing are equivocal or inconclusive.
    • All other indications for NPT are considered not medically necessary.

The following diagnostic procedures are considered not medically necessary, as these tests do not have any therapeutic value because spinal cord injury and other neurological deficits that may cause erectile dysfunction are typically identified during a comprehensive history and examination:

  •     Corpora cavernosal electromyography
  •     Dorsal nerve conduction latencies
  •     Evoked potential measurements

Treatment of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The following treatments may be considered medically necessary for male sexual dysfunction:

  •    Vacuum constriction devices (e.g., ErecAid); or
  •    Vasodilator injection (e.g., papaverine, phentolamine, alprostadil); or
  •    Vasodilator suppository (e.g., alprostadil); or
  •    Collagenase clostridium histolyticum injection (e.g., Peyronie’s disease).

Penile Prostheses and External Devices

Treatment of male sexual dysfunction with an internal penile prosthesis or an external device may be considered medically necessary when EITHER of the following criteria is met:

  •   Erectile dysfunction is due to an organic disease or injury and is not psychological in nature; or
  •   There is failure, a contraindication or an intolerance to pharmacological therapy.

The surgical implantation of an internal penile prosthesis may be considered medically necessary when the above criteria have been met.

The removal of an internal penile prosthesis may be considered medically necessary for ANY ONE of the following indications:

  •   Infection; or
  •   Mechanical failure; or
  •   Urinary obstruction; or
  •   Intractable pain.

Following the removal of an internal penile prosthesis it may be considered medically necessary for surgical re-implantation of an internal penile prosthetic device.

An external device or an internal penile prosthesis insertion or removal is considered not medically necessary for any other indication.

Penile Revascularization

Penile revascularization may be considered medically necessary for the treatment of erectile dysfunction when ALL of the following criteria are met:

  •   The individual presents with erectile dysfunction preceded by blunt perineal or pelvic trauma; and
  •   The individual has erectile dysfunction that is secondary to a focal arterial occlusion, as evidenced by an arteriogram or duplex ultrasonography conclusive for focal  arterial obstruction; and
  •  There is no evidence of generalized vascular disease (e.g., diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary artery disease), Peyronie’s plaques, intracavernosal masses, nodules, or sensory neuropathy; and
  •  There is evidence of normal corporeal venous function; and
  •  Alternative nonsurgical treatment modalities have been fully explained to the individual, and the individual is determined to achieve spontaneous erections without the need for pharmacological, external, or internal support devices; and
  •  The individual is not actively smoking.

Venous ligation performed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction is considered not medically necessary.

Penile revascularization for any indication not listed above is considered not medically necessary.

Procedure Codes


Diagnosis Codes

Covered Diagnosis Codes for Procedure Codes 54115, 54205, 54230, 54231, 54250, 54400, 54401, 54405, 54406, 54408, 54410, 54411, 54415, 54416, 54417 and 74445  


Professional Statements and Societal Positions Guidelines

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP): According to the AAFP, oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors are the first-line treatments for ED. Second-line treatments include alprostadil, vacuum devices and when all other options are ineffective surgically implanted penile prostheses are an option (Rew et al., 2016).

American Urological Association (AUA): In 2018, the AUA published revised guidelines on erectile dysfunction. According to the guidelines, men may choose to begin with the least invasive option, however any type of treatment as an initial treatment is a valid choice. The clinician is responsible to ensure that the man and his partner fully understand the benefits and risks/burdens associated with the choice and be informed of all the treatments (e.g., vacuum erection device, penile prosthesis) that are not contraindicated for the patient. The AUA also recommends against penile venous surgery and considers ESWT investigational (AUA, 2018).

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN): According to NCCN guidelines for prostate cancer, recovery of erectile function is directly related to factors such as age at radical prostatectomy, preoperative erectile function and the degree of preservation of the cavernous nerves. Replacement of resected nerves with nerve grafts has not been shown to be beneficial (NCCN, 2019).