Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common sex problem that men report to their doctor. It affects as many as 30 million men. ED is defined as trouble getting or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for sex. Though it’s not rare for a man to have some problems with erections from time to time, ED that is progressive or happens routinely with sex is not normal, and it should be treated.
ED Can Happen:
- Most often when blood flow in the penis is limited or nerves are harmed
- With stress or emotional reasons
- As an early warning of a more serious illness, like atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar from Diabetes
- Finding the cause(s) of your ED will help treat the problem and help with your overall well-being. As a rule, what’s good for your heart health is good for your sex health.
How Erections Work
During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals that increase blood flow into the penis. Blood flows into two erection chambers in the penis, made of spongy muscle tissue (the corpus cavernosum). The corpus cavernosum chambers are not hollow.
Discuss The Issue
Good communication is the foundation of an enduring relationship. Confront any concerns you may have about his difficulty having or maintaining an erection by discussing your feelings and telling your partner that you care. As challenging as it is to talk about any sexual problem, the difficulty level skyrockets if the issue becomes buried under years of lies, hurt, and resentment.
Find The Right Time To Talk
There are two types of sexual conversations: the ones you have in the bedroom and the ones you have elsewhere. It’s often best to talk about ED at a time and place where both people will feel less vulnerable that is, not while in bed with your clothes off.
Reassure Your Partner That He Is Not Alone
Remind him (and yourself) that millions of men have ED and that it’s a treatable medical condition. Also, understand that ED does not mean he is no longer interested in sex or you.
Learn About The Condition And Treatment Options
Information truly is empowering. Finally, the best treatment for ED is one that you both agree will fit most comfortably with your lovemaking.
Offer To Go With Your Partner To His Doctor’s Appointment
In general, couples who work together have the best chance of successful treatment. But if your partner prefers to see his doctor alone, respect his privacy. There are other ways you can support his treatment.
Help Your Partner Help Himself
Keep in mind that harmful health habits, such as smoking and heavy drinking, can cause ED. In a supportive and nonjudgmental way, encourage your partner to break these habits and form healthier habits that could boost your sex life. What’s good for his overall health is good for his sexual relationship.
Express Your Love In Many Ways
Expand your repertoire of intimate expressions. Lovemaking can be satisfying even without an erection. Moreover, create an atmosphere of caring and tenderness, and explore different ways to be intimate in the bedroom like foreplay and exploring each other’s bodies.
How Erectile Dysfunction Affects A Relationship
ED is a condition that makes it difficult for a person to get or maintain an erection. An erection is necessary for some forms of sexual activity, including sexual intercourse.
It is not unusual to have difficulty getting an erection occasionally, but when this symptom occurs frequently, it can signal an underlying condition.
How To Deal With ED In A Marriage Or Long-Term Relationship
In many cases, ED is treatable. A range of effective treatments can restore sexual function, thereby improving satisfaction in a relationship. A doctor can help couples understand their options, and they will often encourage both partners to attend appointments.
However, a person may have to try several treatments or go through testing to find an option that works for them. During this time, their partner needs to be open, understanding, and supportive. In one study, 94% of males felt that their partner’s support was important when dealing with ED.
Some Approaches That People Can Try Include:
- Open communication
- Other forms of intimacy
- Lifestyle changes
Emotional distress is a common cause of ED. If a urologist believes that mental health could be a factor in a person’s ED, they may suggest counseling.
- Individual counseling can give someone a private, nonjudgmental space in which to talk about their difficulties with ED. A counselor or psychologist can help a person manage feelings of stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
- Couples counseling may also be beneficial. Some studies suggest that for 50–70% of males with stress-related ED, symptoms improve when their partner attends therapy with them.
- Couples counseling can help partners learn how to communicate with and support each other, and it may help resolve any relationship problems that could be affecting sexual intimacy.
Buy Some Popular ED Medicines:
Other Forms Of Intimacy
There are ways to maintain physical intimacy while someone undergoes treatment for ED. For example, nonsexual touching, which includes kissing, cuddling, and hand-holding, can make people feel closer and help people with ED feel supported.
How Partners Can Cope
People who have a partner or spouse with ED can have their difficulties with mental health. They may worry that the inability to maintain an erection is a sign that their partner no longer desires them.
However, low libido is a separate condition from ED. Someone with low libido does not want to have sex, whereas people with ED may wish to but be unable. If someone with ED is not interested in sex anymore, it may be due to the effect that ED is having on their mental state.
A partner can cope by remembering that ED is often not personal and that it is okay for them to talk with a professional about how their partner’s ED makes them feel. Moreover, it may help to discuss the issue with a urologist, counselor, or other individuals in the same situation.
Medical Treatment For ED
Further, many medical treatments are available for ED. However, the best option will depend on what is causing the ED. It is a good idea for both partners to learn about the treatment options and what they involve.
Noninvasive treatments for ED include:
- Oral medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra)
- Injectable medications, such as alprostadil (Caverject) or the combination drug trimix
- Suppositories that a person inserts into the urethra
- Testosterone therapy for low testosterone levels
- Vacuum or pump devices that draw blood into the penis, making it possible to maintain an erection temporarily
- If a medication might be causing ED as a side effect, changing this medication may also be an option. It is essential always to discuss this with a doctor first.