Whether it happens occasionally or consistently, erectile dysfunction (ED) can take an emotional toll on a man and his partner. Even though ED is fairly common, as it affects almost 20% of all men over 20 and 70% of men over 70, not being able to maintain an erection is often embarrassing, distressing, and easily leads to a cycle of anxiety.
Instead of ignoring the problem, it makes more sense to tackle this problem realistically and practically as a couple. You can work together with erectile issues in the same way that you’ve approached all the other age-related challenges that come along; with curiosity, intelligence, creativity and a bit of an adventuresome spirit.
Talk to a Urologist
When you’re having trouble maintaining an erection more than half the time, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Beyond trying to solve your ED, it is important to see your doctor about this to ensure your ED isn’t a symptom of some other health issue. If it is, fixing the underlying health problem could easily fix the ED.
The first line of defense in addressing erectile problems is to address physical issues, which often cause ED or make it worse. These include:
- Alcohol, tobacco or recreational drug use
- Cardiac problems (for 30 percent of men, erectile dysfunction is often the first symptom of cardiovascular disease)
- Prescription medicines
- Prostate issues
- Diabetes or other chronic conditions
ED is not purely a blood flow issue; it’s a head game too. It is common for men with ED to feel anger, frustration, sadness, or lack confidence. Once ED has been brought out into the open, coping with it as you go through treatment will be easier and less stressful. Communication is essential to a successful diagnosis and treatment, as well as, helping your partner understand your feelings.
For some couples, sex therapy could help you and your partner cope. It may also help you to hear from some men who have ED and learn about their experiences.
You’ll come to find that there are a lot of activities that can be done without an erection that build intimacy and can be enjoyable. That’s where you can go, as a couple, where you may never have thought to go before. Taking away the pressure to perform and enjoying each other is a very worthy goal.
Finding Your Solution
Erectile dysfunction is complex and can have many interconnected parts. It can be exacerbated by psychological troubles, such as stress at work or home, as well as physical issues. Often times it seems easier to withdraw from each other, deny the issue, and refuse to talk about ED. This not only perpetuates the problem, but can also leave partners feeling rejected.
You may be surprised at all the options for treating erectile dysfunction. To schedule an appointment to talk to one of our urologists about erectile dysfunction, you can call 215-563-1199 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.