Erectile dysfunction affects more than 30 million men across the United States, yet it’s still something of a taboo. The problem can be difficult for men to admit to, and even more challenging for them to discuss with their partners. Here are the top three things most sufferers wish that their partners knew about erectile dysfunction.
1) It’s not your fault.
Erectile dysfunction is typically linked to physical or physiological concerns, or both of these. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension can affect the blood flow to the penis and cause erectile dysfunction. All these health problems inhibit blood flow to the penis, making it more difficult to achieve an erection.
Men can also suffer due to job-related stress or performance anxiety. These psychological problems cause the body to release adrenaline which constricts the blood vessels and makes it more difficult for blood to reach the penis and facilitate an erection. When the mind is consumed by work or a dwindling bank balance, it’s also difficult to disconnect and focus on good sex.
Certain medications prescribed for conditions like depression and hypertension can also inhibit erectile function. Some offenders include Hydrochlorothiazide, Diazepam, Diphenhydramine, and Naproxen.
Stress, heart disease, certain medications, and much more can all cause erectile dysfunction, but it’s very unlikely that you’re a contributing factor. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean he’s tiring of your relationship or unimpressed by your looks; he may be suffering from something much bigger. In short, it’s not your fault.
2) There are things you can do to help.
Men might act like erectile dysfunction is their problem, but most would love your support. Doctors say it’s helpful for partners to attend doctor’s appointments. You can also help in the bedroom by experimenting with sex toys and other aides that might enhance arousal. Sex toys can take some of the pressure off men, as they won’t feel their erectile dysfunction is standing in the way of your pleasure.
3) A solution takes time.
Your patience is the biggest gift you can give to a man with erectile dysfunction. It’s important to remember that certain medications may take time to start working, and there may be some trial and error while discovering what solution works best. Be patient and set realistic expectations upfront to avoid disappointment or further frustration.
Erectile dysfunction can be difficult for sufferers, but having a partner who understands the condition can make the problem much easier to deal with. Openly discuss the challenges and solutions and set realistic expectations to reduce anxiety for both you and your partner.