Erectile dysfunction is, understandably, a difficult topic to broach. For men it can be extremely embarrassing and cause a great deal of stress. It can also be an immensely difficult thing for women to deal with- the thought that you can’t arouse your man can have detrimental effects on self esteem and confidence. It’s an issue shrouded in negativity, but it shouldn’t be. The more we can talk about it, and the more we know, the better we can deal with it. One third of men have experienced erectile dysfunction and we, as women, need to know what is causing it, and how to deal with it.
What are the causes?
The common misconception is that only older men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). This, however, is not true. A huge 26% of men under the age of 40 have experienced erectile dysfunction in some form, proving that it is not just age that impacts performance. Lifestyle choices can increase the chances of ED: smoking, drinking excessively, taking drugs and being overweight all have an impact. There are also a number of psychological causes: anxiety, stress and depression are all contributing factors.
It has also been found that performance anxiety, more specifically sexual performance anxiety, is a major contributing factor to ED. Pressures imposed upon men from societal influences, such as porn, mean that the expectations that men have of themselves can be unrealistic.
How can it be treated?
There are many treatment options for ED, ranging from medicinal remedies such as Viagra, Sildenafil and Cialis, to more interesting treatments such as the vacuum pump. Oral medication such as viagra has proven the most effective- with almost an 80% success rate. You can either or encourage your partner to go and see a doctor for a consultation.
For men suffering from psychological issues, the best way to deal with it is by talking. You can talk to your partner about it, if they want to. It’s best not to bring it up straight after the issue occurs as your partner will feel down already.
How can we, as women, deal with it?
It can be extremely distressing for a partner if a man can’t get/maintain an erection. The thought that you aren’t attractive, or even that your man is having an affair is very common. The best thing to do is to talk openly with your partner about the issue. If the issue keeps arising, maybe take a break from sex and come back to it in a couple of weeks. Encouraging your partner to lead a healthier lifestyle is really important- giving up smoking, drinking less and engaging in more physical exercise can all help to get back on track.
If the problem persists, you should suggest that your partner seek medical advice. ED can by an early indicator of a more serious underlying health issue, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.
Erectile dysfunction shouldn’t be such a difficult issue to discuss. With so many men experiencing the condition at some point, there should be more information available, both for men suffering from the condition, and women who are dealing with it.