Dealing with erectile dysfunction: A guide for you and your partner

It’s not uncommon for men to be accused of thinking with two brains, and if we are lucky, both of them will work well into our twilight years. But the ‘little’ brain is often the first to give us the trouble as we age. Did you know that by age 65, around 15–25 per cent of Australian men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) about one out of four times they have sex? Dealing with erectile dysfunction can have an unnerving effect on both partners in a relationship, as well as far-reaching psychological consequences.

Erectile dysfunction is when a man has difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection for a time long enough to have intercourse. Most people view ED solely as a sexual issue. The truth is that the most common causes of ED are undiagnosed physical conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. Certain medicines that are commonly used to treat these ailments can also be to blame.

Other factors are at play as well. In older men, blood vessel or prostate problems can be to blame, and for some younger men, the issue is more likely psychological – with stress, anxiety and depression being the underlying causes of ED.

The bottom line is that it’s not your fault – nor is it your partner’s. It’s easy to take ED personally, but there are some ways to help overcome this condition. Here are six ways to cope with erectile dysfunction.

Take off the pressure

The psychological effect of ED is possibly more challenging to deal with than the physical aspect. Taking the pressure off the need to perform can make things a bit more relaxed, which may sound as if it’s the opposite of what you’re going for, but relaxation is the key – the less pressure he feels to perform the more likely he will perform.

Try something new

Instead of having intercourse, try oral sex or manual stimulation? Playing around with sex toys or getting to know each other’s bodies in a less sexual way can also be satisfying. Asexual intimacy may even reignite lost passion, or you may find renewed interest in your partner through non-traditional or non-penetrative sexual methods. Learn about each other’s turn-ons and turn-offs. You could also consider watching erotic films or exploring new things you haven’t tried before.

Talk about it

One of the best ways to deal with erectile dysfunction is to recognise and talk about it as a physical issue rather than a sexual one. Instead of telling him “it doesn’t matter”, take him by the hand and give him hugs and kisses. It won’t hurt to let him know that you do miss the sexual contact, but remind him how much you care about him and how it doesn’t make him any less desirable to you.

Go to the doctor

Erectile dysfunction by itself is an insidious ailment, but it can also be indicative of another, more serious illness or disease. So, it can’t hurt to have a check up. You never know; – it may help to diagnose another condition, such as heart disease.

Try the magic pills

There are many ED medicines available, such as Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra and, of course, Viagra. Why not see a health care professional to see what they can do for you?

Get healthy

Good heart and vascular health usually equates to good penis health. Exercise helps to increase testosterone, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of stronger erections. A good program of daily physical activity and a healthy diet will go a long way to having all your parts in working order again.

Erectile dysfunction can indeed be a challenge for couples to deal with, but if you work together and follow even a few of these tips, you’ll hopefully be back in action soon.

As always, it is best to seek the assistance of a medical professional when it comes to changing your diet or exercise program, and especially when it comes to taking any pills or supplements.

Have you or your partner had issues with erectile dysfunction? Do you have any helpful hints to deal with it? Are you willing to share some tips with other members?

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