When erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs for the first time, it can take anyone involved by surprise.
If you or your partner have never experienced this, you might worry about what it means for your health and sex life.
The best way to help someone dealing with erectile dysfunction is to learn and accept each other’s bodies and needs and create plans for addressing any concerns.
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In the article below, we will describe a few ways sexual partners can help someone with erectile dysfunction.
What is ED, And How Can It Affect Your Relationship?
Several things can cause ED, and it can affect a person’s mental health.
ED is a sexual dysfunction when a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection necessary for some forms of sexual activity, including sexual intercourse.
It’s not unusual to have difficulty getting an erection on occasion.
However, it could signal an underlying condition, like a lack of blood flow to the penis when it becomes a persistent problem.
A few of the risk factors for ED include:
- Mental health conditions, like stress, anxiety, and depression
- High blood pressure
- Side effects of Blood pressure drugs
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic kidney or liver disease
- Low testosterone levels
- Blood vessels that have become blocked
- The use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Depending on the severity of your ED, you may not be able to have sexual intercourse as frequently or as long as you have in the past.
You may not even be able to have intercourse at all.
However, sexual intimacy is an essential part of a marriage or long-term relationship, so this change may cause anxiety or a feeling of loss for both partners.
ED also affects the mental health of a person’s partner.
The partner of someone dealing with ED will often feel confused, anxious, undesirable, or suspicious that their partner may be unfaithful.
All of these feelings can damper a relationship.
Learn About Erectile Dysfunction
The best way to be a supportive partner is to get educated about ED.
If it’s tough to talk about the experience, gathering new information can create great ice breakers or dispel misconceptions that can make it difficult to start talking in the first place.
Speaking with a qualified therapist, sex educator, or supportive medical doctor can help dispel rumors or misinformation.
Communication is Key
Communication is crucial to a healthy relationship, especially if you’re dealing with a loss of sexual function.
The most important tool for a satisfying sex life is clear and open communication with your partner.
If you’re experiencing ED or low libido, your partner may worry that you no longer find them attractive.
They might even feel like they are doing something wrong or undesirable.
The best way to conquer these feelings is to communicate, remain supportive, and reassure each other.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Sex therapy can help you and your partner work through sexual issues together and improve your sex life.
If your healthcare professional believes that mental health could be a factor in your partner’s ED, they may suggest counseling.
Encouraging your partner to go to counseling will give them a private, non-judgmental space to talk about their experiences with erectile dysfunction.
A counselor or psychologist can help them manage their feelings of stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
Couples counseling may be beneficial for both of you.
Studies have suggested that 50–70% of males with stress-related ED have improved symptoms when their partner attends therapy with them.
Couples counseling will also teach you how to communicate with and support each other, and this emotional communication can help keep intimacy alive between partners.
It may also help resolve relationship problems affecting sexual intimacy.
Other Forms Of Intimacy
There are other ways you can be intimate with your partner if they are undergoing treatment for ED.
Nonsexual touching like kissing, cuddling, and hand-holding can make you feel closer with your partner and help them feel supported. This type of intimacy is often overlooked.
You can also experiment with other forms of sexual activity, like watching a sexy movie together.
This helps both of you experience pleasure without the need for penetration.
It may also reduce the pressure on your partner to “perform” and lessen performance anxiety.
Encourage Them To Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Certain lifestyle habits make ED worse.
To help manage ED and enjoy a healthy sex life, encourage your partner to:
- Quit smoking
- Avoid heavy drinking
- Avoid illicit drugs
Medications can also contribute to ED like antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, painkillers, cancer treatments, and drugs for Parkinson’s disease.
If you think your partner’s ED may be linked to new medications, have them talk with their doctor and ask about alternative medications or other treatment options.
Encourage Them To Seek Medical Help
Sometimes medical treatments are necessary.
Your partner should see a doctor if they have frequent trouble achieving or maintaining an erection.
ED is often a symptom of a serious underlying health condition, like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Peyronie’s disease,
- injury to the penis, bladder, spinal cord, prostate, or pelvis
It’s essential to seek treatment right away to treat these underlying issues before they worsen. There are many treatment options available that can help people with erectile dysfunction.
Visit Choice Men’s Health Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Today!
Erectile Dysfunction Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.
Many can also treat other sexual health issues you may be dealing with, like premature ejaculation and low testosterone.
If you or your partner is one of the tens of millions of men affected by ED, Choice Men’s Health can help you.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health is the best erectile dysfunction clinic in Atlanta that has been helping men have great sex again.