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Do you suspect that your partner is suffering from erectile dysfunction?
While you’ve identified the presence of the problem, it’s not entirely easy to encroach on the topic. You may be left unsure of what to do, how to help him, and how to act around him.
Regardless, it’s important to know that it’s not because you’re unattractive or undesirable. Considered a widespread phenomenon, more than half of adult men get diagnosed with erectile dysfunction as they get older.
And while this sexual dysfunction can be debilitating, there are many ways you can help support your partner through this condition.
Here’s all you need to know about erectile dysfunction and how you can support a partner diagnosed with this sexual dysfunction.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is a condition characterized by the ongoing or repeated inability to achieve or sustain an erection suitable for sexual activity.
ED is a globally prevalent condition that can affect males of all ages; however, it’s typically more common among older men.
The causes of this condition can stem from physical factors, psychological factors, or a combination of both factors. For instance, atherosclerosis and depression are two potential risk factors for this sexual condition.
Factors Contributing to Erectile Dysfunction
The actions your husband takes and the genetic conditions that he’s predisposed to can either cause or reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.
In fact, many different factors contribute to erectile dysfunction.
If you want to better understand your husband’s condition, it pays to know these factors in more detail so that you can establish common ground and talk to a medical professional about it.
These factors are divided into three major categories—lifestyle, physical, and psychological factors.
Here are these three factors in more detail.
- Imbalanced diet: An unhealthy diet high in processed foods and lacking in nutrients can lead to cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, and other medical conditions. These can increase ED risk.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and exercise can cause cardiovascular conditions, obesity, and other physical ailments.
- Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can alter hormone levels and lead to psychological conditions, leading to erectile dysfunction.
- Cardiovascular conditions: Hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and heart disease can affect blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection.
- Diabetes: Elevated blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to impaired erectile function.
- Hormonal imbalances: Low testosterone levels or imbalances in other hormones can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as hypertension, depression, or prostate medication, can have side effects causing erectile dysfunction.
- Neurological disorders: Conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke can interfere with nerve signals that initiate and maintain an erection.
- Obesity: Obesity can increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction due to the increased risk of cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and psychological factors.
- Substance abuse: Excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and illicit drug use can impair sexual function.
- Depression and anxiety disorders: Mental health conditions can disrupt sexual desire, arousal, and overall sexual function.
- Performance anxiety: Stress, pressure to perform sexually, fear of failure, or negative past experiences can create anxiety and affect erectile function.
- Psychological trauma: Past traumatic experiences like sexual abuse can have long-lasting effects on sexual functioning.
- Relationship issues: Difficulties within a relationship, lack of emotional intimacy, communication problems, or unresolved conflicts can impact sexual function.
What Can You Do As A Partner?
If your partner is experiencing erectile dysfunction, there are several steps you can take to support them:
1. Be Patient and Understanding
Erectile dysfunction can be a source of frustration and great stress for your partner. They’re suffering too, and it’s important to recognize that.
Be patient and understanding throughout the process of finding solutions, and avoid putting pressure on your partner to perform sexually.
2. Educate Yourself About ED
Sexual disinterest can cause all sorts of untruthful gossip to spread. To avoid falling on the wrong side of information, learn about erectile dysfunction, its causes, and treatments from ideal sources.
This can help you better understand the condition, reduce stigma, and provide support and reassurance to your partner.
While reading a health article is a good first step, talking with a medical professional can lead to even more insights, so do try to reach out to one.
3. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Support your partner in adopting a healthy lifestyle─encourage regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management techniques. These can bolster their health, which can also be beneficial for their sexual function as a result.
To motivate your husband, consider participating in healthy activities alongside him. Cooking healthy meals and engaging in physical activities together can promote overall well-being for both of you.
4. Explore Alternative Forms of Intimacy
Explore different ways to experience pleasure and intimacy aside from erections. Engage in sensual activities like massage, touching, using sex toys, or exploring erogenous zones.
This way, you can increase pleasure and strengthen the emotional connection without having to rely on sex.
On top of that, do try to maintain emotional closeness and intimacy in your relationship. Explore non-sexual intimacy, including cuddling, kissing, or engaging in other emotion-stirring activities.
5. Keep Lines of Communication Open
Last but not least, have open and non-judgmental communication about the issue.
Remind your partner that you will support them and that the condition does not diminish your feelings for them.
This fosters a good environment where they feel supported and loved, which can uplift their emotional apprehensions concerning sex and intimacy.
Clinical Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction
Of course, the best way to treat ED is in a clinical setting.
Here are some medical treatment plans your husband or partner could consider to treat ED.
1. RestoreWave Therapy
RestoreWave therapy, also known as acoustic wave therapy, is a non-invasive treatment for erectile dysfunction, using acoustic waves to stimulate blood vessel growth and improve blood flow in the penis by triggering a healing response, releasing growth factors, and triggering angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) in the penis.
A full course typically consists of multiple sessions over several weeks and has shown to be effective, especially for milder cases of erectile dysfunction. It’s generally safe and well-tolerated with minimal side effects.
2. Erectile Dysfunction Therapy and Sex Counseling
Consulting an experienced doctor specializing in ED begins with a personalized diagnosis to understand a patient’s unique medical history and identify root causes of dysfunction, whether psychological or physical. Then, a medical professional can prepare a customized erectile dysfunction therapy treatment plan to help improve the condition’s impact over the long term.
Sex counseling helps address erectile dysfunction as well, particularly when psychological or relationship factors play a role. It’s a multi-stage process. It first assesses the nature and causes of erectile dysfunction and provides psychoeducation on what constitutes sexual function and how the patient deviates from that.
Then, it involves interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy and modes of conflict resolution.
3. Penile Surgery and Vacuum Devices
There are two types of penile implants, and surgery is required to implant them. Inflatable implants allow the individual to control when and how long the erection lasts, while malleable implants keep the penis firm but bendable in different positions.
A vacuum erection device is a non-invasive, mechanical device that utilizes a vacuum around the penis. This suction draws blood into the vacuum, causing an erection. A constriction ring is also often placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection.
Help Your Husband with ED By Visiting Priority Men’s Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia’s Top Male Clinic
Each individual and relationship is unique, and what works for one couple may not work for another. Finding the right approach requires a degree of experimentation and flexibility.
That said, if your partner’s ED is causing your sex life to suffer, you may benefit from seeking clinical ED treatment intervention for them.
In addition to medical guidance, consider seeking the support of a sex therapist or counselor who can provide specialized strategies for navigating ED within your relationship.
Need a nudge to find the right ED treatment for your sexual partner? Our professionals at Priority Men’s Medical Center in Atlanta can help customize your treatment with ED, low testosterone treatment or custom healthy living programs to help manage your condition more effectively.