A lot of men do not want to talk about their erectile dysfunction (ED), but the truth is that it can affect more than just themselves- their partners are also affected by the condition. The right communication will help avoid any embarrassment and allow room for understanding and support to grow.
Sex is a common topic in most relationships. But when one of the partners has erectile dysfunction, it can be difficult to know how to talk about it. It is important for both people to understand that this does not change anything about their relationship and love for one other. This article is designed to help you have more open conversations with your partner about ED.
ED is common and can affect anyone. It is estimated that over 30 million men in the United States have experienced ED at some point in their lives. It may be random, occasional, or chronic, but 1 in 10 men suffer from ED. While many men with ED are over the age of 50, there are still younger men who experience it, as well. Roughly 8% of men between 20-29 and 11% of men between 30-39 experience ED.
How ED Affects Relationships
The Sexual Dysfunction Association conducted an online survey to see how ED affected men. The results showed erectile dysfunction causes distress to those who experience it, with marked effects on their self-esteem and relationships. The most common initial reaction to erectile dysfunction was a sense of emasculation. For many men, the ability to perform sexually and to satisfy their partner was an important marker of their masculinity.
The importance of self-esteem cannot be overstated for a successful relationship. A person who is confident and proud of themselves will often times find they are more satisfied with their romantic relationships. High self-esteem allows them to enjoy romantic connections more than if they were suffering from feelings of worthlessness.
But it is not just the partner experiencing the ED who has lowered self-esteem. Despite the fact research has shown that ED normally has natural causes (like a circulation problem), partners of those experiencing ED have feelings of unattractiveness and tend to worry their partner has feelings for someone else. Fears of intimacy and of rejection can grow in this environment. Because of this, anxiety and depression can develop in the partner as well as the person experiencing ED.
How to Communicate with your Partner
First, it is important to remember no one is at fault for their erectile problems. It is important to broach the subject in the right setting. Having this conversation in bed or right after an ED instance has occurred is not ideal. Instead, it is better to prepare for the conversation and have it in a more relaxed or non-threatening setting.
Before beginning the conversation, it may help to educate yourself on why ED can occur and how to treat it so you can bring the information to your partner. Deepening your knowledge on the topic can help you and your partner better understand why ED is occurring and strengthen your support for one another as you venture into treatment or lifestyle changes that can help the condition.
If you are the partner of someone suffering from ED and wish to broach the subject with them, it is good to remember to set the right emotional tone for the conversation. It is important to not corner your partner or make them feel like you are attacking the condition. If your partner becomes embarrassed or defensive, then do not push the topic. However, do not entirely drop the subject. Allow them some time but let them know you need a follow-up conversation. It may be good to communicate that the condition is common, but that there are many treatment options available.
In some cases, it may be best to approach the subject with either a medical professional or with a marriage counselor. Regardless of how the topic is brought up, it is important to reiterate that you and your partner are a team and that you can lend support to one another.
A Few Things to Know about ED
Erectile Dysfunction is not necessarily about a lack of arousal. ED can actually be a symptom of underlying health concerns such as depression, high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, low testosterone, or heart disease. Emotional triggers such as anxiety or high stress levels can also cause or worsen the effects of erectile dysfunction.
ED is Treatable
The sooner you get the right treatment for your ED, the better. Treatments range from lifestyle changes to oral medications and sometimes even surgery. Making healthier food choices, improving your sleep quality, and exercising regularly can be lifestyle changes that improve the symptoms of ED. When lifestyle changes are not working or are unavailable, there are multiple prescription options to combat the effects of ED. The availability of generic ED medications has revolutionized the treatment of this condition by allowing for my financially viable options.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of ED, then it is recommended you speak to your healthcare provider.
The emotional and physical symptoms of stress can have a devastating impact on your life. It has been shown that chronic stress weakens the heart, increases blood pressure, disrupts the digestive system, and can cause depression and anxiety. With all of this in mind, is it really a surprise that stress would affect the quality of your erections? The erectile process involves signals flowing from the brain to stimulate blood flow in response, but stress can interrupt this communication between your mind and body, leaving you psychologically aroused but without an erection. An overwhelming amount of stress can be triggered by a number of factors. There is pressure from work, psychological issues like anxiety or low self-esteem leading to more serious conditions such as depression; there are also traumatic events, such as financial problems, that give us severe stress. If you think stress might be the cause of your ED, talk with a healthcare provider and discuss how it’s affecting other aspects of life.
How to Treat Stress Related ED
If stress or high-stress events are the cause of your ED, there are many strategies to help reduce it.
One of the best options for alleviating stress is through talk therapy, whether it’s personal counseling or couples’ sessions; exploring different approaches can help you find healthier means for dealing with any stress or anxieties you may be having.
You may find that making lifestyle changes improves your mental and physical well-being. These include cutting back on the amount of tobacco or alcohol you consume, getting more exercise each day by walking (or even taking up yoga), practicing mindful thinking techniques like meditation which can help reduce stress levels while also enhancing erectile function through improved blood flow at rest.
You should discuss these options with a doctor if they are unfamiliar territory for anyone who has frequent trouble achieving an erection during sex because there could be other underlying health conditions causing it – but this does not need to stop them altogether.
Exercise is an incredible way to not only lower stress levels, but also help reduce symptoms of ED. Staying physically active can bolster testosterone levels, provide an emotional boost, increase self-confidence, and reduce depression. All of these factors have been shown to improve sexual health in men.
High-fat and processed foods should be avoided in order to lower stress levels and a strive for a healthier libido. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your daily diet is the best way to improve your mood, and therefore your sexual performance and intimacy. The time it takes to see improvement in erectile health after adjusting diet varies for every individual. Some people may experience noticeable changes within weeks, while others only notice minor changes over a few months.
Many men will increase tobacco and alcohol use during stressful times, but this only increases stress levels and lowers libido. Alcohol is actually a depressant, which means that if you are drinking regularly or heavily then both your libido and your mood are going to be down. Regular tobacco use causes the chemicals found within cigarette smoke to injure the lining of your blood vessels and damage the function of your heart, lungs, and yes, your erectile health. However, quitting smoking can improve symptoms for those with erectile dysfunction.
If stress reduction is not enough to resolve your ED, you still have options.
There are plenty of prescription options for treating erectile dysfunction if you can’t, or don’t want to, go the natural route. Two of the most common medications for ED are Sildenafil and Tadalafil, which come in pill form for oral consumption. Sildenafil and Tadalafil are the generic versions of Viagra and Cialis, which means you can have all the same benefits of a name-brand prescription without paying the high price. There is no chemical difference between the name-brand or the generic version- the only difference is how much you pay for your prescription.
Stress is unavoidable, but it does not have to be a debilitating force in your life. You can take proactive measures to lower stress levels that may contribute to ED by adopting healthy habits and engaging in self-care strategies you enjoy. Erectile dysfunction is not something that should go unmentioned; instead of shying away from this tough topic with embarrassment or shame, it is time to learn all about erectile dysfunction so you will know what it means for your health. When it comes to erectile dysfunction, you have options for treatment. It can be difficult to keep your sex life alive when you’re experiencing ED, but do not delay in talking with a healthcare provider. They will help find the solution that is right for you and resolve other health problems before they become bigger than what should be happening.
Statistics show that erectile dysfunction is becoming a more widespread problem in the United States. In fact, the National Institutes of Health estimates that over 30 million men in the US have ED. That is 1 in 10 men, and comparable to the population of Texas! And it is not just an issue for older guys; half of all men 40 and over report some degree of erectile dysfunction. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent this from happening. We’ve compiled 5 important factors for preventing ED – statistics and tips below!
1. Exercise Consistently
Exercise is an incredible way to not only boost your circulatory system and increase blood flow through the whole body, but also help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction. A Harvard study found that just 30 minutes a day could cut down on the risk for ED by 41%. In addition, other research suggests maintaining moderate exercise may be able to restore sexual performance in obese middle-aged men with ED. Staying physically active can bolster testosterone levels, provide an emotional boost, increase self-confidence, and reduce depression. All of these factors have been shown to improve sexual health in men.
Aerobic exercises are a great option for men looking to increase their sexual performance. Swimming, walking, and running will all boost blood flow by increasing circulation, which may help maintain stronger erections.
2. Watch Your Diet
Most men already know a diet high in fatty foods can lead to heart health issues, but most do not consider how the decreased circulation from poor diet will cause erectile health problems. High-fat and processed foods like fried chicken or sugary cereals should be avoided for a healthier libido. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your daily diet is the best way to improve sexual performance and increase intimacy. The Mediterranean diet is one that many have found success within reducing erection difficulties due to its ability to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.
The time it takes to see improvement in erectile health after adjusting diet varies for every individual. Some people may experience noticeable changes within weeks, while others only notice minor changes over a few months.
3. Keep Alcohol to a Minimum
Some may think a drink or two before intimacy will only decrease “bedroom nerves.” However, regular to heavy alcohol consumption can actually lead to decreased sexual performance. Alcohol is a depressant which means that if you are drinking heavily then your libido and mood are going to be down too! A study by the University of Washington has shown sober men are able to achieve erections more quickly than those that have been drinking. This is because intoxication slows down or interrupts signals between the brain and body, resulting in erectile dysfunction. Drinking in moderation is key, but moderation depends on the individual. The CDC recommends men should limit their consumption to two or less drinks per day.
4. Quit Smoking
While erectile dysfunction typically becomes more prevalent among men as they grow older, recent studies confirm this condition can also occur earlier on if there has been ample exposure to cigarette smoke. Many people don’t realize that heavy smokers, even at a younger age, have a much higher chance of developing ED. The chemicals in cigarette smoke injure the lining of your blood vessels and damage the function of your heart, lungs, and yes, erectile health. However, quitting smoking can improve symptoms for those with erectile dysfunction. The severity and age of onset will determine how well they recover from it.
5. Get Adequate Sleep
It is commonly known that sleep can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical health. A recent study has shown how irregular or inadequate sleeping patterns may lead to testosterone levels dropping, which could then cause not just lower libido, but also weaker erections. A few sleepless nights will most likely not contribute to erectile dysfunction, but an ongoing lack of rest may be the cause of more serious problems down the road. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are both linked with erectile dysfunction in men due to their interference with sexual arousal. The National Sleep Foundation recommends healthy adults should aim to have 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
What can you do when your lifestyle is too busy for exercise? Maybe things just don’t seem to be going well with quitting smoking. Or maybe you have tried all of the tips above and still struggle with erectile dysfunction. What are your options?
There are plenty of prescription options for treating erectile dysfunction if you can’t, or don’t want to, go the natural route. Two of the most common medications for ED are Sildenafil and Tadalafil, which come in pill form for oral consumption. Sildenafil and Tadalafil are the generic versions of Viagra and Cialis, which means you can have all the same benefits of a name-brand prescription without paying the price. There is no chemical difference between the name-brand or the generic version- the only difference is how much you pay for your prescription!
Erectile dysfunction isn’t something that should just go unmentioned; instead of shying away from this tough topic with embarrassment or shame, learn all about erectile dysfunction so you’ll know what it means for your relationship as well as how best to avoid developing symptoms yourself! When it comes to erectile dysfunction, you have options. We offer generic Sildenafil and Tadalafil for those struggling with ED.