Note: For security reasons you cannot purchase medicines on behalf of your partner, so if you think they might be interested please send them a link to this page.
How to Talk to Your Partner About Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (also known as ‘impotence’) is an extremely common condition affecting over 50% of men aged between 40 and 70. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult subject for many couples to discuss despite being a natural part of the ageing process.
Nevertheless, talking openly about can often be the best way of resolving stress, and discovering the underlying causes.
This guide expands on the 9 key tips above and aims to help you discuss erectile dysfunction with your partner.
1) Do Some Research
Many people aren’t comfortable talking about erectile dysfunction because they don’t know enough about it. Understanding the biology involved, the possible causes, and how it can affect a man will allow you to be: Helpful, Constructive, and Supportive.
Remember, it is a normal part of the aging process; and is therefore very common in men over 40, and even 25% of men under experience ED at least once.
2) Choose Your Moment
Talking about erectile dysfunction can never be an easy issue to bring up, especially if there are other issues affecting your partner such as workplace stress or depression. So pick your moment wisely, and try and choose a moment when you and your partner are both:
- Not Stressed
- Not Busy
Similarly, most experts recommend that you avoid bringing up this discussion directly after an incident, as this can be a period of great distress and some embarrassment for men which may obstruct a constructive discussion.
Being calm and relaxed will allow you to discuss the issue with clarity and honesty.
3) Be Sensitive and Supportive
Erectile dysfunction is a sensitive area for most men. Make sure you express to your partner that you understand the situation and that it is difficult for him.
Show him that you are supportive, and that you want to help him overcome his condition:
- Avoid getting frustrated or angry if he is unable to get or maintain an erection.
- Remind yourself that it is not your fault, and it doesn’t reflect badly on your attractiveness or your ability to please your partner in the bedroom.
Showing your partner compassion and understanding how they feel is key to helping your personal confidence as well as his. Remember, that however much frustration or embarrassment you might sometimes feel, it may be worse for your partner.
4) Suggest a Health-Check
ED is often a sign of wider, underlying health issues. Erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of, men with certain existing health conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and changes in testosterone levels.
ED can be a crucial early indicator for such conditions so suggesting a health check is not just about your sex life but also about his general health.
Suggest to your partner that they visit their GP to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions, or that they take some routine tests to find out if they have any underlying problems. Blood and urine samples can provide a host of information about their overall health, and may be able to show causes for their ED.
Find more information on the appropriate health checks for ED here >.
5) Get in Shape Together
Living an unhealthy lifestyle and having a bad diet can be big contributing factors to erectile dysfunction, as well as other health issues.
- Talk openly and in a relaxed manner about his health.
- Try taking up a sport or exercise together.
- Encourage them to exercise regularly (please check with a Doctor before beginning any rigorous exercise)
Being physically active will help your partner’s health, as well as boost their confidence at a time when they may be feeling self-conscious. Being supportive and encouraging by showing you are willing to help and contribute will go a long way.
6) Suggest Treatments
As stage 1 may have shown you, there are several successful treatments for erectile dysfunction and many have shown great success in helping men of all ages with erectile dysfunction. Encourage your partner to do the same research you have done, and ask him to consider taking a medical assessment to see if medications such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, or Sildenafil are right for him.
Whilst we always encourage our patients to consult their GPs, you can actually get prescription medicines such as Viagra online. Our ED assessments are administered by our team of NHS experienced clinicians, many of whom are practising GPs themselves.
If your partner is interested in learning more, you could direct them to our free online ED assessment, and one of our doctors will be able to assess your partner and discuss their options with them. It is important to note however, that only your partner can take this assessment and due to security reasons you will not be able to take this assessment on their behalf.
7) Take a Break From Sex (and Come Back Stronger)
Taking time off from sex and focusing on your emotional connection can do a world of good, not only can it relieve some of the performance anxiety that may have built up but it can also increase the intensity and spontaneity of sex when you return to it.
Remember to focus on emotional intimacy, by talking openly with your partner about work and family issues.
This helps with being more relaxed and honest with each other. Many couples have seen that it leads to an increase in sexual desirefor one another.
8) He’s Not Alone
Erectile dysfunction is non-discriminate amongst men. Any man can experience it, either from time to time, or as a regular condition regardless of ethnicity, lifestyle or age.
Gently remind your partner that they are not alone. Remind them that 25% of men under 25 and that 40% of men over 40 experience ED at least once and many men suffer regularly. But highlight that it is treatable and that thousands of men use medicines and other treatments to live perfectly happy sex lives.
9) Physical or Psychological
Finding out the cause of your partner’s erectile dysfunction is always important in helping to treat their condition.
It may be a physical cause such as diabetes, or related to psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. In either instance, gently encourage them to talk to their doctor or a trainee counsellor, as speaking to a professional may be easier than talking to a loved one and they will be able to recommend further treatments or therapies.
Remember, erectile dysfunction is best tackled head on together, and in an open and loving way. Be sensitive, but also honest about how you are feeling, and how it affects you as well.
By following these tips, you can reassure your partner about their problem, and help to diminish its impact on your relationship.
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Note: For security reasons you cannot purchase medicines on behalf of your partner, if you think they might be interested please send them a link to this page.