Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a topic no man looks forward to discussing. Yet the truth of the matter is that almost every man will encounter problems with erections and performance at least once in his lifetime. And when the time comes, it may be you who has to initiate a conversation with your guy—so here’s a guide for how to talk to your man about erectile dysfunction and do so in a supportive, non-threatening way.
CAUSES OF ED
Although the occasional mishap of the sexual mechanisms is normal, the consistent inability to have or sustain an erection for sexual activity is known as erectile dysfunction (ED). Moreover, it is estimated that 20-30 million men suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction, or 52% of men from the ages of 40-70, which is a conservative number since many men do not seek treatment. This number may also represent 20-30 million unsatisfied sexual partners. There are many causes that affect male sexual function. These are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic health conditions such as asthma
- Smoking, alcohol and drug use
- Certain medications
- Psychological causes such as depression and anxiety
- Prostate problems
- Trauma to the genitalia
- Lifestyle ( i.e. lack of exercise and poor diet)
- Hormonal imbalances
Read Related: How to Talk to Your Man About Sex Without Scaring Him
A HOW-TO GUIDE
Erectile dysfunction does not go away on its own. Letting the problem go unsolved may lead to a negative outcome. Therefore, addressing the problem is the best course of action. Unfortunately, since the topic of ED is embarrassing for many, approaching your man about his sexual problem may not be an easy task. Here are some pointers to initiate the conversation and persuade him into looking for a solution.
- Acknowledge to yourself that every couple has faced problems in the bedroom.
- Do tell him your concerns. Do not bottle things up for fear of hurting his feelings.
- Start the conversation with praise. Point out how loving and wonderful he is and tell him how much you love him.
- Give him some reassurance by sharing with him how normal his problem is.
- Be compassionate and avoid criticism.
- Stress that, besides his ED being a problem in the bedroom, it may also be a sign of a more serious issue, such as cardiovascular disease.
- Tell him you will be there to support him along the way.
- Offer to go with him to the doctor.
- Get the focus off orgasms and put it on intimacy in the bedroom.
- Be careful with quick fixes. ED medications may just mask the real problem.
Communication between you and your partner will be more important now than ever. Be compassionate during this time that affects both of you. Be an ally in the search for a solution.