ED is incredibly common, and affects millions of men each year – many of whom are in relationships. And depending on the severity of their symptoms, they may not be able to have sexual intercourse as frequently as they once did, or at all. Sexual intimacy is an important part of a marriage or long-term relationship, so understandably this change can cause anxiety or a feeling of loss for both partners.
While erectile issues can be upsetting and frustrating for both parties in a relationship, there are many things you can do to help support your partner (and yourself) as you navigate the problem. Here are some ways to help a partner who suffers from erectile issues.
Communication is key
Although it can be difficult, working on open communication in a relationship can help reduce the strain of ED and other erectile issues. Having a conversation about any feelings both of you might be having can clear up misunderstandings such as these and reassure both partners.
Encourage your partner to get screened for other health conditions
There are many different possible causes for ED, including underlying physical conditions. Stress, problems at work, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety can also lead to ED, so it’s important not to minimize those to your partner. And if you feel that your partner may be struggling with any of these conditions, you could consider broaching the subject and encouraging him to seek out his doctor’s opinion.
Encourage your partner to see a doctor and discuss whether he should be screened for a mental health concern or any condition. It’s also worth discussing any medications that he’s taking, since drugs like antidepressants and high blood pressure medications can sometimes cause or worsen ED.
Help them with any necessary lifestyle changes
As part of treatment, a person with ED may need to make certain lifestyle changes, such as:
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting or eliminating alcohol intake
- Increasing exercise
- Maintaining a moderate body weight
- Stopping illegal drug use, if relevant
Those in a relationship with someone with ED can help their partner by providing moral support as they work through these lifestyle changes. In some situations, it may be beneficial for them to participate in the changes, too.
For example, if a doctor recommends dietary changes to someone with ED, it may be easier for the person to stick to them if their partner also adopts some or all of the changes. Similarly, if both partners smoke, it can be helpful, as well as beneficial healthwise, for both to stop smoking.
Support your partner emotionally
Your overall attitude can affect your partner’s attitude toward treatment for any erectile issues he might be having. For instance, the first treatment may not be successful, and your partner might get discouraged. You can remind him that not every treatment is right for every person and suggest that he try another medication or treatment.
There is a wide variety of treatment options available for those suffering with erectile issues; including vacuum pumps like VaxAid, oral medications, and lifestyle changes. In the meantime, be honest with each other about how you’re feeling — and how you feel about any treatments that he might be trying. To learn more about Vaxaid’s vacuum pump options, visit our shop or our FAQ section.