Over 30 million American men have erectile dysfunction. With a range of causes from physical to psychological, and with unending commercials for how to treat it, ED is a common men’s health issue. So, when it comes to your husband or partner, if there are signs he has erectile dysfunction, you are certainly not alone. But there are things you can do, starting now.
Understand the condition.
First, it’s important to understand just what is ED and why your husband could be experiencing it. Erectile dysfunction happens when arteries are not able to get enough blood to the penis, or the back flow valves in the penis veins allow blood to leak out of the penis. As a result, the penis is not able to attain or sustain an erection. It has nothing to do with age, but incidence of ED does increase with age.
Erectile dysfunction is an extremely common problem. It is estimated that approximately 2 out of 5 men will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction by the time they are 40, going up to 70% by the time they are 70. So if you discover that he has signs of erectile dysfunction, know that it is perfectly normal and treatable.
There are several causes for ED, including psychological ones such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Often, previous instances of erectile dysfunction can lead to an increase in any of these, making it more likely that erectile dysfunction will occur again and creating a vicious cycle.
Or, ED can be caused by physical conditions such as health issues, prescription drugs, or surgery.
There are also several lifestyle factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including excessive alcohol or tobacco use, or being in poor physical shape. Simply, old age can also result in a weakening of blood vessel walls, leading to erectile dysfunction.
Initiate the conversation.
If he does have signs of erectile dysfunction, your husband or partner may not want to talk about it. And often, a person with erectile dysfunction will attempt to avoid sexual situations entirely in order to avoid confronting their issue.
Avoiding the issue of erectile dysfunction like this usually leads to a loss of intimacy and breakdown of communication. But men with erectile dysfunction often become more willing to talk about the issue once it has been brought into the open. By bringing up the subject in a sensitive way, without assigning blame to anyone, communication can be reestablished and you can begin finding solutions together.
Encourage him to find solutions.
During this time keep in mind that ED is 100% treatable, and often without the need for drugs. Urge your husband to make a doctor’s appointment to determine what exactly is going on. The doctor can help diagnose whether the cause is psychological or physical, and he or she can provide advice on what your husband can do. Ignoring the ED, building up resentment, or just wishing the problem would go away on its own should not be an option.
Remember, partners and wives everywhere are going through what you are. What your husband is experiencing is very common, and there are solutions out there. Relax, release the pressure and worry, and be patient in knowing you and your husband will arrive at those solutions.
It can also help to explore new forms of intimacy with your partner while they are treating erectile dysfunction. Focus on ways to enjoy each other’s presence without focusing on sexual intercourse. This can take away the pressure to “perform” and ease some of the psychological factors related to erectile dysfunction.
Finally, know that the way your husband treats ED may involve only him. He may decide to try medication, lifestyle changes, or tactics to handle stress or anxiety. Alternatively, he could be among the growing number of men who explore natural solutions to ED, such as vacuum therapy.
Also known as a penis pump, this device uses vacuum pressure to create an erection and an elastic support ring to hold the erection in place while you have sex.
Unlike many other solutions to erectile dysfunction, vacuum therapy is used immediately before intercourse, and the device could be operated by either partner. This opens up opportunities to include using the device as part of foreplay, creating a new route to intimacy.
Vacuum therapy devices can be purchased online with an affordable one-time payment and are delivered in discreet plain packaging. There is no prescription required.
Being open to solutions like vacuum therapy give your husband an opportunity to perform again, building his confidence, and getting you both back to the sex life you once enjoyed.
Wives, if there are signs he has erectile dysfunction, stay positive. There are options and treatments—and solutions. Right now, you can help by being informed, supporting your partner, and being patient and open. For more insights on how to talk to your husband about ED, download our free ebook.
If you're looking for a comprehensive resource on erectile dysfunction you can share with your husband, check out our online guide, Everything You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction.