Erectile Dysfunction: What Women Should Know
A man's sexual problems can also mean big problems for his partner – but this women's guide to ED will get you back in the sack in no time.
By Chris Iliades, MD
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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If you have been struggling with erectile dysfunction, it is a safe bet that your sexual partner has been too.
Experts agree that this sexual issue affectsbothpartners — and that the best way to get erectile dysfunction help is to together. In fact, a study published in theInternational Journal of Impotence Researchfound that women often experience their own form of sexual dysfunction when coupled with someone who has ED, often due to a lack of intimacy, frustration, or an overall shortage of satisfaction. That means it is not enough to be honest about your erectile dysfunction problems with your doctor; you also need to be open with your partner.
What Women Need to Know
The more you and your partner know about erectile dysfunction, the better you will be able to manage this sexual issue together. Here are important facts you can share to initiate a discussion and relieve the awkwardness:
- Erectile dysfunction is common.Failure to achieve erection about 20 percent of the time is not abnormal. True erectile dysfunction affects about 1 out of 10 men, and up to half of all men over 50 at some time during their lives.
- Erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of aging.Erectile dysfunction does increase with age, though older men may experience a decrease in the quality of their erections and an increase in the time between erections. They may need more stimulation, but they can still have enjoyable sex lives.
- Erectile dysfunction is treatable.In most cases, erectile dysfunction help is both readily available and successful. Treatment options include oral and injectable medications, sex therapy, sexual help devices, and surgery.
- Women also have sexual issues.Up to 70 percent of couples have sexual health issues from time to time. Women may experience loss of desire and arousal problems, and may even experience pain during sex. These sexual issues also need to be addressed.
How a Woman Can Cope With a Partner’s Erectile Dysfunction
If your partner has erectile dysfunction, the most important tip for coping is communication. These steps can help:
- Get educated.Knowing the causes of erectile dysfunction and the treatment options available will lead you to choose something that works best for both of you. Go with your partner to doctor appointments and ask questions. Take an active role in the treatment process.
- Know that it's not you.Many women, especially older women, may feel that they are part of the problem and take it personally. This is rarely the case. In most instances, there is a physical or emotional reason for erectile dysfunction that does not have to do with you.
- Be positive.The fact that your partner is willing to be open about erectile dysfunction and do something about it is the biggest part of the battle. Don't be judgmental. Positive feedback is more important than assigning blame.
- Be flexible.Try other ways of having sex and experiencing intimacy. Find sexual techniques that you both enjoy and take the pressure off performance. Don't assume your partner knows what you want or that you know what he wants.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle together.One of the best ways to cope with erectile dysfunction is to make positive lifestyle changes. Simple measures like quitting smoking, finding ways to reduce stress, and increasing exercise are good for both of you and are great for decreasing erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Erectile dysfunction is a sexual issue that affects both partners in a relationship, and the best way to manage and cope is to work on finding solutions together. Open and honest communication is the foundation to a good sexual relationship.
Video: Erectile Dysfunction 101 | #UCLAMDChat Webinars
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