Erectile dysfunction leads to sexual difficulties and loss of intimacy in a relationship and can affect it adversely over the long term if measures aren’t taken.
While having difficulty getting an erection now and then is normal, being unable to do so often or all the time may signal an underlying condition. Here are some risk factors shared by Planned Parenthood:
- cardiovascular disease
- depression, anxiety, other mental health conditions
- liver or kidney disease
- side effect from certain medication
- high blood pressure
- low testosterone levels
As erectile dysfunction can cause feelings of loss or anxiety, males suffering from it and their partners can feel depressed or even angry. Men feel less masculine and their confidence plummets.
ED is Treatable in Many Cases
While this is a fact, you might need to undergo tests or try several different treatments to find the right option. It’s important for any man with ED to feel supported and understood.
A study showed that according to an overwhelming majority of men with ED (94%), their partner’s support was of paramount importance. Communication and lifestyle changes are equally important and can make a big difference.
Although it can be difficult, working on open communication in a relationship can help reduce the strain of ED. Communication is important for many reasons.
For example, a man with ED will begin to avoid intimacy because he feels guilty or embarrassed, but this avoidance might make his partner feel unwanted because she wrongfully interprets it as rejection.
The most important reason to keep communication channels open is that it builds intimacy, which is all about vulnerability, openness, and connection.
The key to true intimacy is consistent and positive communication, which means really listening and hearing them out and comprehending what they’re saying.
Try Other Forms of Intimacy
Forms of intimacy like holding hands, cuddling, and kissing help make people with ED feel appreciated and bring couples closer.
Couples can experiment with forms of non-penetrative sex and sex toys. They will experience pleasure and this will reduce performance anxiety for the man.
When it comes to coping with ED, adult toys can have quite a few benefits alongside certain medical treatments.
However, not all toys are made alike. For this condition, the main players in the product range are hollow dildos, penis rings, and male vibrators. Here are some details about each type.
A hollow dildo is a dildo that the man wears over his penis during sex. They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. Many of them come in realistic sizes and are made to improve sex for a couple if the man has difficulty sustaining an erection.
The dildo stays firm and both partners experience a textured and enhanced space for extra pleasure. Have a look at this list of the top-rated hollow dildos. If this is something you’re new to, you’ll find the list particularly helpful.
Research Confirms the Effectiveness of Hollow Dildos
Research in 2017 discussed hollow dildos (penis sleeves) as an option for people suffering from ED, but the effectiveness depends on thickness, shape, and fit.
A more recent scientific review confirmed hollow dildos ensured satisfying penetration. However, such niche studies are few and far between as sex aids aren’t quick to gain scientific acceptance as a rule.
Essentially, a penis ring is a ring placed around the penis base. They come in different sizes and can include harnesses, dildos, anal plugs, and other pleasure-augmenting devices.
They make it possible to sustain an erection for more time by putting pressure on the base of the penis, which slows blood flow down.
Needless to say, they won’t work in cases where the man is unable to get an erection at all. They will not treat underlying problems with blood flow.
Male vibrators have been found efficient in specific sexual dysfunction areas. For example, they can help you come if you have a spine injury. They improve stimulation for couples when used together with a hollow dildo.
Changing Your way of Life
Erectile dysfunction is a complex condition with complex treatment, which will have to incorporate lifestyle changes more often than not. These might include moderate body weight, drinking less alcohol or none at all, quitting smoking, and exercising more.
If your partner has ED, they will appreciate your support in one or more of these directions. If alcohol consumption is a problem, you should limit your intake as well to avoid tempting them. Likewise with smoking.
If dietary changes are recommended, the man will find these easier to make if his partner goes on a diet too.
Coping with ED Long Term
People whose spouse or partner has ED might start experiencing mental health issues. This can begin with concerns that they are to blame for their partner’s dysfunction.
Women who find themselves in this situation tend to mix up ED and low libido. Many men with ED want to have sex, they just can’t get or maintain an erection.
Men with low or lacking libido, on the other hand, are physically able to have sex but don’t want to. Then, there are cases where a man might have ED and then lose desire because of the effect ED is having on his mental and emotional state.
When Should You try Therapy?
If you suspect you might be suffering from ED, your first port of call should be a urologist. Make an appointment with a qualified professional and talk to them.
If they find your mental or emotional state is a factor, you could try therapy. Emotional distress often is a factor in this condition.
Therapy can give you a safe, private space, where you can explore your problems with ED without being judged. A psychologist or counselor can help you manage feelings of low confidence, anxiety, or stress.
Couples therapy might help as well. Research shows that symptoms of stress-related ED improve for about 60% of men on average when their partner goes to counseling with them. A good counselor can help you support each other. Ultimately, you can’t have good sex without a solid relationship as a foundation.