15 Easy Ways to Start the Difficult Conversation on ED

15 Easy Ways to Start the Difficult Conversation on ED

Intimacy is an important factor in making a relationship work. It marks the transition a couple takes from casually dating or hanging out, to getting into a deeper relationship in which they commit to spending more time together and caring more deeply for each other.

Intimacy is about both mental and physical attractions. It is the pleasure you get from sharing a conversation with your partner. It is also the excitement you experience when you and your partner are having a physical connection. Intimacy assures both of you that you enjoy being together and you are both committed to take your relationship to the next level. When intimacy falls short though, problems between a couple may arise.

Imagine this scenario. You and your partner have just had a romantic dinner. Everything feels perfect. More importantly, the mood is right and you decide to get a room together. You are both feeling wildly turned on. You shed off your clothes and you try to pleasure each other. However, you both soon realize you cannot go beyond that. There seems to be not enough arousal between the both of you to take your actions further. Sex is suddenly not possible.

Normally, when a man experiences sexual arousal, his brain sends signals to the nerves located in his penis. In response, these nerves increase the blood flow to the penis and cause the tissue to expand and harden. When this does not happen, a man may be suffering from a temporary or more serious case of ED.

A man who is having problems with achieving an erection or maintaining an erection suffers from what medical experts refer to as an ED or erectile dysfunction. While it is perfectly normal or possible for a man to experience this from time to time, suffering from continuous episodes of ED may indicate a more serious health or medical problem.

A man who suddenly suffers from ED or impotence may be experiencing problems when it comes to his hormones, brain, emotions, nerves, blood vessels and muscles. After all, these work together to bring out sexual arousal in a man. When one of them is compromised, it is possible that a man’s erection will be affected, too.

At the same time, a man’s lifestyle choices may also cause sudden ED problems. In fact, Dr. Harvey Simon of Harvard Health says biking with a narrow bike seat may reduce blood flow to the penis by as much as 66 percent, while a broad seat can result in 25 percent reduced blood flow. Moreover, a study conducted by Norwegian researcher also found that one in five men who participated in a 324-mile bike experienced ED for more than a week.

Meanwhile, according to the Mayo Clinic, it is also possible for man to experience impotence as a result of alcoholism or another form of substance abuse and tobacco use.

In contrast, ED can also occur as an effect of taking certain kinds of medication. According to the National Health Service in the UK, these include diuretics, antihypertensives, antidepressants, fibrates, corticosteroids, antipsychotics, antihistamines, anti-androgens, cytotoxics and H2-antagonists.

atherosclerosisOn the other hand, certain diseases or health conditions may also cause a man to become impotent. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hypogonadism and metabolic syndrome may lead to ED in a man.

Meanwhile, one condition affecting the penis may lead to impotence. Peyronie’s disease happens when a scar tissue or plaque forms in the penis. As the plaque builds up, it causes the penis to bend. As a result, erections can become painful and therefore, impossible or unsustainable.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Peyronie’s disease typically affects men aged 40 to 70. Moreover, it rarely occurs among men in their 30’s. However, men who suffer from autoimmune diseases may also be susceptible to the said disease.

On the other hand, a man who is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate may also experience problems in achieving and/or sustaining an erection. The same is true for those who have just undergone surgery or suffered an injury in the spinal cord or pelvic area. Moreover, it was also found that as much as 15 to 25 percent of men who have suffered from severe head injury also experience impotence.

Meanwhile, Mayo Clinic urologist and men’s sexual health specialist Dr. Landon Trost, ED or impotence may serve as an indication of much more serious medical condition in a person. In a recent interview with Imperial Valley News, Dr. Trost revealed that ED can often precede a dysfunction in one’s kidney, heart or brain. It might even reveal that a person can suffer from a stroke or heart attack five to 10 years later.

Nonetheless, other common health problems may also cause a man to have problems when it comes to achieving or sustaining an erection. In fact, ED can be caused by obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, having sleep disorders may also cause a man to become impotent.

On the other hand, ED can also be caused by a man’s psychological and mental issues.  Everyday stress can cause problems when it comes to achieving or sustaining an erection. Meanwhile, depression, anxiety and problems in the relationship can also lead to impotence. This is because psychological conditions like this may directly affect a man’s level of sexual desire or libido.

depressionIn fact, Dr. Chris Iliades says that studies have shown a strong link depression and sexual dysfunction. This is because depression causes brain chemicals responsible for erection go out of a balance when a man is depressed. This can cause a man to suddenly suffer from ED.

Moreover, research has also found that as much as 35 to 47 percent people dealing with depression also suffer from sexual dysfunction. At the same time, people who are suffering from severe depression also report experiencing sexual problems. ED, especially, can lead to loss of confidence and other serious psychological problems. That is why it is healthier to get the issue out in the open, especially with your partner.

Talking about ED may pose a challenge for any couple. The subject of ED, after all, is delicate for a man to talk about. He may even feel embarrassed about it. In order for a relationship to survive a setback, such as this though, a conversation between the couple has to happen.

Here are some ways to start the difficult conversation that is ED.

1. Talk Openly and Intimately.

Opening up about the subject of ED is incredibly difficult. A man might think his partner might think differently of him the moment he admits he is impotent. Worse, he might even think that his partner would leave him when she finds out. At times like this, getting the issue out in the open is the best way to avoid all this anxiety and negativity.

Just like a date, having a discussion with your partner about impotence is also all about setting the perfect mood. Start the moment with doing something together that you both enjoy or feel absolutely comfortable with. When you are sure it’s just the two of you around and the moment feels right enough, go ahead and tell her.

It might not be the easiest thing to say out loud, but honesty is important in keeping a relationship going. It also helps release all the anxiety and stress that has built up inside you as a result of keeping your impotence a secret. You might not have noticed, but your anxiety and stress may have also kept you emotionally distant from your partner lately.

Sexual problems, just like problems in health, family and career, need to be discussed openly within a relationship. This way, your partner gets to understand what you’re going through and how your situation makes you feel. It may even bring you closer and more intimate together.

2. Do Not Engage in the Blame Game.

blame It is important to stress out that neither you nor your partner is to blame when it comes to ED. After all, a number of factors can cause a man to suffer impotence. Although the state of a relationship may affect it, it is likely that the relationship did not solely cause a man’s impotence.

Besides, blaming each other will only lead to frustration, hatred, resentment and possibly, a break up. If you feel like your relationship with each other is too important and valuable to lose to something like ED, stay off the blame game. Instead, commit to getting through it together and forgive each other for any mistakes you both made with each other in the past.

3. Provide Reassurance.

There are times when a guy is reluctant to discuss his erection problems for fear that he will be judged, resented at or even dumped. If you feel like your male partner already wants to discuss the subject of ED with you, but is still a bit hesitant to discuss it, you may want to assure him that your relationship is strong enough to withstand his issues with intimacy.

4. Choose the Right Time to Discuss ED for Both of You.

To have a meaningful and positive discussion about ED between a couple, it absolutely helps to time things right. After all, impotence is a difficult subject to bring up for both the man and woman.

Regardless of who is going to bring up the subject, make sure either you or your partner is currently not dealing with any other matter that can be equally stressful or bothersome. It also helps to ensure that both of you are not occupied with another matter, whether it has something to do with family, home or work.

Having each other’s complete attention helps greatly when holding an honest conversation about ED. Both of you should be able to set other matters aside and simply concentrate on this matter.

5. Conduct Research Before Engaging in a Discussion.

avoiding getting intimateIf you have been together for some time then chances are, you have come to notice that he is having problems when it comes to sex. He may have even started avoiding getting intimate altogether so that he doesn’t have to deal with his lack of erection later on. If this has been happening frequently, it may be a good idea to start doing some research for his sake.

First of all, it might be easier for the woman to start the conversation rather than the man. After all, it is not their ‘pride’ that is at risk. However if you do decide to be the one to start the discussion on ED with your partner, be sure to assure him that you love him regardless of his sexual issues and that you did some checking because you are truly concerned about him.

At the same time, it would also help to let him know that he is not alone in facing ED. Not in your relationship and certainly, not in the world. In fact, impotence is more common than you and your partner think.

Research has shown that as much as 30 million men have reported experiencing ED. Moreover, men are also likely to experience impotence as they get older. Nonetheless, younger men also need to beware. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that ED also affects as much as one in four men under the age 40.

6. Broach the Subject with the Help of a Therapist.

If you have only been comfortable talking about your sexual issues with your therapist, then perhaps the best way to tell your partner about it is to invite her to one of your sessions.

This way, you can have some emotional support from a professional who is already familiar with your ED issue. Moreover, this therapist can also help give your partner a better understanding of your condition as well as tips on how to help you cope with it.

7. Discuss It During Couple’s Therapy.

If you have been trying to avoid getting intimate with your partner because of your ED, there may already be some frustration, resentment and even anger developing between the two of you. In which case, it may help for both of you to go into couple’s counseling where another person can listen to your issues and help bridge the communication gap between you and your partner.

During the session, you can tell her what’s really going on with you while also giving her a chance to vocalize her issues about your relationship. With the help of a specialist, you can work on regaining your trust and intimacy together. Moreover, you can get useful advice on how to get past your impotence together.

8. Open Up About the Issue During Group Therapy.

intimate with youSometimes, it’s hard for a man to open up, especially when he feels like he is the only person in the world who has a problem like ED. In this case, it may help greatly to surround him with a group of men who are struggling with the same condition.

Together, they may be able to emotionally heal each other. However, you may or may not be asked to join this session. Either way, be prepared to continue giving emotional support so that he may soon find the confidence to be intimate with you again.

9. Have the Discussion with a Medical Professional Present.

If you find it hard to explain to your partner why you’re sexually challenged, you may want to get assistance from a medical professional. Ask her to come along with you when you see a doctor about it. After all, a specialist will be able to better explain to your partner what ED is than just letting her look up the issue online.

Before going there, however, explain to her where you are going and that what you are experiencing is not at all her fault.

10. Be Open to Trying Something New When it Comes to Sex.

Just because you can’t have an erection doesn’t mean you can’t have sex. After all, sex is an expression of intimacy between a couple. Look at your condition as an opportunity for you and your partner to try something new. Indulge in hand massages and oral sex. You may also want to try some new sex toys.

11. Get Sexually Hot for Each Other Without His Erection.

Even if you’re still dealing with ED, there are still other ways to be sexual. Try stimulating each other’s different body parts. Be sensual with each other and don’t let the lack of penetration stop you from enjoying each other in bed.

12. Indulge in Intimate Moments, Even If They Don’t Lead to Sex.

Intimacy does not always have to lead to penetration. Sometimes, making out can be just as exciting and fun. Do some spooning. Snuggle with each other. If you’re both in the mood, indulge in some foreplay.

13. Work on Getting Healthier Together.

high blood pressureSince conditions like obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can actually cause ED, you may want to make some lifestyle improvements. If you can’t do it alone, ask your partner to do it with you.

The changes you make to your lifestyle can be gradual and simple. Add more fiber rich foods into your diet. Cut down your consumption of fatty foods as well as everything rich in sugar. Try to do some form of exercise every day. It can be using the stairs to reach the office floor, instead of the elevator.

At the same time, since ED is also linked to sleep disorders or sleep loss, you might want to improve on your sleeping habits. Develop a sleep schedule for you and your partner and stick to it. Commit to having enough hours of sleep every night.

Ask your partner to do these lifestyle improvements with you. It will help bring you closer and possibly, make your relationship more intimate. You never know, these everyday changes might also solve your sexual issues and make you a whole lot more fit at the same time. In that case, your partner will be more attracted to you than ever before.

14. Go Over Medication Options Together.

There are a number of medications readily available to help you with ED and even allow you to have penetrative sex with your partner. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) and Avanafil (Stendra).

At the same, there are also some natural remedies available for treating ED. These include panax ginseng, rhodiola rosea, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), L-Arginine, gingko, zinc supplements pycnogenol, hornygoat weed, propionyl-L-carnitine and Indian ginseng.

Go over them with your doctor and your partner. Take your time in figuring out which medication works for you and her best.

15. Be Encouraging With Trying Treatments, But Don’t Push too Hard.

There are a number of medical procedures and other medications that your partner can undergo in order to treat his ED. These include blood vessel surgery, penis pumps, penile implants and others.

Meanwhile, medications to treat ED that are not taken orally include an Alprostadil self-injection, Alprostadil urethral suppository and testosterone replacement. As for a natural treatment, one study has shown that acupuncture can be effective in improving a man’s erection.

Go over these options carefully together. Make sure that if he chooses to undergo any of these treatments, he will not find the procedure traumatic. After all, trauma from any procedure might just make his ED condition worse.

ED is a problem that affects a significant number of men in the world. It’s more common than you think and there are ways to get intimate with your partner even if you are dealing with this issue.

However, you first have to acknowledge the problem together. That is why a conversation, no matter how difficult, is needed. There are ways to broach this subject, with and without assistance from someone else. Go with the option that makes you feel most comfortable and confident.


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