partners guide to erectile dysfunction

A partners guide to erectile dysfunction | 2 min read

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. However, problems getting or keeping an erection can signify an underlying health condition that needs treatment. Occasional erectile dysfunction is not uncommon, but if it is an ongoing issue, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems.

How can a partner support their loved one to cope with erectile dysfunction?

The following suggestions are recommended when dealing with a partner’s ED:

  • Learn as much as you can about ED – the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to help your partner.  Talk about lifestyle changes and medical treatments that could help.
  • Let them know how much you value them – remind them that ED isn’t a reflection of their masculinity and that it hasn’t changed how you feel about them. 
  • Talk about how you feel – you’re affected, too. 
  • Stay positive – discuss what you and your partner want and need and how to achieve it. Also, keep in mind that the condition is common and can be treated.
  • Adjust your sex life – find other ways to please and satisfy each other so that they don’t feel pressured to perform.
  • Offer to go with them to the doctor – even if they decide to go on their own, they’ll know you want to be there for them.
  • Keep up the other intimate parts of your relationship – feeling close to each other is not only about sex. 
  • Encourage them to get heart-healthy – good heart and vascular health may not reverse erection problems, but it certainly may reduce progression.

Is erectile dysfunction treatable?

Almost all cases of ED are treatable, and treatment can lead to better overall physical and emotional health and improve intimacy for couples.

When should a couple consult a doctor?

Both partners can find it challenging to deal with erectile dysfunction in a marriage or long-term relationship. However, support from a partner can be very beneficial for someone undergoing ED treatment. Open, honest discussions and finding other ways to connect can help a couple retain or regain intimacy and closeness. People who have difficulty with this may benefit from talking to a couple’s counselor.


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