Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual health issue nearly half of all men will deal with during their lifetime. Recent studies have found that 1 in 4 men under 40 are already suffering from ED, with these numbers only be increasing as men age. This means that countless relationships, new and old, will have to or are dealing with ED at some point. I’ve seen countless men struggling with ED along with a lot of misinformation about the condition. Allow me to dispel some myths about this condition with the facts.
Who is to blame?
So, who is to blame when a man has problems below the belt? In my practice, it never ceases to amaze me how people blame each other for sexual health issues. For example, when a man suffers from premature ejaculation, many women blame their partner, using words such as “inconsiderate” or “selfish” due to frustration. Blaming one another is never a solution to a problem, it only fosters negative feelings and resentment towards each other and one’s self.
When it comes to erectile dysfunction, both partners tend to blame themselves. Numerous studies have shown that a shocking 42% of women believe that if their partner is having ED, it’s their fault. Men also blame themselves for ED, resulting in a loss their self-confidence and cause depression and performance anxiety. When a partner expresses their feelings about the situation, phrases like “he is not attracted to me” or “I don’t turn him on anymore” are often expressed. While these feelings are understandable, they could not be further from the truth.
One of the most common myths about ED is that it means a man is not sexually attracted to his partner anymore. This is a complete myth. A man can suffer from ED while still being sexually attracted to his partner. In fact, ED can be caused by or linked to a number of issues, most of which have nothing to do with sexual attraction. Despite this, it can still make a man’s partner feel inadequate sexually. While ED prevents sexual intercourse it doesn’t mean that sex has to stop completely. Couples should and can stay intimate by expanding their sexual pallet in order to leave both parties satisfied while seeking treatment.
Don’t ignore the issue
Sometimes couples think that ignoring ED will lead to the issue “taking care of itself” leading to it going away. Ignoring a problem is never a solution, no matter how much people hope it does. In fact, pretending there is no issues can result in worse problems since ED can be a sign of a more serious medical issue. The sooner you act on finding a solution, the better the outcome will be.
Communication is important in any relationship, especially when there is a problem. ED can lead to poor sexual communication in couples, which causes anxiety, avoidance, and depression. Never blame yourself for your partner’s ED, instead, help them through it and become part of the solution. Talk to them about their concerns and yours to make sure that you two understand each other.
Finding an “ED specialist”
I believe the evaluation for erectile dysfunction is just as important as a work for a heart attack. One of the best things that you and your partner can do is to find a physician that cares about your sexual relationship as much as you do. Don’t blame yourselves, don’t avoid the problem, and don’t argue over it. Together, we can find out what the causes are and get you the help you need to regain a happy sexual relationship.
At the Center for Sexual Medicine, we will help you find a solution to erectile dysfunction. We offer professional and private help with the latest groundbreaking treatments for the treatment of ED. We will be with you every step of the way and will help you through your problem. There is no reason to blame yourself, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s find a solution together. If you are interested in learning more about sexual health, read our blogs.
Paul Gittens MD, FACS