Studies show that 40 percent of men aged 40 and below get affected by erectile dysfunction. What’s even worse is that the odds skyrocket as you get older, reaching nearly 70 percent for men above the age of 70.
With the typical society’s notion of strength and stoicism in men, there has been an uncomfortable atmosphere regarding the topic. This is probably the main reason why some of the patients fail to seek medical help.
Nevertheless, despite the stigma around ED, it hardly goes unnoticed in a relationship. This raises the question; “What are women’s thoughts on erectile dysfunction?”
Here’s everything you need to know:
How Women Deal With Erectile Dysfunction
ED is potent enough to wreck a relationship, with a majority of the women breaking off ties with men who suffer from ED. There’s this misconception that ED is caused when a man is no longer attracted to his partner. This makes many women break up with spouses who suffer from this condition.
However, this is far from the truth as you’ll see from the following causes of ED:
Physical causes of ED are the medical conditions that inhibit the flow of blood and nerve functioning which causes impotence. This includes a number of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and obesity.
The brain plays a crucial role in triggering the series of events that lead to an erection. Therefore, if a man suffers from depression or other mental conditions, it’s difficult for him to perform.
Additionally, the tormenting thoughts and anxiety around the whole ED issue can further prevent him from having or keeping an erection. Stress due to relationship problems can also worsen ED.
There are certain lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption that may put you at the risk of developing ED. Also, if you had prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer, you may be at a higher risk. In some cases, frequent masturbation may contribute to ED.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Now that you’re familiar with causes of ED, let’s have a look into how to treat erectile dysfunction:
1. Oral Medication
Oral medication is the most common treatment for ED since it’s less expensive compared to other treatments. The most common drugs used are Sildenafil (Viagra), Cialis, Vardenafil (Levitra), and Stendra (Avanafil).
These medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide; a chemical in the body that relaxes the muscles in the penis. As a result, there’s increased blood flow allowing a man to get an erection in response to stimulation.
However, the medications aren’t suitable for individuals taking nitrate drugs – commonly prescribed for chest pains – as the combination can cause low blood pressure.
There are no common side effects to the medications. However, some patients may report having mild headaches, stomach upsets, nasal congestion, and a little fever. As such, it’s best to see a doctor for a prescription of the right drugs and dosage that won’t cause severe side effects.
2. Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD)
If the medications aren’t effective, doctors may use VCD to help you get an erection. This hollow tube is placed over the genitalia, and then air is sucked out using a pump. This creates a vacuum in the tube that pulls blood to the muscles of the penis, creating an erection.
A slip tension ring is then placed around the base of the penis to hold the blood and keep it firm.
This treatment works best for prostate cancer patients as well as men suffering from psychological conditions inhibiting an erection.
Doctors rarely recommend surgery as a treatment for ED due to its expensive nature and technical difficulty.
Nevertheless, the main aim of the ED surgery is to bypass blocked arteries that may cause erectile dysfunction. This is done by transferring an artery from a muscle in a donor area to the penis, creating a path for blood to flow to the problem area.
In other cases, doctors use penile implants to treat erectile dysfunction. Malleable rods are surgically implanted into the penis and adjusted just before intercourse to achieve an erection. Penile implants are usually recommended when there’s a clear medical cause of ED and the problem is unsolvable using other medical treatments.
4. Physical Exercises
Exercising for fitness to improves blood flow in the entire body, and thus, can be a great preventive and treatment alternative for ED. When combined with a change in lifestyle habits such as reduced intake of alcohol and tobacco, patients may notice significant improvements.
But, it may not be effective for men with heart diseases and other circulatory problems.
5. Alternative Remedies
In addition to the stated treatments, there are other equally effective remedies such as nutritional supplements that help treat erectile dysfunction by increasing the blood flow. These supplements include Vitamin D, Zinc, flavonoid rich-foods, and pycnogenol.
If psychological problems, depression, and anxiety are the cause of ED; doctors recommend consulting a sex therapist for counseling.
Ways Women Can Help Their Spouses With Erectile Dysfunction
As a woman, all the ED treatment methods stated above work best if you’re involved in the treatment process of your spouse. Here are some ways you can get involved in the recovery process:
The last thing you want to do is to resent and fail to empathize with your partner. You have to recognize this is a treatable medical condition and it’s neither your fault.
As such, you should avoid putting pressure on him as this may further depress your partner.
Encourage Him to See a Doctor
Consulting the doctor is the first step towards recovering from ED. While some may not be willing to visit a doctor for treatment, it’s best that you talk with your partner to schedule a consultation. If they’re not willing, you may start by planning a visit to a sex therapist for guidance.
If your partner is already in seeking treatment, be sure to show your support by attending medical appointments together.
Find Other Ways to Connect
In spite of the sexual frustration caused by ED, couples can still find other ways to express their emotional connection. You can cuddle and caress as a way to offset sexual frustrations build ups.
You may also consider using sex toys to spice things up!
Talk About It
Lack of sex can jeopardize your relationship when you play dumb to the whole ED issue. Therefore, talk candidly about sex with your partner and be attentive to what he thinks is the solution.
Preferably, such discussions should be in an outdoor setting, but in privacy. This eliminates the stressful atmosphere of the bedroom which may be intimidating.
You can start by discussing the various treatment options available and help him choose the appropriate one. Remember, some are invasive and costly while others are less painful and affordable. You can also discuss your desire and needs in order to reach a mutual solution to meet those needs. This may include mutual masturbation or oral sex.
Be sure to be positive in your talks and don’t make him feel as if it’s his fault.
Encourage Him to Be Proactive With His Health
If your partner is into excessive smoking and drinking, you may want to suggest quitting in a supportive way. You can also take the initiative and plan for exercise sessions together to help improve his condition.
Try including a diet plan consisting of green vegetables, whole grains, and fruits as a way to help in treating erectile dysfunction.
Take Care of the Root Problem Immediately
Sometimes erectile dysfunction may not be much of a huge deal especially if it occurs once in a while. Maybe it’s one of those stressful days at work causing stress and the lack of sex drive; which is completely normal, so no need to panic.
However, this doesn’t mean that the occasional flaccid days shouldn’t bother you. Try to establish the root of the problem to eliminate the possibilities of underlying medical conditions that may lead to chronic ED.
Erectile dysfunction treatment is a process that can take a long period. So, you need to take it easy and allow the treatment to go at its own pace. For instance, medicated pills for ED don’t work instantly. Moreover, the change-in-lifestyle treatment approach can take months before achieving the desired results.
Women’s Thoughts on Erectile Dysfunction are Important
Essentially, treating ED is a two-way process that must involve a man and his partner. This allows the couple to heal their sexual life without sabotaging their relationship. As a man, you shouldn’t be afraid to hear out women’s thoughts on erectile dysfunction, especially if it’s your lifelong partner. Be free to talk about it.
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