4 Ways Erectile Dysfunction Affects Your Relationship …and exactly what to do about it

Erectile dysfunction (ED) sometimes feels like no-mans- land. No-one wants to admit they
have it, therefore it feels like nobody does. Talking casually to friends, it’s not a phrase that
naturally appears in conversation, instead, there are unrealistic expectations to ‘always be
ready’. Bombarded by intimate scenes in films, TV and the media, not one of them has yet
spoken to the experiences of erectile dysfunction.
For these reasons, people living with erectile dysfunction often feel alone. Whereas in reality,
those experiencing erectile dysfunction stand in the majority. Population studies show that
52% of society are likely to experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives 1.
A sometimes physiological sometimes psychological condition, erectile dysfunction is likely
to affect a man and their partner in much more ways than simply lacking the ability to have
penetrative sex. Before this condition infiltrates your relationship, learn the 4 ways erectile
dysfunction can sour partnerships and the exact advice we recommend taking to stop these
changes in their tracks.


1. Lack of Intimacy

The obvious takes first place. What makes your most valued relationship unique is the
exclusive level of intimacy you share with just one person. When erectile dysfunction
takes hold, it can blur the lines between partner and best friend.

Are you experiencing this? Here’s what to do…

Find physical intimacy in other ways. Intimacy does not rely solely on penetrative sex.
When was the last time a stranger saw you in your birthday suit? Enjoying your partner’s
body can take many forms and all equate to intimacy. Whether through touch, shared
showering or late night baths, it’s important to explore all avenues available to you. It
could be just the thing to take that invisible lead weight of pressure off your shoulders.


2. Avoidance of Verbal Communication

Viagra is the most popularly known solution to erectile dysfunction and statistics
tell that as a population we’d much rather self-medicate than communicate. Since
Viagra’s introduction in 1998, within 10 years, 25 million prescriptions had been
filled 2 . When erectile dysfunction strikes, it’s not just physical intimacy that’s lost.
It’s embarrassing, you don’t want to talk about it, and you just want it to go away.

Are you experiencing this? Here’s what to do…

Make up for what you’re not able to give intimately, in words. Withdrawing both
physical and emotional communication together places a large strain on any
relationship. It may not feel natural, but talking about erectile dysfunction may just
be the solution that keeps you together.


3. Lower Self-Esteem

Erectile dysfunction is directly linked to lowering of your self-esteem 3 and what affects
you also affects your partner. Wherever there’s a problem to be resolved, it’s natural to
wonder if you’re causing it yourself. This applies to both people in an ED effected
relationship. Your partner may begin to wonder – do they still find me attractive? Am I
doing something wrong? Is it me?

Are you experiencing this? Here’s what to do…

Find other ways to communicate your love and admiration for each other. Be sure to
complement each other genuinely and insightfully at least 3 times a day. Share kisses,
cuddles and enjoy other intimate activities. While the bedroom doors are closed, enjoy
romantic meals out, try a new hobby together or plan adventure filled weekends away.
Self-esteem is developed from feelings of value and acceptance, instead of avoiding
your partner for embarrassment, do the opposite.


4. Becoming a Relationship Spectator

According to Everaerd, ‘people with [psychological] sexual dysfunction tend to wait and
look for the occurrence of feelings, instead of feeling what occurs. Hence the spectator
role 4 ’. Whether through stress or distraction, this psychological distance prevents you
from being present in the moment. If you’re a spectator, you’re never truly living and
experiencing, you’re just waiting. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression and

Are you experiencing this? Here’s what to do…

Practise mindfulness. A meditation based technique that helps to focus your mind on the
moment. How much attention do you pay your partner after 8 hours at work? Do you
engage or do you find solace in social media? It’s time to ditch moment taking
distractions and practise actually living in the moment.
Erectile dysfunction has many causes, ranging from psychological to physiological triggers. If
you’ve been experiencing erectile dysfunction, your symptoms may be indicative of a more
urgent underlying condition. Erectile dysfunction is often a pre-meditator of diabetes, high
blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Are you experiencing erectile
dysfunction? It’s time to seek medical attention.
At International Andrology we’re here to help. We are experts in sexual health. Our tailored
treatment plans will not only check for underlying causes but also provide immediate
solutions. Contact us today to learn more.