Getting a diagnosis of ED can be discouraging, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have an exciting and satisfying sex life with your partner.
Having erectile dysfunction can put a damper on your confidence and self-esteem when it comes to initiating or engaging in sex with your partner, but this can be made better when your partner is aware of the situation and understanding of any hiccups.
Overall, dealing with an erectile dysfunction diagnosis is easier to handle when your partner is on the same page and on board with any treatments, as well as being open-minded to trying new things.
As a couple, it is important to consider this as a “couples disease”, since both parties may be affected by ED. But, it is important to note that an ED diagnosis does not mean that your sex life is over, it may just mean that you try out some treatments, or experiment with different ways to enjoy each other in the bedroom and experience physical intimacy.
Below, we will cover some of the ways you can still have a satisfying sex life together as a couple even when ED is involved.
- Talk about your ED with your partner
The first step to making an erectile dysfunction diagnosis work for you and your partner, is to develop good communication about the situation.
Find a time outside of the bedroom to calmly discuss your erectile dysfunction symptoms and to help think up alternatives and solutions to help ensure you are both getting the physical intimacy and satisfaction you need.
Being upfront about your potential limitations can help avoid awkward situations in the future, as well as helping your partner understand that it is not something they are doing wrong.
- Let your partner know that it is not a problem with them
For many partners, when their significant other experiences erectile dysfunction, they may feel somehow responsible for everything not working out as planned.
Partners may feel like you are not attracted to them any longer, that they need to step it up in the bedroom, or that you are having your needs met elsewhere.
It is important to think about your significant other’s perspective when you are dealing with ED to help them understand that this is a physical problem, not an issue with not being “turned on” enough. Let your partner know that there is nothing wrong with them or your relationship, this is simply a medical condition that you need to work through or around.
- Get medical treatment if you need it
Getting medical treatment for your ED is a good way to try and reduce the occurrence of symptoms and help get your sex life back on track.
Treatment options normally begin with oral tablets like Viagra, but other options like a penile pump, injectable medications, or an implant are options available down the line.
With any of these treatments, it is important to include your partner in on the specifics, timing, and function of these medications to get the best results. While some men may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking with their partner about their ED treatments, it may help avoid awkward situations timing out oral medications, or sneaking off to the bathroom to pump or inject a treatment, etc, when your partner does not know what you are doing.
Oral medications for ED include Sildenafil, Tadalafil, and Vardenafil, and are considered the first-line therapy for ED treatment in men who are a good fit for them.
A vacuum pump is a penile device that suctions blood into the penis which is then sustained by a ring at the base to keep the erection for a period of time.
For men who didn’t respond to or can’t use oral medications, injection medications that dilate the vessel of the penis to increase blood flow can help men achieve and maintain an erection for a period of time.
A surgical penile implant is put in by a doctor and can be used as a semi-permanent solution to ED which lasts 12-15 years on average.
- Help improve any underlying conditions as a team
For some men dealing with ED, a medical condition may be a root cause of the situation, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or diabetes.
By taking steps to improve your overall health and these underlying conditions, you may be able to have significant improvements in your ED symptoms.
Making lasting lifestyle changes can be difficult, but it is easier to achieve when they are approached as a team effort.
If you or your partner suffer from ED due to underlying conditions, make healthy lifestyle changes together such as cooking healthy meals together at home, working out together on a schedule, or quitting smoking together.
By implementing these changes as a team, they are easier to stick to and make it apparent that you are both willing to work together to improve your overall health and ED symptoms.
- Try out some new toys, products, or activities
Just because ED is affecting your erections, does not mean that you are your partner can’t have satisfying sexual intimacy and fulfill your needs.
Start by talking with your partner about their needs, including anything that may have been thrown off or pushed to the wayside with an ED diagnosis. You will likely be able to find an adult toy or activity that can help meet the same need and ensure that everyone is fulfilled.
Talk about what sorts of products or activities may be on the table, which both parties are comfortable with. You just might find that a new toy, female arousal cream, or new act can put the spark back into your bedroom.
- Talk to a sex therapist together
If you have already tried a lot of things on this list but you are still finding your sex life lacking with an ED diagnosis, it may be time to bring in a professional.
Sex therapists are trained to help identify and work out sexual issues to ensure that both parties in the couple are happy and satisfied with their lovemaking.
If there is an underlying issue involving the mental and psychological aspects of dealing with ED or a partner with ED, these could also be throwing a wrench in the situation and may need to be ironed out with a trained sex therapist.
- Avoid stressing about your ED in the bedroom
Nothing can throw off a night of intimacy more than stressing a worrying about your performance every second.
Let yourself avoid thinking about potential poor outcomes or disappointing your partner while you are being intimate. Focus on the little things like being close together, trying out new things, and enjoying each other’s company, rather than being out of the moment worried about the main event.
The previous tip of good communication is key to reducing the stress of performing when you have ED, as your parter will know your potential limitations and not worry that they have done something wrong. If things don’t go to plan, simply go with some “plan B” activities or toys that you have both okayed to experiment with.