Advice for women on how to cope with their partner's erectile dysfunction. The TV commercials make it all seem so simple: He can't get an erection so he pops a pill. The next thing you know, his partner is cooing about how her guy is back to his old wild and romantic self.
What the commercials don't show you: The painful distress a woman can experience when her man suffers with erectile dysfunction ED. In fact, the first Wife looking sex New Point a woman thinks when a man can't get an erection is that it's her fault, and nothing could be further from the truth," says Andrew McCullough, MD, director of sexual health and male infertility at NYU Medical Center in New York City. EDor erectile dysfunctionis medically defined as the inability to achieve or sustain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse.
Virtually all men experience some erection failures at certain points in their lives.
What you can do to help
It can be the result of stressdepressionor sometimes even for no reason at all. For some, the problem becomes chronic.
When it does, a diagnosis of ED is made. According to the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, it's a problem that affects about 18 million men in the U. Although many women -- and men as well -- continue to view ED as a sexual issue, in truth, the most common causes are undiagnosed physical conditions such as diabeteshigh cholesterolor even the earliest stages of heart disease.
Even more often, it can be the result of certain medications used to treat these conditions, particularly some high blood pressure Wife looking sex New Point. Unfortunately, experts say a lack of education about the causes of ED are frequently behind a woman's self-blame, as well as her increasing anxietyand sometimes, even feelings of hurt and anger when the problem occurs. She may suspect her partner is having an affair, or that he just doesn't find her desirable anymore, so she begins to hint around at these possibilities," says Sallie Foley, MSW, a professor at the graduate school of social work at the University of Michigan and co-author of Sex Matters For Women.
Often, says Foley, a man suffering with ED will interpret her questions -- and her hurtful attitude -- as an attack on him, so he pulls back. As she does, increasing levels of anxiety or depression can set in, along with suspicions about what's going on with him, as well as a continued belief that there is something wrong with her.
The end result: The couple can stop communicating altogether -- not only in the bedroom, but in all aspects of their relationship. And that, say experts, can only make problems worse for both partners.
When one partner pulls away, he says, the other withdraws as well, and "this kind of dance goes on where you stop touching each other, then you stop talking, and before you know it you are not communicating at all. While pulling back may not be helpful, trying harder isn't the answer either. Indeed, while many women jump ship in troubled waters, others take the opposite approach and try to drown their mate in eroticism, believing the problems will disappear if they simply try harder.
Keep the spark alive in your marriage
Not only is this not true, experts say this approach can make things worse. Neither, she says, will more arduous attempts at making love. As such, the more and the harder you try, the worse it's going to be for him -- and for you -- when it doesn't happen, says Foley.
McCullough agrees: "You don't want to forget about what's going on, or pretend it doesn't matter, but turning into a nymphomaniac isn't the answer either. So what should a woman do when her man just can't perform?
Experts seem to agree that most important is to remember it's not your problem and you're not the cause.
Stages of intimacy
Once you're past that hurdle, experts say do acknowledge the problem exists and open the lines of communication about it. During this talk, Downey says make certain that your man is aware of the health problems that can be the cause of his ED, and gently suggest he talk to his doctor.
Indeed, Downey believes the more matter of fact a woman can be in approaching this conversation, the more likely she is to get through to her man.
McCullough adds, "If you put it in the context of a physical problem and not a sexual one, most men will be less likely to 'shut down' or shut you out. Also important, say experts, is to use this discussion to let him know that you have enjoyed the physical part of your relationship together, and that you miss it -- and that together you can work to find a solution.
Depending on the cause of a man's ED, treatment can be quick, like Viagraor take longer, like getting high blood pressure under control. It may even take a while to convince him to see a doctor at all. The one thing you don't want to do in the meantime is tell him that his impotence doesn't matter.
Is it in a woman’s genes?
What you want to do instead, say experts, is use this opportunity to experiment sexually with each other and work on ways to remain intimate, even when an erection is not possible. And if, like many women, you are used to your partner being the sexual initiator, this, say experts, may be the time for a little role-reversal. The key, she says, is in the intentionality.
It's all in the intentionality," Foley tells WebMD.
Erectile dysfunction: a woman's point of view
If, in fact, your man retreats even further, then he may be experiencing depression -- another possible cause for his ED. If this is the case, experts say don't let it throw you. The bottom line: Whatever it takes, experts say don't shut down the line of emotional communication, even if you have to put your physical relationship on hold. And most importantly, listen to your heart.
It's not about you," says Foley. ED: Make It a Time for Sexual Experimentation Depending on the cause of a man's ED, treatment can be quick, like Viagraor take longer, like getting high blood pressure under control.
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