Remember, your doctor or healthcare provider is the single best source of information regarding you and your health. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions about your health, your symptoms, or your medication.
“I have ED” is a thought no man wants to consider. But you may be wondering about it and realize that it is going to be difficult to discuss. Many men experience a sense of loss and can even feel depressed. Let’s face it, having erectile dysfunction can have a major impact on your life.
For some men, it has been months or even years since they have had a healthy sexual relationship. It may seem awkward to even think about having sex again, never mind talking to your partner about it. But talking about it is important. Don’t hesitate, just remember that starting up a sexual relationship again needs time and patience, but you can work it out as a team.
Habits and lifestyle factors that affect sexual function
Any disorder that interferes with your physical ability to produce an erection may cause ED-particularly any condition that affects the flow of blood to the penis during sexual stimulation. Some of the health conditions commonly associated with ED include high blood pressure, heart disease (sometimes called “cardiovascular” disease) and high cholesterol, diabetes or depression.
Medications that you take for these conditions can cause ED or increase your risk for ED. It is a good idea to talk to your health care professional about all the medicines that you take. Sometimes there are alternatives that will not have the same effects. It is also important to follow your healthcare professional’s advice for managing lifestyle factors that affect these conditions, such as diet and exercise. Many of these conditions can be well controlled.
Smoking can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and ED, so it is a risk factor for ED. Men with ED who smoke seem to have a higher risk for more severe ED. So, if you smoke, find a way to quit. Ask your health care professional for help with smoking cessation. It will help your ED and your overall health.
Seeking and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your general health and can go a long way to treating some of the health conditions mentioned above. If you have diabetes, and are overweight, for example, weight loss is key.
The excessive use of alcohol may also increase your risk for ED. On the one hand, small amounts of alcohol may be beneficial, but too much is not good for your or your erections.
Lifestyle changes are not always easy, but well worth the effort.
Improve Your Understanding of Sexual Function
Understanding the sexual response cycle can improve your satisfaction with your sex life.
Sex is complicated. For some, sex is an effort and for others it seems effortless. For most, there are times when it is great and there are times when it is terrible. Your experience with sex has probably changed over time, from being exciting and tantalizing to more comfortable to becoming problematic. This can be confusing.
The sexual response cycle for women
When a women first gets “turned on”, she has a tingling in her clitoris and vagina and she gets wet. Next her vagina gets longer and she feels more excited. Her heart beats faster, she breathes faster and then there is a rush of enjoyable contractions in the pelvis and a deep sense of relaxation and pleasure (orgasm). Some women may have several orgasms. These feelings start in the brain. Emotions and interpersonal issues have a lot to do with the brain’s ability to get things started.
The sexual response cycle for men
Just like women, the brain is what identified what “turns you on”. When a man is turned on, blood flows into the penis and the penis gets hard. His heart beats faster and he breathes faster. Then the sensation becomes very intense with waves of muscle contractions causing ejaculation. Then the penis returns to its normal state. Men need time to recover before they can have another erection and orgasm.
Talking to your Partner
Talking with your partner to fully understand both perspectives on sex and sexuality is important. But, let’s face it, talking to anyone-including your partner-about sensitive issues can be difficult, like a lot of things, we take our sexuality pretty much for granted. So it’s not surprising that when you start to experience loss of function, you have a lot of confused, often negative feelings.
Unfortunately, these negative feelings often result in even less communication with your partner. Over time, if the communication doesn’t improve, you might just pretend your sex life never existed. All of this adds up to one simple fact. One of the most important steps you can take in dealing with Erectile Dysfunction, no matter how long you’ve had it or how old you are, is to talk about it with your partner.