What to do if your partner has erectile dysfunction

Approximately 18 percent of all men in the U.S. have ED, with a much higher risk occurring after age 40. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be an extremely difficult issue for both partners involved.

As the partner of someone with ED, it is important to think of it from his perspective. Try not to take it personally, as many will, as ED usually has a combination of causes, and it is very rare for the cause of ED to be the other partner.

Causes of ED in older men tend to be cardiovascular and blood vessel issues. Younger men are more likely to have ED aggravated by stress, depression, and performance anxiety. 

To help understand and cope with your partner’s ED, there are many things you can do. The most important thing is being able to talk openly and empathetically about your partner’s ED, how it is affecting both of you, and what the next step will be.

Go together to the doctor to learn more about your partner’s specific situation and its potential causes. From there your doctor will give you a treatment plan tailored to your needs – this may include pills, losing weight, or trying new things to enhance arousal. It may also be a matter of encouraging a heart-healthy lifestyle.