Health and Fitness

How Working on Your Relationship Can Improve Erectile Function

Men often struggle to discuss erectile dysfunction, especially with their romantic partners. This can create stress and anxiety around sexual intimacy, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If both partners work on communication, ED can be treated and overcome without putting a strain on your relationship. Here’s how: 1. Work on emotional intimacy.

Stress Management

Stress is an inescapable part of life, and it has significant implications for health, including sexual function. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol suppress testosterone, which negatively impacts erectile function and libido. Additionally, many common medications used to treat depression and anxiety – such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – have been shown to cause ED.

Addressing the underlying causes of stress is important, and this can involve therapy and other types of support. It can also include lifestyle changes, such as incorporating regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. These measures improve blood flow, which can help with ED.

In addition, couples can encourage each other to find creative and fulfilling ways to connect emotionally outside of the bedroom. This can alleviate feelings of shame and rejection, and build a healthy, supportive bond that transcends issues surrounding sex. Finally, couples can explore and challenge societal expectations around gender roles and sexual intimacy to reduce feelings of pressure and judgment in the face of ED.

Physical Intimacy

A lack of physical intimacy can also cause a drop in overall sexual satisfaction and lead to relationship issues. It may be helpful to work with a sex therapist to discuss and address any underlying fears or anxieties about sex, which can help create a more comfortable and healthy sexual experience.

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Intellectual intimacy is the ability to understand and share another person’s ideas, opinions, and worldviews. This type of intimacy may be cultivated through stimulating discussions or by simply being open to listening and respecting the other’s perspectives, Lopez-Henriquez says.

Try placing your hands on their shoulders or rubbing their back when you’re talking together, then slowly move up to touching or holding each other more often. Practicing small displays of affection can help both partners become more comfortable with physical intimacy, which can eventually lead to sex. This can also boost emotional intimacy and make you feel more close to one another.2

Open Communication

It is important to openly discuss erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues with your partner. Honest conversations can help prevent misunderstandings and build trust. It can also be helpful to address the emotional impact of ED, as well as explore non-sexual ways to connect and bond. This can help build a resilient relationship that will be stronger and healthier despite the challenges.

Consider bringing in a sex therapist or couples counselor to assist with these discussions. They are trained to address these topics with compassion and empathy, reducing feelings of embarrassment or shame.

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By prioritizing emotional support, physical intimacy, coping strategies, and an open mindset, you can develop a healthy dynamic to manage the repercussions of erectile dysfunction. And by seeking professional help when necessary, you can take a proactive approach to improving your ED and overall wellness.

Growth Through Challenges

Intimate relationships often require a lot of trust and communication. For couples that are struggling with ED, it is especially important to communicate openly and compassionately. It can be easy to take your partner’s erectile dysfunction personally and make them feel guilty or blame themselves for their condition, which could ultimately damage the relationship.

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Encourage your partner to seek medical help, including therapy or other treatments that could help them manage their symptoms and prevent further deterioration. If your partner refuses to talk about their condition with a doctor or therapist for now, that’s okay—change takes time.

Be patient and try not to put pressure on your partner to perform or change their lifestyle in any way. Focus on other ways to enjoy each other physically like back rubs, massages or snuggles and remind them that sexual intimacy doesn’t always need to be about an erection. Eventually, they might start to feel more comfortable with exploring new forms of physical pleasure.