Erectile Dysfunction (ED) even now in 2022, is something that can receive a lot of stigma and mis-understanding but a recent article and campaign by Access Doctor discusses how ED can affect over half of men between the ages of 40 and 70. It can cause anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
What is ED?
The NHS describe ED as ‘inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse’.
This can include:
– being unable to get an erection sometimes
– being able to get an erection but not being able to sustain it long enough for sex
– being unable to get an erection at all
The Causes of ED
There can be many different causes of ED, including:
– Emotional and psychological reasons – this can be past pyschological trauma, being stressed or anxious.
– Physical Health Problems – these could be underlying like diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure.
– A Side Effect of Medications – for example anti-depressants or blood pressure medication
Stress and ED
Stress can be a huge factor in ED. There may be a specific pressure to perform or to have sex at a certain time. A good example of this is when you are trying for a baby. It is a huge pressure when your partner is ovulating to have sex and try and conceive and something like this can lead to ED and in itself be very stressful.
Tips to Manage Stress and ED
– Try to focus on time as a couple, that may not necessarily lead to sex. This may include have a meal and drinks together, watching a film or series and just simply cuddling or enjoying each other’s company. This can help with relaxing and sex may naturally follow.
– Try relaxation and mindfulness techniques. There are so many apps to download and videos/audios to listen to now, to help with relaxation.
– Talk to someone. This maybe a counsellor if stress or anxiety is becoming overwhelming. It maybe your GP if you feel you need more help. It may simply be your partner or a friend; someone you trust. You maybe referred to a sex therapist.
The stigma around ED does need to end. Talking can help and even help with overcoming the problem and helping to normalise it. Keeping it quiet can lead to worry, anxiety and even shame, so it is so important to keep the chat about ED open.
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.