4.3 million men in the UK experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED)* which means that there could be 4.3 million partners potentially affected by ED too.
“Depending on the level of awareness of ED and of what help is available for men experiencing it, partners will have a range of reactions to their man’s erection problems,” says Sarah-Jane Swanley, a sexual health counsellor.
We explore a few common things partners may – rightly or wrongly - think when their other half is experiencing erectile problems.
*Men reporting occasional and frequent difficulty getting or maintaining an erection [ref. Kantar TNS Omnibus Survey Dec 2010 – in a survey of 1,033 men]
Is it me?
It’s very common for a partner to jump to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with them. They may worry, for example: am I attractive enough? Am I stimulating sexually? Am I doing something that puts my partner off?
If your relationship is quite a new one, your partner may be experiencing ‘performance nerves’ that manifests itself as ED. This may well settle and erectile function return as the relationship becomes more established.
“In a relationship that has previously been sexually fulfilling, symptoms of ED that persist over time may be signs of an ongoing erectile problem and it’s important to get some help for this medical condition from a professional. It’s nobody’s fault,” advises Sarah-Jane.
Is he having an affair?
Men experiencing symptoms of ED may avoid opportunities for sex; being ‘too busy’, going to bed later than their partner or making up excuses for not being intimate.
“Some partners who have previously enjoyed a great sex life can’t understand why it suddenly stops, and jump to the conclusion that their man is seeing someone else,” reveals Sarah-Jane. “Even when he assures his partner he’s not cheating, it can be hard to believe. This is why complete honesty and understanding about ED is essential.”
Is there treatment?
When your partner makes the pharmacist his first port of call about ED, he can have a discreet consultation with a highly-trained medical professional who will be able to give advice and, if suitable for him, supply VIAGRA Connect® over the counter.
Your partner can even order VIAGRA Connect® from a registered online pharmacy (after completing a short questionnaire to check suitability) if he doesn’t feel comfortable having a face to face discussion with a community pharmacist. If the pharmacist decides VIAGRA Connect® isn’t right for him, they’ll advise him to see his GP who will be able to help further.
VIAGRA Connect® works by relaxing the blood vessels of the penis, so more blood can flow into it causing an erection when your partner is sexually aroused. VIAGRA Connect® gets to work within 30 to 60 minutes of taking a single dose in pill form and is effective for up to four hours.
Is there a bigger medical issue going on?
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase the risk of ED. Problems with the heart or circulation can also restrict blood flow to the penis. When your partner sees a pharmacist about ED, they will ask various health questions and be able to advise on lifestyle changes that may help reduce ED symptoms: a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and not smoking, for example.
Pharmacists will advise men with ED to visit their GP within 6 months for a health check-up whether or not they supply VIAGRA Connect. This is to ensure the underlying cause of ED symptoms are investigated.
Is something else going on in his life?
External worries and pressures can creep into the most rock-solid relationships: work issues or redundancy, bereavement or financial problems mean your partner may need some extra emotional support to get through a rough patch. It may be that erectile function returns once these issues are resolved.
Will we ever have sex again?
In many cases, with suitable, tailored medical advice and treatments, your partner’s erectile function will come back and you’ll be able to enjoy sex again.
Focus on non-penetrative sexual intimacy while your partner regains his confidence in bed. Concentrate on helping your partner to live a healthy lifestyle: maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, take exercise every day, don’t smoke, keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and manage stress – together, these can go a long way to improving erectile function.
VIAGRA Connect® 50mg film coated tablets. Contains Sildenafil. For erectile dysfunction in adult men. Always read the leaflet.
For more information on ED and VIAGRA Connect®, visit viagraconnect.co.uk.