Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

My partner has erectile dysfunction, what should I do?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual health problem affecting over 150 million men worldwide. ED occurs when a penis owner cannot achieve and/or hold an erection. While ED leads to some difficulties in maintaining a happy sex life, there are always ways to safely navigate these concerns. If your partner has ED and you want to learn more about how to support them and improve your sex life, you are at the right place!

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Erectile dysfunction affects around 1 out of 10 men, and up to half of all men over 50 at some time during their lives. This problem can be temporary or more lasting and chronic in nature. However, failure to achieve erection about 20% of the time is fairly common. You should see a doctor only if your problem with erections persist. You can learn more about the causes and symptoms of ED here.

ED does not look the same for everyone. All the situations mentioned below count for ED:

  • You can have a normal erection but find it hard to sustain it while sex 
  • You are turned on, but cannot achieve an erection
  • You cannot have an erection even after being sexually stimulated

If you are wondering if/how ED can be treated, keep reading!

Why seek treatment for erectile dysfunction?

ED can be treated through lifestyle changes, medication, and even therapy! Here are a few other reasons why you should consider seeking medical treatment for ED (in case you have not made your mind up yet):

  • Lowering the chance of ED also lowers the risk of diabetes and hypertension.
  • ED can often be the first sign of an underlying heart problem.
  • ED can lead to other sexual disorders such as premature ejaculation.
  • ED has also been linked to several mental health concerns, including performance anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
  • ED has detrimental social and psychological effects on the quality of life for the affected individuals as well as their partner(s).

Actionable strategies for a better sex life with a partner suffering from ED

While ED affects both the people facing problems with holding an erection as well as their sexual partners, not every doctor or therapist might always acknowledge this (which is also a sign that you should change your current doctor).

We understand how ED can take a toll on a relationship. While you want to support your partner as they manage their condition, it is important to take care of yourself, too. In such situations, having open, clear conversation about how you can restructure your sex life in a way that benefits both of you can be crucial!

Here are some strategies you can try out to ensure both of you are having pleasurable sex:

  • Educate yourself! Learn about the causes, treatment methods, and lifestyle measures that can help your partner's ED.
  • Talk about how you are feeling. Just like anything else that goes on in your relationship, it can help to talk about it. Allow yourself and your partner to honestly communicate their feelings, confusions, and concerns.
  • Find ways to please and satisfy each other without involving penetration. This way, none of you will feel pressured to perform or achieve an orgasm. You can also try using sex toys if penetration is a non-negotiable for you (you should try one in any case, just saying!). Have your partner penetrate with a dildo or a strap-on. This way, they can perform the act without aggravating any ED-related concerns!
  • You can explore new kinks and fantasies that you had not touched upon in the bedroom and see if they help your partner. Different things work for different people; so discuss with your partner how both of your preferences can be safely included in your sex life.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle together. Add more fruits, veggies, legumes, fish, and nuts to your meal. Exercise 4-5 days a week. Try to quit smoking and drinking (or regulate them, at least) and find different ways to reduce stress. Doing this together can help your partner feel more accepted and motivated.

Want to know about more tips and techniques? Read this!

Can therapy help?

10–25 percent of people with ED have no identified risk factors. This condition, known as inorganic ED, can be a result of mental health issues like depression or performance anxiety. Both cognitive behavioural sex therapy (CBST) and medication can treat inorganic ED, according to a 2020 study. Additionally, CBST also helps reduce underlying anxiety.

You can also opt for couples’ therapy, which assists in improving intercouple communication. Couples’ counselling also assists couples in finding meaningful and pleasurable ways to enhance their sex lives and rekindling intimacy. 

Rocket Health helps you with therapy as well as seeing a doctor for all your sexual health concerns. Our process is discreet, judgement-free, and completely confidential. If you need help, get started today by filling this brief form out!