Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a major challenge. Right! That's like calling what you after surgery as "discomfort". It is sort of accurate, but it just doesn't quite seem to fully describe the experience. It attacks a set of habits, pleasures, and self-images that you have been working with for longer than most of us care to remember . . . and now it doesn't work? That's a tough row to hoe.
Well . . . what is is.
It changes intimate relationships, at best, and has the power to destroy them at worst. For the sake of your own sake as well as your relationship with your partner, coming to terms with it in one way had better be your top priority.
On top of that, it can be giving an early warning of developing underlying conditions that are affecting circulation. And that raises the chances that treatments will be effective. So, it definitely rates a trip to the doctor.
There are lots of things to do about ED. Of course he topic itself may make taking action a bit difficult at times, but the stakes are high and once you get going, it gets easier.
Just what IS erectile dysfunction (ED), anyway?
How does an erection happen when everything is working right?
The National Institutes of Health will tell you more than you want to know on this topic. I have put some of the high points from their description on this page. If knowing all the details is helpful to your process you can get their full description here.
The the penis is complex set of tubes, compartments, arteries, veins, and nerves.
The largest portion of it is made up of two chambers filled with spongy tissue, which run the length on each side. These are the spaces that fill up with blood causing the whole penis to get hard and stand up erect. The spongy tissue contains smooth muscles, fibrous tissues, spaces, veins, and arteries.
The urethra, which is the channel for urine and ejaculate, runs along the underside of the corpora cavernosa and is surrounded by the chambers of spongy tissue.
Erection begins with physical or mental stimulation, or both.
Impulses from the brain and local nerves cause the muscles of the two chambers of spongy tissue to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the spaces. The blood creates pressure, making the penis expand like a balloon. The chambers trap the blood within them, thereby holding the erection.
When the muscles in the penis contract to stop the inflow of blood and open outflow channels, erection is reversed.
The system is a marvel (or accident waiting to happen, depending on how you look at it) of thoughts, feelings, muscles, nerves, and blood interacting in just the right way.
Bring another person into it and the complexity is mind boggling. That it works so well as often and as long as it does is probably more amazing than that it doesn't always work.
What causes Erectile Dysfunction?
While not within the relationship focus of this website, here are some things that have been mentioned in various places as potentially being involved in erectile dysfunction
Talk to your doctor.
So, give them a chance to do their job well. Tell them what is going on with you. This is a case where being a "good soldier" who doesn't complain is dumb.
What Can Be done About It?
Lots lots can be done about it, actually, and more all the time. Don't let yourself get into a hopeless mode. Talk to your doctor about it. If you feel like you can't talk to you doctor, it is important that you do something about that.
Anyway, right now the list includes
Is calling erectile dysfunction "relationship challenge" cruel, the understatement of the century, blind optimism, or just plain pragmatism?
Maybe it is a bit of all four, but what choice do you have?
While following up on all the medical and physical options is the place to start, it isn't the whole smart response, no matter what the result of the medical intervention.
The psychological and relational side of this situation can actually result in some very positive things happening. Coping with impotence calls for involvement of mind, body, and spirit in ways that can indeed make aspects of life and aging and relating better and more rewarding in ways that cannot be predicted before you start doing it. For a bit more on this topic CLICK HERE.
When you can't get it up, the list of assumptions and beliefs that come pouring into your head about being a man, being with a woman, sexual attractiveness, human frailty, and others that we didn't know we had can be pretty frightening.
This calls for a lot of informed, respectful, and direct talk between you and your partner if things aren't to take off in a bad direction.
Find a discussion of specific things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of positive results from talking about your ED here.
If you are the partner of a man with ED, find more on talking with him about ithere.
Professional Help for Erectile Dysfunction
For More InformationAmerican Urological Association (AUA)1000 Corporate BoulevardLinthicum, MD 21090Phone: 1–866–RING–AUA (746–4282) or 410–689–3700Fax: 410–689–3800Email: email@example.comInternet www.auanet.org
AUA can refer you to a urologist in your area.
American Diabetes Association (ADA)Attn: National Call Center1701 North Beauregard StreetAlexandria, VA 22311Phone: 1–800–DIABETES (342–2383)Internet:www.diabetes.org
ADA can help you find a doctor who specializes in diabetes care in your area.
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)P.O. Box 1960Ashland, VA 23005–1960Phone: 804–752–0026Fax: 804–752–0056Internet:www.aasect.org
Check the AASECT website to find a certified sexuality educator, counselor, or therapist in your area.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse3 Information WayBethesda, MD 20892–3580Phone: 1–800–891–5390Fax: 703–738–4929Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgInternet: