Open communication in a relationship is key to maintaining intimacy and addressing challenges together. One topic that often requires delicate handling is sexual health, particularly the issue of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition characterized by the inability to achieve or sustain an erection in the penis. While it primarily affects men as they age, ED can occur at any stage of life and is often linked to various underlying factors.
There are several reasons to begin a meaningful conversation about your partner’s erectile dysfunction such as a desire to grow closer, maintain a sexual relationship, and above all, concern for their overall health.
Erectile dysfunction can sometimes be a symptom of something larger such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hormone imbalances:
- Cardiovascular Disease: ED is often a sign of atherosclerosis—or narrowing of the arteries. If left untreated, atherosclerosis can lead to complications worse than erectile dysfunction such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, vascular dementia, or even limb loss.
- Diabetes: Limited blood flow, nerve damage (neuropathy), and damaged blood vessels are all symptoms of diabetes and could be the cause of your partner’s ED. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to devastating complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.
- Hormone Imbalance/Low T: Hormones, particularly testosterone, play a pivotal role in male sexual health. Testosterone contributes to the development of secondary sexual characteristics, maintains sexual desire, and helps achieve and maintain erections. Signs of hormone imbalances also include a decrease in sex drive, hair loss, and a decrease in muscle mass.
At Forum Health, our providers want to get to the root cause of symptoms. They will first assess your partner’s health history and lifestyle to understand the cause of their symptoms. Whether it be cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or a hormone imbalance causing your partner’s ED, together we’ll create a plan that’s designed to address their unique needs and get them back to optimal health.
Speaking to your partner about erectile dysfunction can be challenging, but it is a crucial step toward finding solutions that strengthen your relationship as well as their overall well-being.
The first step is to open a dialogue and highlight the bigger picture—their health! The next and most important step to finding that connection again is to suggest he sees one of our functional medicine providers. Whether it involves lifestyle changes or medical interventions like hormone replacement therapy, we have the solution to ED. By working together, you and your partner can navigate this challenge and continue to enjoy a fulfilling and intimate relationship!