I remember when I was in school training to be a Physician Assistant, and we were learning about a bunch of diseases and conditions that seemed quite far removed from our own personal experience. Erectile Dysfunction discussions and lectures were considered a "cringe moment" for the male P.A.s and "move on" moments for us women P.A.s. We wanted to save lives, help establish new medical protocols, immerse ourselves in the exciting world of trauma. Sexual performance issues or sexual dysfunction just did not top the list of exciting things to learn about.
I have since come to realize that quality of life issues are probably the singular most important health issues that people face on a day-to-day basis. If you love being active and physical and a disease or sudden illness robs you of that pleasure - even short term - it can really shake up your world. If you are suddenly diagnosed with a disease that is difficult to manage, your life can become a struggle, while trying to adapt to new limitations or the constant drain of trying to accommodate to the illness. Well, I would assume that across the board, ED is probably the least talked about condition that can add the most misery to an otherwise wonderful relationship.
I think it is really important to be able to face ED head on (pun very much intended!!) One thing you need to be able to do is to really take note of the developing history of your own ED. It helps to create a journal and a compile a list to cover all your bases, in terms of observations, so you can then share these facts with your doctor and plot out a personalized course of action. You should document the date ED started, how long you've had symptoms, the impact this has on your life, medications you are taking, and specific issues like the ability to either not get an erection at all; get an erection but not maintain it; even your observation that your erection is not as hard as it used to be and pretty much take note of anything that might help your doctor to pinpoint a diagnosis and treatment plan.
We all need to be brave enough to admit that this is a really important quality of life issue for you and your partner - and it is a vital part of a deep and meaningful relationship - if you both truly enjoy intimacy. Please share your insights or experiences with our community. And always check with your doctor or healthcare professional for additional advice.
Published On: June 10, 2008