Sexual Health Q&A

How does erectile dysfunction (ED) affect partners?

Many experts believe that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a problem for the couple, not just the man.

Partners of a man with ED can feel a wide range of emotions:

  • Confusion. (Why can’t he perform the way he used to?)
  • Anxiety. (Does he no longer find me desirable? Am I doing something wrong?)
  • Fear. (Has he met someone else? Is he having an affair? Is our relationship ending?)
  • Sadness. (Does he miss the intimacy we used to share?)

Often, partners don’t understand that there could be a medical basis for the erection problems, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. And since sex can be an awkward subject, even for committed partners, some couples don’t discuss the problem at all and grow apart.

That’s why communication is important for couples facing ED. Men with ED might find these tips helpful when talking to their partner.