Sexual Health Q&A

Is there a relationship between partners’ sexual functioning?

Sometimes. For example, researchers from Taiwan recently found a connection between a woman’s sexual function and her partner’s ability to have erections. Using standardized questionnaires, the research team found that women tended to have more sexual problems when their partners had some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Other research has shown that when a man gets treatment for ED, the sexual function of his female partner improves.

However, this does not mean that a man’s ED will cause sexual problems for a woman. Many different factors affect woman’s sexual function, such as hormonal fluctuations during menopause, pelvic floor disorders that cause pain, emotional issues, stress, fatigue, and any problems the couple may have in their relationship.

The reverse is also possible. In some cases, a woman’s sexual dysfunction may contribute to a man’s ED. Again, however, this does not mean that one causes the other. A man’s ED can have many causes unrelated to his partner, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

When either partner has sexual difficulties, many couples decide to seek help together. They may decide to make lifestyle changes, like exercising more. They may a see a sex therapist or a counselor who can help them with relationship problems. Working together can improve the sex lives of both partners.