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Erectile Dysfunction from a Woman’s Point of View

For most couples, sexual intimacy can be a vital part of a romantic relationship. So what happens when a man is starting to experience a breakdown on the erection front? Dealing with the plethora of issues that he might be experiencing—from physical to emotional—your man might seek medical attention to help him with the wide range of issues he might be dealing with so that he may restore proper function. But, what about the woman? How does erectile dysfunction affect her?

The distress of not being able to stay in control compounded by the embarrassment he might feel in not being able to perform will definitely take a toll your relationship no matter which way you slice it. The physical and emotional intimacy that sex provides is not to be taken for granted, so if your man is struggling with his erection, lend a hand (metaphorically speaking) and get that conversation going.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is basically the inability to become erect or sustain an erection long enough for sex. This health concern affects the woman involved as her sex life is being shifted off course, and while the dysfunction is happening in someone else’s body, the symptoms are trickling into her life as well.

How can you help your man?

As the woman on the other end of erectile dysfunction, it is important to get your man to talk about it. Having an open discussion about your sex life will establish trust and open the lines of communication. A lot of the time, the man won’t want to broach the topic on his own, so you might have to take the initiative and get that conversation going. If you find you’ve tried, but to no avail, or you don’t feel comfortable bringing it up unmediated, then try seeking the counsel of a sex therapist. A sex therapist will try to hone in on the source of the issue and find active ways, as well as potential treatments, that are fitting for the case at hand.

It’s not just physical

Most of the time, when it comes to erectile dysfunction, there is a combination of both physical and emotional issues blocking the natural flow of things. In most instances, physical and psychological issues work in tandem, because even if the issue is solely physical, it isn’t long before the man starts to anticipate his inability to perform, and then like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the erection is impossible to achieve or maintain. The connection between the mind and body is certainly there, and when it comes to sexual malfunction, a holistic approach is the most effective way to treat the problem.

Perhaps your man would be more likely to meet with a doctor to learn about all of the available treatments out there. If he hasn’t sought medical advice on his own, then take your sex life into your own hands and book that appointment for the two of you. The support of a partner can see positive effects that will trickle into the relationship. Knowing he can lean on you for help, trust you to help him take action, and feel like you are in this together, are all simple advantages to taking your partner’s health concerns seriously and helping him get the medical attention he most likely needs.

Dr. Steinberg

Where’s your Mojo

There is no magical equation on how to derive at what is too high a sex drive and what is too low a sex drive. When it comes to understanding your sexual desire, it’s all about the subjective experience. Knowing what feels “normal” for you and feeling out your own personal fluctuations. If you’re in a relationship, you might use your partner’s libido as a barometer to measure the highs and lows you feel, or you might be in touch with your peaks synching up with certain times of the month, for example. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that both women and men can experience fluctuations in sexual desire; some of that can be attributed to biological factors like hormone shifts, while some of those rises and falls can coincide with emotional or psychological changes in your life.

Let’s think about what a libido is and where it is located.

Historically speaking, the libido used to be exclusively associated with the sex drive. While this is partially true in today’s world, there are now many other factors that come into play when trying to locate the libido. In terms of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud defined the libido as the energy created by the survival and sexual instincts. Not located in one particular area (although it is most likely located in the brain, as Freud believed it was part of the unconscious), the libido is the driving force of all sexual behavior. The libido is the source of our wants and urges, as well as the epicentre of all pleasure-seeking impulses.

Departing from our psychoanalytic father, the libido has taken on new meaning as more well-rounded research has been done in the past century. We now understand the sex drive to have more than just conscious and unconscious motivations and desires. One’s interest in sex is a combination of factors from, as mentioned earlier, biological, psychological, physiological, emotional, and social. Not to mention that other factors can play a role: illness, medication, say nutrition, and other lifestyle habits. Everything affects everything and back around again.

 

Symptoms of low sex drive aren’t as straightforward as you may think. No interest in any type of sexual activity is one major symptom, however it is not the only symptom as a low libido extends to sexual fantasies and thoughts as well. Having too high a sex drive can also be an issue for some, especially if it is getting in the way of your work, ability to focus, or daily activity, or, if you are in a relationship and your partner’s sex drive does not match your own.

Think about your libido. Have questions? Want to talk it out? Call or email Elna Sexual Wellness and let’s get the conversation going.

Dr. Steinberg

Premature Ejaculation: You Can Have Control

You’re in bed with your partner and you’re getting intimate. Sexual intercourse begins and before you can control it, you’ve finished. You lay there, beside your partner and begin spiralling down the rabbit hole with negative thoughts about what is wrong with you. You’re embarrassed and your anxiety about your performance takes over. Sound familiar?

Many men suffer from what is known as Premature Ejaculation. But, just to be clear, premature ejaculation is not defined by the speed in which you finish, but rather whether you finished when you desired to. Being in control of your ejaculation is a more precise definition of what we, in the medical field, call Premature Ejaculation (PE).

Although many men have been known to finish too quickly, there are a large set of factors that distinguish a one-time occurrence from frequent PE. If you ejaculate sooner than you’d like to during sexual intercourse, and this is happening more often than that one time you got too drunk or went a long time without ejaculating, then it’s probably time to see a doctor to figure out what’s going on.

When it comes to premature ejaculation, there is always the possibility that psychological factors (poor body image, depression, relationship issues, and so on), are working in tandem with the physiological causes (abnormal hormone levels, abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra, and so on). By understanding the full spectrum of the disease, you will be able to begin treating the issue so that sexual intimacy can be improved.

By sitting down with men or couples (depending on the situation), we try to learn where the problem is stemming from. There can be a host of variables that are playing a role in your sexual experiences, by knowing all of the symptoms and how the disease is affecting you (and your relationship), we can better prescribe a course of action that will help you gain control of your ejaculatory function.

We will often recommend sex therapy for patients suffering from premature ejaculation. Counselling is vital for so many reasons, but the main one is whether your premature ejaculation is caused from psychological issues or not, once a man starts to experience PE, anxiety settles in fairly quickly thereafter. Anticipating frustration or shame, or feeling embarrassed about ejaculating prematurely is common and can exacerbate the issue. Talking through the stress of performance can dissipate the anxiety that goes along with it.

In the realm of medication, we typically prescribe anti-depressants (like Paxil, for example) which can help delay ejaculation. We could also explore numbing ointments (such as EMLA cream) in the realm of topical medication. EMLA is rubbed onto the head of the penis approximately 30 minutes prior to sexual activity. There are also a variety of behavioural changes or techniques you could try to help delay ejaculation. These can all be discussed with a counsellor or doctor.

Sexual experiences should not bring on stress, and anticipating ejaculating before desired is no fun for anyone. You can improve your overall sexual wellness by seeking help. It’s that easy. You just need to #HaveTheBallsToTalkAboutIt.

Dr. Steinberg