written by Danielle
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is not as specific a term as those unaffected may think. The erectile dysfunction umbrella covers everything from psychological impotence to
peyronies disease. All types of ED vary in level of severity and permanence. With differing levels of success, each form of ED does come with treatment options. But when a heterosexual couple is trying to get pregnant, the stresses of ED become spotlighted.
Unfortunately, ED is not only a stumbling block for a healthy sex life, because it is tied so closely to the idea of physical wellness it can create a lot of emotional baggage for a couple when they start to feel "unhealthy" or "unfit."
We like to pretend otherwise, but when a man and woman are trying to get pregnant sex stops being a spontaneous act of affection, and it transitions to more of a math equation.
The likelihood of ovulation + sperm count multiplied by the frequency of sex + a fertility friendly diet and lifestyle = baby-making optimization.
A lot of women start mapping their ovulation cycles while a lot of men start worrying about their performance. With men any inability to impregnate (whether it is a low sperm count, libido plaguing stress, or ED) can make him feel inadequate. The idea of sex manifests into a feeling of failure instead of joy. The delicacy of this issue makes it a difficult discussion topic for many couples, but shirking communication is the last thing one should do.
|Image: Jenny Downing on Flickr|
Talking openly helps. Validating each other is extremely important so that neither partner starts to feel inadequate. Explore options together, making the entire process more logical and mechanical than emotional. The biggest battle is figuring out exactly what you are dealing with. Of course, the aid of a doctor is a valuable resource, but couples can do a lot of exploring on their own as well.
ED can occur for a variety of reasons. Low amounts of testosterone, issues with blood circulation or diabetes and neurological problems are all possible causes. If someone experiencing ED already suffers from one of these, then their problem is most likely a side effect of the previously discovered condition.
Many medications have sexual side effects. Peyronie's disease (a bent or curved penis) and complications with radiation therapy, colon, prostate, bladder or rectum surgery can also cause ED. Smoking is another factor that has been shown to have a negative influence on performance.
If you or your partners have experienced any of the items above then it may be the result of ED. All of these causes should be addressed between a couple sensitively; however, the psychological causes of ED are probably the most sensitive. Performance anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue can all have huge effects on someone's performance. In this case single or couples therapy may be more valuable than medication or lifestyle adjustment, but an open and communicative relationship is the most important thing. In all cases, sensitivity is the best policy.
Danielle is a free spirit who tries to consider Mother Nature in all decisions she makes. From eating organics to rigorous recycling habits, Danielle offers advice and tips for healthy living on eatbreatheblog