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Living with Erectile Dysfunction


The millions of dollars spent each year advertising oral medications for erectile dysfunction (like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra) has done something to change the public conversation about living with erectile dysfunction (ED). Unfortunately, mostly what it's changed is how much we talk about the medical aspects of ED, things like the how an erection works, what causes erectile dysfunction, and various erectile dysfunction treatments. We tend to talk much less about what we might call the experiential aspects of ED, or what it's like to live with it.

Living with erectile dysfunction is undoubtedly made more difficult because of the narrow way that male sexuality is understood in most cultures and societies. Attitudes, beliefs, and values about male sexuality - our own, and others - can create as many obstacles to a happy and healthy sex life when you have erectile dysfunction, as the mechanics of how your penis is working.

Below are tips and suggestions for some of the common questions readers ask about the social aspects of living with erectile dysfunction.

How to Talk with Your Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction

If you're experiencing erection problems one of the first places to start getting answers should be your doctor. ED is a known early warning sign for other health problems (including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes). So even if your difficulties with erections aren't all the time, if they happen consistently, you should get checked out. Here are some tips on where to begin a conversation with your doctor about ED.

How to Talk About Erectile Dysfunction with a Partner

If you have a partner, and you're living with erectile dysfunction, they know something is up. Many men avoid discussion by cutting off all sexual activities. Your partner will likely respond by thinking it's their fault. Talking with partners about erectile dysfunction may not be easy, but if you want your relationship to last, it's something you'll have to do at some point.

Erectile Dysfunction and Dating

If you're single and have been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction dating can feel like an enormous gamble. Even though erectile dysfunction is talked about regularly in the media, and in advertising, it still carries a major stigma, and knowing if, and when, to bring it up can be very anxiety provoking. Here are some tips on how to fit ED into your dating and non-committed sex life.

Reader Stories: Erectile Dysfunction Tips, What Works and What Doesn't

About.com readers share their experiences with ED, what works, what doesn't, and their tips for living with ED.
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  6. Living with Erectile Dysfunction - Tips on Living and Coping with Erectile Dysfunction

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