Erectile dysfunction

25 February 2004

Tips on coping with ED

While impotence drugs sort out problems on the short term, long-term solutions can only be found by the intervention of professionals.

While impotence drugs sort out problems on the short term, long-term solutions can only be found by the intervention of professionals - either a doctor or urologist in the case of physical problems, or a psychologist or sexologist in the case of emotional causes.

So what can women do if their partners seem to have lost interest in sex? Most women will know that merely talking about this problem is already difficult. Getting your husband or partner to go for help could be doubly so. The following suggestions might be of help to both partners:

  • Don’t take on an accusatory tone – you need to get your spouse on your side
  • Choose your time carefully. The middle of a slinging match is not the time to discuss this matter
  • Stress the fact that the problem affects both of you and that the only solution is a joint one
  • Wait until the time is right – when you are both feeling happy and relaxed
  • Don’t turn the whole discussion into a greater emotional issue than it already is
  • Men put a high premium on their sexual performance. Don’t denigrate your husband’s masculinity in any way. It won’t get you anywhere.
  • Use I-messages, such as “It makes me feel unloved and unlovable when you won’t talk to me/have sex with me/share a bedroom with me."
  • Be prepared to change sexual techniques, or try new things, which could include oral sex, sex toys, experimenting with mutual masturbation or non-penetrative sex play.
  • Also accept the fact that most people’s sex lives are unpredictable. Sometimes couples have sex often and sometimes they don’t, for no particular reason. If, however, a pattern of lesser or no sexual involvement becomes the norm, it is time for you to intervene.

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Ask the Expert

Erectile Dysfunction Expert

Dr Kenny du Toit is a urologist practicing in Rondebosch, Cape Town. He is also consultant at Tygerberg hospital, where he is a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University. He is a member of the South African Urological Association, Colleges of Medicine South Africa and Société Internationale d’Urologie. Board registered with both the HPCSA (Health professions council of South Africa) and GMC (General medical council UK). He has a keen interest in oncology, kidney stones and erectile dysfunction.

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