Four Key Steps for Living With Erectile Dysfunction

Most men will have to deal with erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. Currently, more than 30 million men in the US alone have been diagnosed with ED.

Many people think that the solution to ED is simply… just take a pill, and the problem is solved. But many men don’t respond to oral ED medications, or can’t take them for medical reasons. Even if erectile dysfunction medications work initially, ED often gets progressively worse as a man ages.

Whether or not oral medications work, many men experience psychological problems. ED can cause a loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. Doctors are not prepared to deal with these issues, and men often feel isolated because they can’t find resources to help them.

Erectile dysfunction is generally a life-long problem… in most cases, there is no permanent cure. It’s important for men to learn to live with their condition.

There are four key steps for living with ED.

Become Informed

There are many resources on the Internet, as well as a number of good books about erectile dysfunction. But there’s also a lot of misinformation, and sites peddling snake-oil “cures.” When visiting Internet sites, look for a Health On the Net (HON) certification – usually found in the site footer – which guarantees that a website conforms with ethical guidelines for providing healthcare and medical information.

Learning about the causes and symptoms of ED will help you to ask good questions when you talk to your doctor, and to make informed treatment decisions.

Just as important, taking “ownership” of your treatment can go a long way towards rebuilding your confidence and self-esteem.

See a Doctor

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by many factors, both psychological and physical. The most cause is a vascular/circulatory problem. However, sometimes it can be a symptom of a serious underlying medical problem… that’s why it’s important to see a doctor!

There’s no need to be embarrassed about talking to your doctor. Since ED is so common, most doctors have dealt with hundreds or thousands of cases!

Your doctor will ask questions about your ED, and review your medical history. They will conduct a basic “check up,” listening to your heart and lungs, checking blood pressure, etc.

They may also order a blood or urine test.

Based on this simple examination, your doctor should be able to determine the most likely cause of your ED, and recommend an appropriate treatment. The most common treatment is an oral medication like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra. If your doctor prescribes an oral medication, be sure to ask about generic forms, which are much cheaper.

Other treatment options may include changes in prescription medications (which can contribute to ED), lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, counseling for performance anxiety, vacuum devices, penile injections, and penile implants.

If you’re unable to see a doctor in person, you may be able to use an online service such as or These services allow you to talk to a doctor online, and can in most cases provide a prescription for oral ED medications if you qualify.


Men with erectile dysfunction often have a hard time talking to their partners about the issue. In a study conducted in 2018, 45.6% of men reported that the were uncomfortable talking to their partners about ED.

Lack of communication – more than ED itself – can do tremendous damage to relationships. Partners of men with ED often feel responsible, and experience loss of self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

It very important for both partners in a relationship to understand that ED is neither partner’s fault. It is a medical problem, and there are many treatment options.

Build Intimacy and Improve Your Sex Life

Erectile dysfunction will have an impact on your sex life. At a minimum, it will make things a little less spontaneous. In severe cases, it may be very difficult or impossible to achieve an erection, even with medication.

But this need not mean the end to your sex life, or even a decline. With the right attitude, and good communication, it can be an opportunity to reinvigorate your sex life. There are many resources, ranging from books to intimacy coaches, that can help you and your partner explore new ways to give one another pleasure.

Summing It Up

Erectile dysfunction will affect your life, but doesn’t have to dominate it, and it can even trigger positive changes.

The key to living with ED is to own it: to educate yourself, get medical help, and involve your partner in improving your sex life.

The ED Treatment Information Center ( is a HON-certified website that provides information on ED causes, ED treatments, ways to improve ED with diet and exercise, and resources for dealing with the psychological impact of erectile dysfunction.


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