I can’t go beyond one round: My 12 year battle with erectile dysfunction - Evewoman
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I can’t go beyond one round: My 12 year battle with erectile dysfunction

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Dear Eve,

I feel like I have let my wife down sexually for the last 12 years. I can’t go beyond one round, could be I suffering from erectile dysfunction and how can I deal with it?

 Dear Reader,

I empathise with what you have described, and with the fact that it has been ongoing for the last 12 years. Your disappointment is understandable.

There is always hope so let us look at some steps you can take, and what you can expect as part of the process of seeking and finding answers to your problem.

I recommend a proper assessment, which would include a full physical check-up. A good place to begin would be an appointment with your family doctor.

This assessment is what will determine what sorts of follow up tests, interventions, treatment and/or referrals that you may need. For now, let us have a brief look at some of the things that your doctor/therapist may be interested in and why.

ALSO READ: Four reasons you have low intimacy esteem

One of the first things that your doctor and/or therapist will consider will be your age. An erection problem in a young man; a man in his 20s has different implications than an erection problem in an older man who is in his 40s, 50s or is older.

This is nothing to worry about because we all have our challenges; it is just something to help you and your doctor understand why this has been happening for 12 years, and how to manage or treat it moving
forward.

 Physical health

Your physical health is a key consideration because some conditions can affect your ability to function sexually. Do you now - or have you before - suffered from diseases such as diabetes, low functioning or high functioning thyroid, heart disease, prostate problems, kidney problems, liver problems or any other chronic conditions?

Some of these conditions can directly interfere with your sexual function, as can some of the medications used to treat them.

If you have any of these in your past or present life, please mention them to your doctor; they will know what to do.

Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, but you have a family history of chronic illness in your family, please do mention them to your family.

ALSO READ: Sexual healing: What to do if intercourse is painful

 

Psychological health

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This is a key consideration because any psychological challenges are notorious for causing problems in the bedroom. My question to you is this; has there been a lingering psychological problem that you can think of?

Have you, for example, struggled with depression, anxiety or stress? In the same breath, have you ever been assessed, diagnosed and/or treated for any mental health condition?

Ill psychological health can make it difficult for your body to desire sex, and even when you do desire sex it can make it difficult to have it to your satisfaction because psychological challenges tend to be accompanied by symptoms such as lethargy, fatigue, sleep disturbances and change in appetite just to name a few.

This is why a psychological assessment is necessary, and so your family doctor may refer you to a psychotherapist for further assessment.

Social function

This is a critical component of your sexual function that you may not even be aware of. In this assessment, you will be exploring the strength – or weakness – of your relationship; for instance, how are things at home? How is your relationship with your spouse and your children (if any)? Are you employed or self-employed?

Whatever the case, how are things at work? Do you have friends or do you feel like you have no friends or family that cares about you?

How do you relax, when you want to relax? What do you do for fun? Who would you say is part of your support
system?

It may surprise you to learn that very often, dissatisfaction in our social setups can show up as dissatisfaction in your personal life. Think about it; how sexually energetic do you feel when you know that your business is struggling to stay afloat?

You may find that you simply do not have the energy for it, and because you do not see a link between your social life and your sex life, you may not realise the importance of strong, healthy social life. The necessity of this evaluation may be another reason why your doctor may send you to see a therapist.

There are many things that can and will be assessed. No matter the outcomes, let me end by telling you this; it is never too late to seek help, and there is absolutely always hope.

The most important step is to talk to professional who can help you so that you can have a more complete picture of what is robbing you of the sex life that you want. I wish you the best as you seek for answers that will lead to a healthy, satisfying sex life.

 Maggie Gitu is a marriage, family and sex therapist.

Reach her on: [email protected] or via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu

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