Erectile dysfunction is typically referred to as a condition when a man (or someone with a penis) cannot get and/or keep an erection that allows penetration during sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction is not a disease, but a symptom of another problem of a physical and/or psychological nature.
It can be helpful to think about these experiences as ‘erectile difficulties’, as ‘dysfunction’ can seem harsh and unhelpful.
Is erectile dysfunction common?
Difficulties with getting and/or maintaining an erection is very common and becomes more common as men age. In Australian, men over the age of 40 years are more likely to report erectile problems, but it is well known that younger men also experience these difficulties. With each additional decade of age, the chance of having erectile problems increases.
Many men report that they occasionally don’t get or keep an erection during their sexual activity. Unless it continues, this is normal and may be caused by fatigue, stress, drinking too much alcohol, tiredness, and/or anxiety. However, it’s very important that you access professional support if you experience ongoing erectile dysfunction as it maybe symptomatic of another condition.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
There are two key ingredients for getting and maintaining an erection, being sexually aroused and being relaxed. If either of these natural states is disrupted you may experience erectile difficulties.
Although sometimes difficult to identify, there are several factors that can affect a person’s ability to get and keep an erection. Often, it’s a combination of both physical and psychological factors causing the erectile difficulties. A thorough assessment is required to identify these factors.
The Andrology Australia website has an overview of the possible causes.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction: Medical and Counselling
As erectile dysfunction can be symptomatic of an underlying health condition, it’s important that you see your doctor for assessment. This way your doctor can ensure that you're getting the correct treatment for any conditions that may be causing and/or worsening the erectile difficulties.
Even if your erectile dysfunction has a physical cause, it’s important to seek both medical and psychological treatment.
Whilst medications like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra may help to get your penis hard, without counselling you are unlikely to fully understand why you were having difficulties in the first place. Additionally, even after a successful period using medications, many men will benefit from understanding their thought processes regarding their erectile difficulties.
Although it may sound odd this can actually be a good opportunity, as you can review what sought of sexual partner you are. After all, there’s more to being a great sexual partner than just a hard penis.
If there is no identified health condition, then the erectile dysfunction has most likely occurred due to a type of anxiety. This is a common experience, which is well treated in counselling.
If you are in a relationship your partner has also experienced your erectile difficulties. It can be very important for them to have the opportunity to process and move on from the experiences with you. Usually couples counselling is a valuable addition to the treatment regime.
At Tillver Counselling & Wellness we offer assessment and counselling for erectile difficulties in a supportive and judgement free environment.
Please contact Matt Tilley for more information 0411 253 165 or email@example.com