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How could my partner's erectile dysfunction (ED) affect our relationship?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
Problems achieving or maintaining an erection during sex aren't just a guy's issue -- they're a relationship issue. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can damage a man's self-esteem, your self-esteem, and your relationship -- particularly if you don't talk about the issue together, leaving each of you alone to wonder what you might be doing wrong.

You might worry that your partner's erectile problems are a sign of inadequacy on your part. You may worry that the sex isn't good enough, you're not attractive enough, that your partner has lost interest in you or is cheating on you. Not surprisingly, ED can send your libido south, too: In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 23 percent of men with ED reported a decrease in their female partners' sex drive; 5 percent reported a complete lack of sexual interest from their partners.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.