Talking about erectile dysfunction together

  • Your erection problems
  • His erection problems

How to talk about your erection problems with your partner


Like most issues couples face in life, it is always better to face them together. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is no different. The sooner you discuss it, the sooner you can get your love life back on track.

Ignoring ED symptoms and avoiding sex can lead to greater misunderstanding. It is important to remember that ED is a medical condition that can be treated in most cases. It’s nobody’s fault.

ED can be a difficult subject to talk about, so some men may withdraw and refuse to talk about it. The wall of silence surrounding the condition often leaves a man’s partner imagining all sorts of things.

You can reassure your partner by telling them that ED is a medical condition and nothing more – that it’s not their fault, it has nothing to do with attraction and they’ve done nothing wrong to cause this. This is a situation you can improve by working together as a team.

You may feel awkward about starting up a conversation with your partner about ED symptoms you are experiencing, but you’ll feel more at ease once you’ve discussed it.

When you start the conversation, remember:

  • ED is a common medical condition. Research indicates that 1 in 3 Irish men have experienced difficulty achieving an erection, 1 in 5 indicated they experience ED regularly

  • Stay positive: ED symptoms are treatable in most cases

  • Choose a neutral place (not the bedroom) to talk and approach the subject in a calm and relaxed manner

  • Remember that you are both in this together

Like any challenge in life, you are both stronger when you work together

Talking about erectile dysfunction together His problems Mobile

Talking to your partner about his erection problems

If your partner has erection problems, it can be difficult to know how to start the conversation.

It is a good idea to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED) for lots of reasons, so take some time now to find out why, when and how.

Like any challenge in life, you are both stronger when you work together

What's causing this problem?

ED is much more common than you might think. Research indicates that 1 in 3 Irish men have experienced difficulty achieving an erection, 1 in 5 indicated they experience ED regularly.


The most common underlying medical conditions that are linked to ED and can cause ED symptoms are:


– Heart disease

– High blood pressure

– Diabetes


Your partner might be experiencing erection problems regularly or just occasionally. In either case, you should not ignore the issue as it can be a sign of underlying health issues.


He refuses to talk about his erection problems

If ignored, ED can create a lot of tension in a relationship and drive a wedge between you.


Some couples avoid talking about sex and intimacy, but in the case of ED, this is exactly the kind of conversation you need to have. Do not wait for your partner to mention it.

It is unlikely he will talk about it before you do, because men tend to avoid talking about health or sexual problems. A lot of men are concerned that talking about it may make the problem worse when actually, talking about it can help.

Is it my fault?

Many people whose partners have ED symptoms think they might be to blame. They might be asking themselves; “Does he still find me attractive?”, “Is he seeing someone else?” or “Is our sex life over?”.

If both of you ignore the problem, it’s more likely these thoughts will eat away at your confidence and self-esteem. If you do not have the conversation, feelings of loneliness and even resentment or suspicion may only increase and further damage your relationship.


Remember that ED symptoms are linked to underlying health problems in most men, so it is important to start the conversation sooner rather than later, because it is highly likely that he won’t.

Nobody is to blame

As wonderful as relationships can be, they are not perfect all the time. You might have been having difficulties anyway and realising that your partner has erection problems might make things feel worse.


Always try to keep the tone positive and upbeat, rather than accusing or blaming. Keep in mind that ED is a health condition. Even if your relationship is going well, staying positive can be a challenge if the conversation never happens – that’s why talking about it is so important.

Choose your moment

So, you’ve made the decision to talk to him about his erection problems. What now? How, where and when should you start the conversation?


Choose a time when you know you are both free from other distractions. Do not have the conversation while you are getting ready to go out, during a meal or driving in the car, for example. Make sure you have the conversation when you will not be interrupted by children, family, visitors, phone calls or anything else.


Choose a place that is neutral, quiet and private. Do not have the conversation in the bedroom, or when he is distracted by domestic jobs or work, for example. Avoid times when he might feel exposed and vulnerable, such as getting ready for bed or when he is taking a bath or shower.

What should you say?

Start any conversation with ‘I’ or ‘We’, for example, “I’m worried that you aren’t feeling well”, or “We need to talk about your health, I’m really worried about it”.


Avoid saying “You need to recognise that you’ve got a problem” or “Don’t you find me attractive anymore?”, as it may be too confrontational.

What do you do if he will not listen?

Some men find it very difficult to talk about erection problems. Even if you have opened the conversation very carefully, he could close down.


If this happens, you should accept that he is not receptive right now, but do say that you both need to talk soon. This is the point where you could mention the health issues associated with ED symptoms.


You could say: “I’m just worried that you might have some underlying health issues”. He may not accept your concerns, but once you’ve mentioned that it is his health that is concerning you, he may start thinking about his symptoms in a different way.

What do you do when he does start to talk?

He could respond right away or days later. He might ask you why you are worried about his health. Most people would be concerned if someone who cared about them thought they might have underlying health problems.


Most men will find it easier to cope with addressing erection problems if they understand that it has nothing to do with their masculinity. You already know that the majority of men with ED symptoms may have underlying health issues, so your partner might begin to realise that his erection problems may not just be in his head.

Stay positive

Having the ED conversation should mean the beginning of something better for both of you.

Even though erection problems are mostly caused by underlying health conditions, emotional issues like depression, anxiety and stress can also have the same effect. Either way, ED symptoms can cause damage to relationships and should be investigated as soon as possible. Together you can take action to get help.