I'm having erectile dysfunction issues.
February 2, 2015 4:28 AM   Subscribe

So I'm having trouble getting it up, and I want to be able to have sex with my girlfriend. So.

Details as follows:

- we've been in a relationship for about eleven months; the issues have been a problem for about three or four. It's very good in every respect right now other than sex; she is loving and supportive and, quite obviously, patient.

- I'm having trouble getting it up at all - as in to say, I'm not masturbating either. (There were some concerns about deathgrip syndrome before this, but I think we need to deal with this problem first.)

- Up until about four months ago we were having sex regularly (not frequently enough, but that was mostly due to scheduling issues).

- I'm pretty sure it's not medical in nature, because I do get sleeping erections. They die down once I wake up, though, and fairly quickly. Related to this, my sex drive is lower than it ever has been, to an extent that if it's actively unnerving/scary. (I am close to 40.)

- to be clear: I find my girlfriend very attractive and want us to be having sex regularly.

- the last six months have been extremely stressful for me, both because of work and because of some moderately traumatic family issues. I'm sure this contributes to sine extent.

- I've been to my doctor to discuss the issue. He prescribed Cialis in the short term and therapy. We've tried the Cialis and it just didn't work, which apparently happens in about five to ten percent of cases.

- I'm very before about the therapy mostly because at several stressful times in my life previous I've tried visiting therapists and they have never,ever been even slightly helpful. I am open to the possibility that I be doing something wrong, therapy-wise, so if anybody has advice on that front...

I'm ready not sure that I have a specific question other than a general appeal for help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why not go back to the doc and tell him that Cialis didn't work, and ask him what other options you have.

And FYI, you can have all kinds of sex with your girlfriend in the meantime.
posted by bunderful at 4:48 AM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Have you had your testosterone levels tested?
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 4:50 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can you explain why therapy has never ever been succssful for you. Contact the mods and they can post an answer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:52 AM on February 2, 2015


It's normal to temporarily lose sexual function during stressful, emotional times in your life. Stress can also throw your hormones off. Ask to have your testosterone levels checked. In the meantime, increase your daily workout. This will help with stress and, unless you have something more serious going on, bring your levels up naturally.
posted by myselfasme at 5:07 AM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Make an appointment to see a urologist instead of just a general practitioner.
posted by hush at 6:43 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is what you can do to help if the problem is physiological:

- Cut out smoking, drinking, drugs.
- Try to eat healthier, especially less sugar.
- Increase your exercise level and frequency.
- Get regular, full nights of sleep.


If the problem is mental or psychological in nature:

- You need to de-stress. Search for effective de-stressing activities and practices for yourself. Meditation, new hobby, exercise (as mentioned above), reading, writing, long quiet walks, join meetup groups with fun activities, socialization.

- I don't know if this is an issue or not, but how supportive is your girlfriend? Since the problems started, has she been patient and understanding, or laying the pressure on you to perform? One near-universal of erectile function for us guys is that added pressure almost always makes things worse. If she plays any role in it, that is something that can be addressed.

- Here is the thing with therapy: it really is hard work, especially in the beginning. You are going in there to talk with a trained professional who is going to lift up all the rocks, so to speak, of your psyche to find all of the worms. It can be very uncomfortable and so we go in there with a thick set of shields, maybe more so than we have in our everyday lives, and try to bear the experience. In order for therapy to work, it is going to take persistence, patience, and effort on your part to open up. Results are not immediate, but rather it is a process. Maybe something connected with your recent family traumas has thrown you for a loop and you just haven't made the conscious connection with your feelings about it yet. Family things certainly can touch something deep in our psyche, often to extents that we aren't aware.

Good luck, and perhaps consider adopting measures from both categories above; it wouldn't hurt until you get back on track.
posted by incolorinred at 7:11 AM on February 2, 2015


I would seriously rule out a physical cause before assuming it's stress or psychological. If your GP isn't making good headway, see a specialist as recommended. If I were you, I'd want to make sure there wasn't a physical cause, and there are quite a few physical causes. I know askmefi loves their therapy, but you need to rule out other stuff first.
posted by Aranquis at 7:37 AM on February 2, 2015


" I'm pretty sure it's not medical in nature, because I do get sleeping erections. They die down once I wake up, though, and fairly quickly."

They die down once you wake up or once you shift your body position?

Try watching porn that you know turns you on in different physical positions and see if you get an erection in one physical position. Sounds to me like you might have a hopefully slight circulation problem and might just need to do cardio or something (I'm obviously not a doctor) to help.
posted by I-baLL at 7:54 AM on February 2, 2015


Did you start any new meds four or five months ago? I was given nortriptyline for migraines and had the most productive two weeks of my life. I hadn't even realized my libido was gone until a basically naked girl walked past me and I realized I wasn't interested enough to even note it. I think I was back to normal in a week or two once I quit it.
posted by jwells at 9:14 AM on February 2, 2015


There are several other choices of ED drugs, including choices that don't act through the same mechanism as Viagra (Cialis, etc.).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:36 AM on February 2, 2015


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