A Couple’s Guide to Impotence

Confronting Impotence As A Team

Erectile dysfunction may separate and distance couples, often causing conflict and emotional pain. Fortunately, many sexual difficulties can be improved or resolved through open communication between the couples and a mutual commitment to learn about the condition and carry through treatment options.

What Is impotence?

Impotence is the inability to achieve or to sustain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. ED (erectile dysfunction) is a common, treatable condition.

Psychological causes of impotence include:

  • stress and anxiety from work or home
  • worry about poor sexual performance
  • marital discord
  • unresolved sexual orientation
  • depression
  • Other causes are due to defective blood flow or nerve function to the penis.

How Can Couples Work Together

Couples need to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Most importantly, couples need to comfort any concerns they may have about ED by discussing their feelings and reassuring each other that they still care. Couples need to maintain this communication throughout the treatment process.

What Can Be Done For Impotence?

  • Changing habits and medications
  • Quitting smoking and changing prescription medications may help address the condition.
  • Hormone Medications
  • Only five percent of erectile dysfunction cases are caused by irregular levels of sex hormones, such as low levels of testosterone or excess estrogen. There are medications to restore this balance.
  • Professional Counseling
  • Because impotence can often result from a combination of psychological and physical factors, counselling can lessen anxiety. This therapy is often used in combination with other treatments directed by a physician.

Oral Medication

Yohimbine occurs naturally in the bark of evergreen tress and has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries by Indians and Africans. It is believed that the drug works by enhancing nerve sensitivity in the penis. While there have been no large-scale studies to prove the drug’s effectiveness, a small percentage of men report it to be helpful for erectile dysfunction.

SILDENAFIL (Viagra) is another oral agent for erectile dysfunction recently approved in Singapore. This will enhance Nitric Oxide which is released in the corpus cavernosum in response to sexual stimulation. Therefore, Sildenafil increases the ability to attain and maintain an erection in up to 80% of trial subjects. However, it should not be taken together with other nitrate containing medications such as glycerine trinitrate for heart disease. This may result in possible cardiovascular side effects.

Transurethral agents

MUSE (Medicated Urethral System for Erection) has been approved for delivery of a pellet of Alprostidil 2-3 cm into the urethra, where it is absorbed through the mucosa. Reported efficacy of 65%.

Vacuum Therapy

This will enable erection by increased blood flow to the penis through negative pressure suction generated by the device. This will enable the patient to obtain penile enlargement and rigidity for sexual intercourse.

Injection Therapy

One of the best newest forms of treatment involves the self-injection of a certain medication into the side of the penis. The relatively painless injection produces erections of good quality in about 70-80 percent of patients.

Surgical Treatment

This treatment is usually reserved for those patients whose blood flow has been blocked by an injury to the penis or pelvic area. The goal of this treatment is to correct the blockage of blood flow to the penis so that erections will occur naturally.

Penile Prostheses

This treatment involves the surgical placement of a device into two sides of the penis, allowing erections as often as desired. These implants come in two forms; an inflatable device and semi-rigid rods. This treatment is not recommended until other methods have been considered or tried first.

Regaining Sexual Function

The good news for many men and their partners is that erectile dysfunction can usually be treated safety and effectively. In the light of recent medical advances, men no longer need to suffer from erectile dysfunction in silence nor must their impotency be a dividing force in their relationships. Most importantly, couples can now fully enjoy the enriching and exhilarating joy of intimate sexual contact.