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A Partner’s Guide to Erectile Dysfunction

What You Can Do

These six suggestions can make it easier to cope with your partner's ED.

1. Try something new. “Very often a big, big first step is just enhancing arousal,” says Kerner. This can mean ramping up foreplay, reading or watching something sexy together, or coming up with a suggestion for something you haven’t tried before, says Kerner.

2. Take the pressure off. Take the emphasis off the penis, says Kerner, and “try something else for a little bit of time.” That can include oral sex, sex toys, and a vibrator, he says. “Try putting his hand on the vibrator and showing him exactly what feels good.”

3. Have a conversation. Start with your own feelings about the situation, and be empathetic, says Kerner.

4. Go with your guy to the doctor. “The patients who are the most successful are those where the sexual partner is a true partner,” says Shoskes. “If the woman can come in, that’s a huge help.”

5. Have patience with pills. These drugs work, but erections don’t happen on command.

6. Encourage him to get heart-healthy. “Good heart and vascular health ends up being good penis health,” says Shoskes. “It may not reverse erection problems that are there already, but it certainly may reduce their progression.”

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Reviewed on November 17, 2013

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