You may be thinking, "It's me." But you should know that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a treatable medical condition that’s sometimes caused by another health problem, such as diabetes or heart disease. (1)

And when the issue goes beyond occasional problems with getting or maintaining an erection, it may be time to take action. Even if it’s uncomfortable to discuss, your partner may be more likely to seek medical help and get treated if you’re involved in the process.

Talk with your partner about what's going on

Talking about ED may not be easy, but it can be helpful—for both of you. If you and your partner avoid the conversation, neither of you can know what the other is thinking and feeling. However, it’s good to remember that for many men, ED is a condition that is treatable.(2)

When you talk with your partner, you should be open and honest, as well as sensitive toward his needs and questions. (3)Remember to stick to the facts and try to think and talk about ED as the medical problem that it is. That way, you’ll both gain a better understanding of what you're going through, and what to expect, as a couple.

Learn everything you can about ED

Learn about the condition and available treatment options, and share that information with your partner. Once both of you have all the facts, your partner can work with his doctor to make a more informed decision about what to do next.

Make a list of medicines he’s taking

It’s important for your partner to let his doctor know about all medications, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements, that he may be taking. His doctor needs to know this because certain medications can result in complications if taken in combination with some drugs commonly prescribed for ED. (1)


  1. Lue TF. Erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1802-1813.
  2. Wespes E, Amar E, Hatzichristou D, et al. EAU guidelines on erectile dysfunction: an update. Eur Urol. 2006;49:806-815.
  3. Dunn ME. Restoration of couple’s intimacy and relationship vital to reestablishing erectile function.JAOA. 2004;4(suppl 4):S6-S10.