How To Conceive When Your Husband Has Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is multidimensional, but common male sexual dysfunction occurs in response to changes in the physical or psychological state of the body. 

There are various causes of erectile dysfunction. But fortunately, there are several treatment options available and many ways you can help your partner when trying to conceive. 

Have you considered clinical trials for Erectile dysfunction?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Erectile dysfunction, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What is erectile dysfunction, and what are the causes?

Erectile dysfunction¹ is the inability to obtain and maintain an erection for successful sexual intercourse and conception. ED can manifest from psychological or medical causes, and each type requires a different treatment method. 

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Normal sexual function coordinates psychological, endocrine, vascular, and neurological systems. Any alteration in the components of the erectile response, including organic, relational, and psychological changes, can cause ED. 

Many health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, depression, and hormonal causes may cause ED and should be investigated through a clinical examination.

Lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and limited or absent exercise can also cause ED.

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety and depression. It is common for men to feel pressure to perform when trying to conceive, which can develop into fears leading up to the next sexual encounter.

This increases the likelihood of failure and reinforces the pressure to perform in future encounters.

For those already experiencing anxiety or depression, ED can also be a common side effect of antidepressant medication. Pharmacological treatment can include antidepressants that are less likely associated with or can reverse sexual dysfunction — this may be a good course of treatment if you are experiencing ED as a side effect. 

How to tell if your husband has erectile dysfunction

If your husband has difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection, or difficulty ejaculating during sex, they may be suffering from erectile dysfunction. 

The cause of ED may be psychological, relational, or organic and should be determined by a doctor through physical and psychological examination.

What to do if your husband has erectile dysfunction

Take the pressure off

Removing the pressure when trying to conceive can help return your partner's confidence and enjoyment of sex. Anxiety in a sexual situation can trigger a loss of confidence, negatively affecting a man's quality of life and satisfaction in a relationship. 

Have a conversation

Couples therapy is recommended for psychogenic erectile dysfunction patients. But having an intimate conversation with your partner about pressures, fears, and sexual likes and dislikes can help relax some internal and external pressures that arise when trying to conceive. 

Go with your husband to the doctor

Erectile dysfunction can be a mental struggle for many men, and having a support system may help get the diagnosis and treatments suitable for both partners. 

Have patience with pills

Treatment with PDE5 inhibitors requires patience and planning, asSildenafil and Vardenafil both have peak absorption times of 30-60 minutes. 

Avanafil is absorbed in 20-30 minutes, while Tadalafil takes about two to four hours and stays in the body longer. 

For men who have difficulty timing PDE5 inhibitors with sexual intercourse, the once-daily formulation of Tadalafil may be beneficial to couples planning to conceive. 

Encourage them to get heart-healthy

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle through increased exercise and diet may aid in maintaining erectile function in men. This may be achieved by reducing the prevalence of red meat and processed foods in your partner's diet while increasing vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and fish.

Adults should do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity anaerobic exercise most days of the week and reduce caloric intake to reduce the prevalence of ED.

Treatment options for husbands with erectile dysfunction

There are a variety of treatment options available that are effective for many ED triggers:

  • PDE5 inhibitors such as Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil, and Avanafil are oral medications that can safely treat erectile dysfunction in those seeking fatherhood. They are presented as the first line of treatment according to clinical guidelines.

  • Vacuum erection devices (VEDs) are cylindrical mechanical devices placed over the penis and pumped, creating a pressure vacuum to draw blood into the penis, while a penile ring at the base of the penis stops venous return. This allows for the blood flow necessary to obtain and maintain an erection. A VED can cause physical pain if used incorrectly and therefore requires training.

  • Surgical therapy such as penile implantation and vascular reconstruction surgery can benefit those who experience adverse reactions or are resistant to medication.

  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) aims to reconstruct the patient's knowledge and expectations of sexual intercourse. This approach may help your husband identify himself and his self-beliefs about sex that may prevent satisfactory sexual performance.

  • Couples therapy can help couples regain satisfaction in a relationship. Couples are encouraged to express their language of love in verbal and non-verbal ways and will be guided to relevant and easy ways to achieve sexual satisfaction in a relationship. 

Tips for conception when the husband has erectile dysfunction

Conception requires male ejaculation. There are some ways you can help him achieve this:  

  • Plan sexual encounters to align with PDE5 medication effectiveness. This will vary depending on what medication he is taking and can be utilized for successful conception.

  • Seek professional help for physical, relational, and psychological issues that may cause ED.

  • Encouraging a regular exercise regime may reduce erectile dysfunction symptoms.

  • Increasing sexual stimulation through foreplay, sexual position, and technique exercises, such as hand or oral stimulation, can increase comfort and excitement in sexual interactions.

  • Attend psychological couples therapy to develop an open communication about sexual and relational needs and desires.

The lowdown

ED can arise from many physical and psychological factors and can impede the satisfaction and quality of life in couples trying to conceive. There are a variety of triggers and associated treatment plans suitable for each situation. A health professional will identify the issue and recommend the best treatment. 

If your husband is experiencing ED symptoms, encourage him to contact his local doctor to find out what works for him.

Have you considered clinical trials for Erectile dysfunction?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Erectile dysfunction, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64

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