All relationships have their ups and downs, but a continuing sexual problem can be more troublesome than mere embarrassing moments in the bedroom. Over time, a lack of physical contact can cause the spark in a relationship to fizzle out and subsequent lack of communication can be costly for even the closest couples.

The Taboo

Erectile dysfunction is something of a taboo with most men and many women afraid to discuss such a problem with their partner. However, it is actually a common problem and most men, including younger men, will experience erectile dysfunction at least once in their lifetimes. Erectile dysfunction tends to affect older men but this is by no means an exclusive problem.

Acknowledge the Problem

Nobody likes to think they may have a health problem or something wrong with them, but the key to tackling issues such as erectile dysfunction is to acknowledge there is a problem and seek help. Your doctor should be the first port-of-call. Not only do they have the expertise to diagnose and treat the condition, but they can also provide emotional support, reassurance and useful information. If you are nervous about seeing a doctor or embarrassed about discussing sexual dysfunction, rest assured your doctor will have had hundreds of similar conversations with men in the same situation. Remember that they are there to help, not to judge.

Your doctor may also be able to help you pinpoint possible causes of erectile dysfunction, which can include physical and psychological factors. The vast majority of cases of erectile dysfunction are caused by psychological factors, rather than a medical condition or abnormality, and undergoing relevant erectile dysfunction treatment can help. Changing your mind-set may hold the key to restoring a healthy sexual relationship.

Talk to Your Partner

Sexual relationships are important to many people and for some sex is a major part of their relationship. If the sex has gone down hill or disappeared altogether due to erectile dysfunction, it is best to talk to your partner about this rather than let the subject become a proverbial elephant in the room. Open up to your partner, explain how you feel and discuss the problem. You will probably find that your partner is very supportive and as keen to fix the problem as you are.

If you are feeling guilty or ashamed, share this with your partner and take into consideration the fact that they may be blaming themselves. Women in relationships with men struggling with erectile dysfunction often attribute the problem to the notion that their partner no longer finds them attractive.

Many men assume they are unable to get an erection due to a medical problem or fault. However, emotional and psychological factors are often to blame. Try to potential causes such as stress, anxiety, pressure and expectation, and work through ways of dealing with possible triggers as a couple.

Treatment and Regaining Confidence

When you see your doctor they will discuss possible treatments with you. This may include medication, sexual therapy or, in rare cases when there is a physiological problem, surgery. Research suggests that around 10 percent of men suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, but only 1 in 10 get help. Treatment can help to reinvigorate your sexual relationship and increase your self-confidence. You should never be embarrassed to ask for help.