What is erectile dysfunction?
- Trouble getting or sustaining an erection.
- Lots of things can affect the ability to get an erection, including stress, drugs, alcohol and your mood.
- If you’re struggling because of erectile dysfunction, the CALM helpline is open from 5pm to midnight everyday to chat about whatever is getting you down.
Erectile dysfunction happens to most men occasionally, but if you’re having problems getting or keeping an erection regularly, you should speak to your GP to find out what’s going on.
Erectile dysfunction (also sometimes called impotence) can be a bit embarrassing to talk about, but it’s more common than you think. There are lots of myths and stereotypes around erectile dysfunction, but you shouldn’t worry about them. Experiencing erectile dysfunction does not make you less of a man, mean you are bad in bed, or tell you anything about your fertility – only a medical professional can do that.
How does erectile dysfunction feel?
Erectile dysfunction feels different for everyone, but here are some things you may be experiencing:
- Lack of confidence
- Worried about your future
- Less attractive
- Worried about your health
- Scared about talking to a doctor or medical professional
- Frustrated that this is happening to you
If you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing because of experiencing erectile dysfunction, chat to CALM. CALM’s free, anonymous and non-judgemental helpline is there to chat about whatever’s getting you down.
Why do people experience erectile dysfunction?
There’s many reasons that people experience erectile dysfunction and it can be caused by a combination of things. Most commonly, people experience trouble getting an erection:
- After drinking or taking drugs
- Prescribed medication
- Mood – feeling low, anxious or stressed can have a huge impact
- Medical conditions like diabetes
If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction and you’re not sure why, make an appointment with your GP. They won’t judge you, but will probably ask some questions about your lifestyle and carry out some tests to find out more.
Once you’ve chatted to a doctor, they’ll be able to help you find a solution to your erectile dysfunction – this could be medication, meditation or changes to your lifestyle. Over the counter options are also available, but before you take these you should ensure there is not a medical issue that needs to be investigated.
Talking about erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a private thing, so it can be hard to talk about it. If you’re worried about it, it might help to talk to a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes, talking about erectile dysfunction may not be appropriate, so make sure the person you are speaking to is comfortable and consents to the conversation. The CALM helpline is there to talk about whatever is getting you down from 5pm to midnight everyday.
“Can I talk to you about a problem I’m having with erectile dysfunction. I’m not sure about ______ and it’s making me feel low. ”