Psychosocial and Relationship Issues in Men With Erectile Dysfunction

Patrick J. DiMeo, BSN, RN, OCN


Urol Nurs. 2006;26(6):442-446. 

In This Article

Psychosocial Effects

Seeking professional health care for ED is a big step for many men. Generally, either the man or his partner has noticed an issue with his physical or mental well-being. Most men, however, do not seek help for a wide variety of reasons: (a) lack of support, (b) fear or denial of the issue, and (c) barriers that they put in front of themselves. Men do the "locker room" talk about their sexuality or sexual conquests and feel very embarrassed if they cannot even get an erection. Whether conscious or unconscious, this "locker room" talk is done to hide feelings of insecurity and inadequacies. Men do not want to change their behavior because of being "made fun of" by others (Pontin et al., 2002). Ego plays a huge role in a man's life and, when threatened, it can alter his mindset and actions. In one study, about one-third of the men felt that other people were "quite a lot or a great deal happier" because they are sexually fulfilled while a little over one-third felt "quite a lot or a great deal less desirable" as a result of their erectile difficulties (Meyer, Gillatt, Lockyer, & MacDonagh, 2003, p. 930 ).


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