Women who are partners of men with sexual dysfunction often don't know what their role should be. Peter Fagan, director of the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, advises couples that coping with this change in their lives involves honest conversation and an understanding of the physical and emotional factors that may cause the dysfunction.
A: Men have an erection when the nerves of the penis are stimulated and they think sexually arousing thoughts. Chemical substances are triggered and cause an increased blood flow into the penis and a slowing of blood flow outward. The result is pressure and firmness.
There are psychological, medical and surgical means of correcting erectile dysfunction. Consider talking with a pharmacist; they generally are happy to explain how medication affects sexual ability. Prepare specific questions for the primary physician, particularly if a new medication is prescribed for a physical problem.