Hey Bestie: Why can't my husband 'keep up' his erection during sex

Hey Bestie: My partner is having trouble ‘keeping it up’ during sex. It’s not every time but it is happening quite a lot. I’ve tried to talk to him about it but it is a very sensitive topic for him and he refuses to discuss it. What can I do?



Great question because there’s so much that can be affecting the strength of an erection. I wish more men were aware of all the potential issues when it comes to erections and were more open to talking about it, because although a sensitive topic, it needs to be taken seriously. If your partner has a history of good and solid erections and now there’s a change, please do not ignore this!


Depending on the age and overall fitness of your partner, here’s a few things to be aware of. I want to talk about medication, physical health, mental health, and age for this one. Let’s start with medication. If your partner has used erectile medication (such as Viagra or Cialis) recreationally, it has the potential of decreasing their ability to maintain an erection.


Also likely to impact an erection is whether or not your partner is taking any prescription medication (think depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc…). There are numerous medications for which the side effect is inability to obtain or maintain an erection.


Physical health has a large impact on your ability to maintain an erection. Being overweight, blood pressure problems, poor cardiovascular health (because let’s be honest, we call it a ‘boner’ but really, it’s a tube that fills with blood…no bones whatsoever!), so strength of an erection correlates with vascular health.


In addition to these, there are additional medical conditions which can cause sexual let downs as well. Worst case scenario, it can be the sign of a blocked artery, hence the reason to take this seriously.


When exploring mental health think stress, if there’s heaps of stress, the erections can be affected. Think of it like this – “the mind-penis relationship”. If the mind isn’t right, the penis won’t be either. This also includes the state of the relationship and how much sleep your partner is getting and whether he is anxious about not being able to maintain an erection from past experience.


Finally, we need to discuss age. Although there are reports of men having solid erections until very late in life, the likelihood that the erections begin to soften is a reality for a large portion of men. If age is not the issue, refer to the points above.


The solution? First, get to a GP and get some blood work done to make sure that the hormones are where they need to be (think testosterone, etc). If all is good with the blood results, then consider any other medications which might be causing a rather unfortunate side effect … again, talk to your prescribing health professional about this one.


Have your cardio health checked if the above aren’t the cause. Finally, check your stress levels and mental health. It has a massive impact on sexual function.


If the erection is getting soft, or even becoming non-existent, talking about it and getting help sooner rather than later should be your priority because after all, everyone deserves to have great sex.


Your bestie,

Amanda xx


Published November 12, 2021 on https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/hey-bestie/hey-bestie-why-cant-my-husband-keep-up-his-erection-during-sex--c-4518457

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