There’s no doubt that if you’ve been living with ED for a while now, your sex life has suffered. Your self-esteem and self-confidence may have been affected, too. You’ll probably find, though, that treating your ED may make a world of difference to how you feel about yourself and connect with your partner.

There are some things you should know about in advance:

  • Treating your ED will not directly increase your libido. If you think insufficient libido may be playing a part in your ED, be sure to mention it to your doctor so it can be properly treated
  • Depending on the treatment option you choose, it might not work the first time – and it might not work every time
  • People are different. The treatment option that works best for you might not be effective for someone else
  • Successful treatment of your ED will not fix a broken relationship

Here are some comments from men who were once in the same position as you and have treated their ED. They should give you greater insight into how life after ED might be different for you.

Robert Leslie, married to his wife, Judy, for 36 years; in a wheelchair for the last 23 years: “It was like a honeymoon. After 22 and a half years of not being able to have physical relations, it was just like a honeymoon. It was so special and it was beautiful. We knew each other so well, and yet we were both nervous because we didn’t know what to expect. And after that many years of not having what you would really call an intimate moment, it was beautiful.”

Ted Calkins, a 36-year-old smoker and borderline diabetic with high blood pressure, and his wife Diane: “I think the biggest thing that has changed is that we can stay home more because we can be with each other now. Before we couldn’t really be with each other because it was just an argument. It’s really brought my self-esteem up. Even out in public I am more of who I am.”

John Stedman, 52, living with prostate cancer, and his wife Caryn: “It certainly has brought intimacy back to a level you should have in a relationship. We have to plan a little more now so we build a really special evening. We make it romantic; build up the atmosphere. We unplug the phone and have a special night.”

John Alafberg, 45, living with diabetes for 31 years, and his wife Sandy: “Treatment has had a tremendous positive impact on my life and my relationship with my wife. We’re much more open. The self-confidence and self-esteem that I lost when I had untreated ED? It definitely came back, no problem.”

Ronaldo Tomas, living with diabetes for 10 years, and ED for five years: “I know that it gave me a much more positive feeling about myself. It’s a thing that we need to talk about – people and doctors need to talk about, patients need to talk about – because you don’t realize what you are doing to yourself by keeping this a secret. You have to get out there and at least give yourself a try to see how things can make your life different. And it certainly has made a lot of difference in my life. My kids don’t seem to believe the kind of energy that is floating around the house as a result. There is a tremendous amount of change in our lives. It’s like a guy who loses an arm and then somebody, by some stroke of some miracle, produces something that makes the arm useful again. You are much more appreciative of something that you have lost when you regain it.”