Sure I’m Man Enough? Feelings of Erectile Dysfunction

Doctor: May I know your name sir?

Mr Jill:  Am Jill, Doc

Doctor: Why do we have you in our clinic today?

Mr Jill:  I am very sick… just anxious and depressed of this whole situation… (slightly sobbing). My business is dying, am losing my wife too.

Doctor: Please calm down so you will tell me all of the problems

Mr Jill:  Alright Sir…My wife has been complaining a lot about the fact that neither do I achieve or sustain my erection even when she’s half or totally naked, and how she’s been playing blind to not seeing my morning erections. She thinks I am impotent! We’ve only been married for 3years, things were never like this, cos I kindf have a high libido for sex until recently. I know am not impotent because I just got her college girlfriend pregnant few months ago. I hope she doesn’t know about that too, before she skins my meat off my bones.

I have tried to work out, to see if there would be any change. It’s been futile. Am just sick of all these

Doctor: Sure sir you aren’t impotent. What you have is termed “Erectile dysfunction” whereby a full-blown-man isn’t able to achieve/ sustain his erections for a period of time or satisfy his partner, not because he’s unwilling but can’t or minimally achieve his erections.

You don’t have to worry much, often times it been seen not to be totally cured, efforts are being made though but we can always help improve on the sustainability or nearly treat. All I need from you is we’d work as a team. Okay?

Mr Jill: Uhmmm…Yes Doc, I want to be fine. Thank you

Doctor: It’s my pleasure.


Using Mr Jill scenario, there are hundreds/thousands of full-fleshed men out there who has been living with issues concerning their erections. Studies like Cologne reports have shown that there is a high incidence and prevalence worldwide especially in men between the ages of 30-80years. Erectile dysfunction has been the common chief complaint attended to in many Urology clinic but that shouldn’t get you scared or make you feel lesser of a man due to the fact that you’ve not been perform your manly duties properly. It’s only a phase that will surely pass away.

Erectile dysfunction(ED) used to be synonymously described as impotence which is no longer used as it implies failure. Relates the inability of a man to attain, sustain/ maintain erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Sexuality and erection are controlled by multiple areas of the brain, with adequate information relayed to the spinal cord erection centers to facilitate/ inhibit erection. Any problem with these areas or outside of this area, may lead to erectile dysfunction. Some of these people may have feelings of frustration and emotional imbalance.

As to wet your appetite about the understanding of this condition, here are some of the causes, risk factors and what you are expected to do when you notice anything concerning your erection and aroused abilities.

Causes are;

  • Psychological causes e.g lack of sexual intimacy with one’s partner due to their attitude, poor previous sexual performance or even stress, depression etc
  • Vascular disorders e.g hypertension, diabetes mellitus(DM), disorders from pelvis surgery in cases where there’s a damage to vessels or nerves supplying the male genitals etc
  • Neurologic disorders e.g brain tumours, diseases affecting the intravascular disk of the spine, spinal cord diseases etc.
  • Hormonal causes e.g thyroid diseases, brain tumour secreting excess prolactin which may decrease level of testosterone ( hormone found in large quatity in men), thereby preventing erection.
  • Anatomical anomalies e.g very small penis (micropenis) and other penile anomalies
  • Drugs e.g men on anti-hypertensive/anti-depressants/antipsychotic/recreational drug/hormonal agents (used in prostate cancer) were found to cause ED.
  • Risk factors associated e.g obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol consumption (as reported by a Chinese study from taking >/ 3 bottles per week) etc.

Common feelings men with ED experience…

  • Low self-esteem/ sense of insecurity
  • Feeling less of a man or loss of manhood
  • Angry and aggressive, stress
  • Worrisome and other performance anxiety
  • Guilty feelings
  • Scared of partner intimacy
  • Ashamed to discuss with partner, family or friends
  • Afraid to approach new sexual partners

Common feelings experienced by their partners…

  • Self-guilt about not being able to help their man
  • Helplessness, unrealistic expectations
  • Rejected or unloved
  • Feelings of being unattractive
  • Frustrated
  • Confused
  • Worrisome, stress
  • Insecure about his love

 What must I do as the man?

  • Firstly, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor about it. He is the only one to see to your counselling, treatment, medications and referral to other specialists for implantation surgery, vacuum therapy if necessary
  • You may also try to see a sex therapist or counsellor. Though this has been seen to be refused by most young men due to a psychosocial stigmatization attached to it, but it’s been seen to be effective individually or via couple counselling especially when emotional factors are playing the major roles.
  • Most often this condition can’t be cured totally but curative therapy is given to improve on the achievement and sustainability of men’s erection etc. Also,
  • Life-style modification is advised i.e on regular exercise, diet, weight control, blood pressure and high cholesterol control, smoking/ alcohol cessation and other habits

I am delighted to share this piece with you and, I sincerely hope the article has been able to convey and increase your knowledge about the condition and how it can nearly be managed successfully from both ends…You plus partner and your Doctor.

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ADESANYA OLUWATOBILOBA,   A Medical student, College of medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo state. She is a member of Primebella Initiatives (A non governmental organisation where young females are trained and equipped to build their future). Oluwatobiloba likes art, fashion, music and focuses on improving love-driven relationships. Her hobbies are; travelling, cooking, and meeting new people. She’s also into food and event planning and currently resides at Ibadan, Nigeria.