Do Sexual Health Problems Affect Relationships?

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Do Sexual Health Problems Affect Relationships?

We all know couples that have been together for 20 years, who have a blissful and loving relationship. Suddenly, announce they are splitting up. There are myriads of reasons, why couples split up. Some just drift apart, they have different interests and realise they are not compatible. Others, the stress of children can drive them apart. Financial hardship is another reason couples split up and with the worldwide cost of living crisis, with rising inflation everywhere, we can expect further strains on couples’ relationships. However, do sexual health problems affect relationships?

Sexual Health Problems and sexual expectations

One of the biggest elephants in the room is sexual health problems and their partner’s expectation of sex. This is especially important as couples age. In their teenage years or early 20s, it might be natural to have sex five times a week; but as couples age; expectations change. In some relationships, one of the partners may go off sex completely, whereas the other partner, still has the same drive and passion as they had when they were much younger.

Potential reasons why desire and libido dwindle

Putting desire and passion to one side, sexual health problems can put a severe strain on a couple of relationships. Women who have been through childbirth, especially if they have several children, can start developing incontinence problems, which are brought on by a weak pelvic floor. This is also the case at a later stage of their life when they go through menopause. This can lead to severe leakage, during sexual intercourse, meaning that they try and avoid it at all costs. Some women may feel too embarrassed to talk about it with their male partner, who is unaware of the problem, and may simply feel rejected. Female incontinence problems don’t just happen in the bedroom, they can affect a female’s way of life: Simple events like traveling on a plane or going to the cinema can become challenges.

Men’s health and sexual problems

Men tend to be even more reserved when it comes to men’s health and sexual problems.  The three most common conditions are Erectile Dysfunction, Peyronie’s Disease, and Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.

Erectile Dysfunction

Is a condition most people have heard about and it came to prominence after the discovery of Viagra. It has always been a taboo, that men will not admit to, but now many men understand that they are not alone if they suffer from it. In fact, the figures are astounding: Around 50% of men that over the age of 40 suffer from Erectile Dysfunction problems in different degrees. For some, they can’t have sex at all. For others, penetrative sex becomes more of a sensitive chore that requires more work.


If a man suffers from Diabetes, high blood pressure, or a heart attack, then they have a far greater propensity to suffer Erectile Dysfunction.

Prostate Cancer Surgery

Also, men that have had Prostate Cancer Surgery, what is known as radical prostatectomy, are at extremely high risk of both Erectile Dysfunction and incontinence problems. Some men, prior to the surgery have had a full erectile function and after surgery have had no erections at all. When men have prostate surgery the Andrologists’ primary aim is to save their lives, ED and incontinence are secondary factors. In most cases when the prostate is removed, they preserve the nerve bundles that attach to the prostate. These nerve bundles are essential for a man to have an erection but even preserving them is no guarantee.

The sexual health condition called Peyronie’s Disease

Not as common and almost unheard of is another sexual health condition called Peyronie’s Disease. Named after a physician of the same name in France, Peyronie’s Disease can simply be explained as a deformity of the penis, but in reality, it is much more complex. It can happen very suddenly, and some men complain it happens overnight. For others, it develops over a longer period of time. The deformity can develop into all types of shapes, but the most common one is the banana shape which turns upwards. For some men, this can be minor and they can continue with their sex life. For others, it is a disaster and in extreme cases can be 180 degrees. Other forms of deformity include a downward bend, an hourglass shape where the penis narrows in the middle of a severe indentation, and where it appears that a section of the penis is missing.

Often men with Peyronie’s Disease suffer Erectile Dysfunction and a high proportion suffer depression. Peyronie’s Disease can have a far greater impact on a couple’s relationship than erectile dysfunction. There is far less information out there and many men or couples feel alone.  It is estimated that 9% of men worldwide suffer from Peyronie’s disease.

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Finally, Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is another condition that afflicts men and their sexuality.  There are two main types: Bacterial and Nonbacterial. Bacterial can be cleared up with medicine, but for Nonbacterial Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome men are left with a lifetime of pain, difficulty in having sex, and sudden urges to go to the toilet, which can’t be delayed. These don’t just affect their relationships and self-esteem, but also their work and social lives.


So, if you suffer from one of these conditions, what should you do about it? It naturally depends on what country you are in and the level of health service there. But generally speaking, the most advanced solutions are found in the private sector. One clinic leading the way is based in Knightsbridge Central London, a two-minute walk from the iconic Harrods store and close to Buckingham Palace. Shockwave clinics ltd treats both men and women and their iconic Mansmatters brand was the first to introduce shockwave therapy for Erectile Dysfunction into Europe.

Hannah Murray

Hannah is a freelance travel and fashion writer who prides herself in finding the perfect tours and operators to make your journey as authentic and memorable as possible.

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