Almost a quarter of men with ED said their condition caused the break-up of a relationship.
26th March 2012: A new online resource for men with erectile dysfunction has been launched in Ireland. HardWords.ie, developed by Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, is a website for men and their partners that helps to understand, accept and take action on erectile dysfunction(ED). Erectile dysfunction is a serious medical condition that affects more than half of men over the age of 40 , yet it is estimated that only a third of men with the condition actually seek treatment from their doctor . There does appear to be a growing prevalence of the condition - in 2002 it was estimated that 152 million men worldwide had an erection problem but by 2025 it is estimated that this will have risen to 322 million . Nearly a quarter of people (21%) with ED said their condition caused their relationship break-up indicating what a difficult condition it can be. Hardwords.ie is designed to make the difficulties surrounding erectile dysfunction a little easier for men and their partners. It aims to provide a resource for men to learn about their condition and give advice and information that can help them talk to their doctor.
Emma Coyle, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, who launched the HardWords.ie website today commented, "As a nation I think we’re getting better about talking about sex but erectile dysfunction is not something that Irish men talk about easily, usually because of embarrassment. As ED has such a negative effect on relationships it is important for people to talk and say the words they find hard to say."
Hardwords.ie has been created in response to the fact that so much of the health information on the internet can be confusing or is written from a highly technical medical perspective. The aim of hardwords.ie is to provide clear, practical information on the subject of erection problems. The website has a range of useful tools such as a Sexual Inventory for Men (SHIM) which can give a general indication of erectile function as well as advice for partners on how they can support and rebuild intimacy. It also has useful tips about lifestyle with information on how exercise, diet and lifestyle can affect ED. For example, 87% of male smokers don’t know smoking can contribute to ED so cutting down and quitting is a positive step.
"ED is a difficult issue to talk about so the more information a man has access to the more likely they are to attend a GP," commented Dr Stephen Murphy, GP. "While ED is primarily associated with the effect it can have on a couple’s lifestyle we must also remember it can be symptomatic of broader health concerns such as depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or even neurological disease. HardWords.ie is a useful resource for initiating a conversation about erection problems with their partner which can then lead to seeking advice from a healthcare professional."
Research released last year revealed that a quarter of European women’s partners had a problem getting or keeping an erection and that ED is the number two turn off for women (bad breath taking the top spot). The research also revealed that women of all ages want to have more sex. Two thirds (67%) of women aged over 45 years of age want to have sex at least once a week; however, only half (54%) of them are actually currently doing so.
4. Sexual Dysfunction Association. Impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) - Factsheet. Available online at http://www.sda.uk.net/downloads/Impotence_or_erectile_dysfunction.pdf Last accessed January 2010.
5. Action on Smoking and Health. Smoking and Male Sexual Problems. 2008. Available online at: http://old.ash.org.uk/html/health/html/impotent.html. Accessed January 2010.
Published: 26th March 2012.