To assess the behavior of female partners of patients consulting for erectile dysfunction (ED) and the impact of ED on their sex life.
One hundred and thirty seven men (mean age 57.4 years), consulting for the first time because of ED and having a stable relationship with a single woman for more than six months, completed various questionnaires: IIEF, grounds for the possible absence of their partner during the consultation, attitude of the latter confronted with ED. The partners (mean age 54 years) have been invited to complete a questionnaire ISL (Index of Sexual Life) regarding their sexual life during the four last weeks. Seventy-nine (58%) have responded.
Most often, the ED was severe (49%) and has evolved for more than one year (64%). The relationship has lasted for more than ten years for 77% of couples. Moreover, 43% of men declared that their partner had encouraged them to consult but 76% consulted alone the first time. According to the patients, the most frequent grounds for absence of their partner were: “she was occupied” (58%), “we did not think of it” (24%), “we did not know that it was possible” (15%). According to the patients, confronted with ED their partner was disappointed (29%), vexed (27%), frustrated (17%), accepting (15%) but the most often understanding (77%). The ISL scores were impaired in the different categories (sexual drive, sexual life satisfaction, general life satisfaction). According to ISL, 41% of women indicated that sexual intercourse was “a few times, almost never” or never satisfactory for them. Moreover, 45% found sexual intercourse “fairly enjoyable, enjoyable, or very enjoyable” but 41% did not feel an orgasm during vaginal penetration. Additionally, 44% remained “moderately or very satisfied” with their sexual relationship and 54% with their overall sex life.
Few women attended the first consultation of ED because, according to the patients, usually they were not free. According to the patients, confronted with ED their partner was sometimes vexed, disappointed, frustrated but more often remained understanding. The analysis of the questionnaires ISL completed by the female partners shown that ED affected their sexuality but about half of them remained satisfied with their sexual relationship and overall sex life.