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The Impact of Oral ED Medication on Female Partners' Relationship Satisfaction


Marita P. McCabe, PhD, FAPS, School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia. Tel: (61) 3 9244 6856; Fax: (61) 3 9244 6858; E-mail:


Introduction.  Research has demonstrated that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a couple's problem, and that treatment for this condition is likely to impact on the man and his partner.

Aim.  The current study utilized a qualitative approach to evaluate the impact of treatment for ED on the female partner's perception of changes in the relationship.

Main Outcome Measures.  Analyses of the transcripts from the interviews.

Methods.  In total, 96 men were treated for ED using tadalafil and then sildenafil (or vice versa) each for 3 months. Their female partners were interviewed 3 months after the commencement of treatment.

Results.  The findings demonstrated an overall positive effect of the treatment. Female partners perceived improvements in emotional closeness, and communication, and reported that their relationship was more loving, less stressful, and more stable.

Conclusions.  This study demonstrates the positive effects of treatment for ED on the female partner; in particular, on her perception of the quality of her relationship. McCabe MP, O'Connor EJ, Conaglen JV, and Conaglen HM. The impact of oral ED medication on female partners' relationship satisfaction. J Sex Med 2011;8:479–483.