Health: 'We now make love twice a week or more'

Thousands of impotent men are suffering in silence. Ted Dickens decided to speak out about why it is worth getting help

IMPOTENCE - now there's a subject. Rarely discussed easily with anyone, but a sure attention-grabber at a comedy show.

My own awareness of this problem crept up on me slowly. Making love was not always a guaranteed event, but as I had some time ago passed my 60th birthday milestone, I became philosophical about it.

In my late sixties, I had an operation on my prostate gland which had become enlarged. Despite whispers that it would put a stop to lovemaking, it did not.

But the occasional difficulty in having an erection did still occur. So when a TV film was shown discussing erection problems in detail, I recorded the transmission against a possible future personal need for reference.

Four years on and my impotency was an established condition. Whenever we were feeling intimate, I would have an incipient erection, but even this subsided soon after entry, forcing me to abandon the act.

My wife, Erna, was understanding but nevertheless disappointed although she made light of the matter. I, on the other hand, felt a true failure, made worse by the knowledge that it was not going to improve. Our sex life had come to an end, through what I felt was purely my failure.

We have always had a very loving relationship, and were always, cuddling, and kissing, but now I felt guilty that I could not fulfil what was really "fore-play".

I feared that we would grow away from each other, a depressing thought that intruded more and more into my life. I felt that old age had taken me down a peg and I lost some confidence.

At this stage, Erna and I talked about the situation and decided that we should make arrangements for a consultation with a specialist to discuss implementation of one of the treatments we remembered from the television documentary.

My local doctor, a woman, with whom I had discussed my problem, was most helpful and assisted with an appointment to see a specialist.

During our consultation I explained that my wife and I had discussed the treatments highlighted in the documentary, and agreed that a penile prosthesis would seem to offer the best solution in my case. We also had a friend who had an implant, so had ample knowledge.

He agreed, and a date was made for me to undergo surgery. The eventual operation went very smoothly and with no discomfort whatsoever, in spite of my worries about this. Twenty-four hours after arriving at the hospital I was back on the train for home, and five weeks of convalescence.

The semi-rigid rod type of implant was my own preference, and Erna and I are very happy with that choice. It has ensured that whenever we make love, penetration is easy and lasting, guaranteeing that my wife always will have one or more orgasms.

An added bonus has been an apparent return of some of the erection mechanism. If this is true, it must be due to the confidence we now have of successful sex every time. We now make love a minimum of once a week but usually twice or more.

Erna and I are now, after two years with the implant, relaxed, and in a general way very happy, although why, is not widely known. Our friends comment on what a happy loving couple we are. Truly our relationship is perfect.

For both of us our new sex life has made a big difference, and we are writing this account in the hope that it may encourage others, to follow our example.

As an "over-70s" couple, when most of our contemporaries seem to have resigned themselves to "being past it", we are on a permanent honeymoon.

If you are considering this sort of treatment, then, as my doctor said: "Go for It!"

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