Navigating Intimacy with Erectile Dysfunction: How One Man Reconnected with his Wife
Posted: October 17, 2023 | Word Count: 1,162
Gene Miluk, 72, is a retired software engineer who has been happily married to his wife Mary for nearly 50 years. They live in North Ogden, Utah, and enjoy spending time outdoors and camping with their two sons and grandson.
For many years, Gene and Mary valued regular physical intimacy as a cornerstone of their marriage. As Gene aged into his 50s, this dynamic started to shift as he began to struggle to maintain an erection during sex.
Gene’s experience is not uncommon. It is estimated that more than half of men between the ages of 40 and 70 will experience some form of erectile dysfunction (ED), yet it often comes as a surprise to those who experience it. ED is a common condition defined as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Men may develop ED for a variety of reasons including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which Gene struggles with.
“When you’ve had years of experience where everything works and then you become unreliable, you feel like a failure,” said Gene. “Each time we tried to become intimate I was fearful that I’d be letting my wife down. I questioned my value as a man and a husband.”
ED can be mentally taxing on the person experiencing the condition, as well as their partner. “I don’t think we were very well educated on what it means to age, and we didn’t understand why this was happening,” says Mary. “I wondered, too, if I was doing something wrong.”
When Gene started experiencing symptoms of ED, he tried to ignore them and hoped the issue would resolve itself. When it became clear the condition wasn’t temporary, Mary urged Gene to see a doctor. This was the first time Gene learned about the prevalence of ED and potential treatment options. For years, Gene’s ED was treated with pills, but since his condition was progressive, they slowly stopped working for him. Gene moved on to injections but realized he started needing higher doses over time. That’s when he decided to seek a more long-term and spontaneous solution.
At the age of 68, Gene’s doctor recommended the AMS 700™ Inflatable Penile Prosthesis, a penile implant designed to provide men the ability to maintain an erection during sex. It is comprised of three parts: an inflatable implant, a pump which gets placed within the scrotum and a reservoir to hold the air when the implant is not inflated. It is activated by squeezing the pump and is designed to hold an erection as long as a person wants. This device is designed to closely mimic a natural erection, providing rigidity when inflated and a natural, flaccid appearance when deflated.
“I did a lot of research on implants and decided to move forward with it,” said Gene.
Within a few weeks after surgery, Gene was enjoying a renewed sex life with Mary.
“I was so happy to get my husband back,” said Mary. “The AMS 700 affected our relationship because Gene felt so much better about himself.”
Now, several years after the surgery, Gene says, “I don’t even notice the implant. It opened the door for revived intimacy for me and my wife. I no longer feel any pressure around the possibility of failing. The AMS 700 has given us the gift of continued intimacy into our retirement years.”
To learn more about potential options, including the AMS 700, and to hear more patient stories, visit EDCure.org/video-series/.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks and benefits involved with the AMS 700 Inflatable Penile Prosthesis, and it’s important to talk with your doctor to determine a treatment approach that’s best for you. With a penile implant, the possibility of organic erections or alternative treatment options for ED are no longer possible. Other risks of a penile implant may include infection risk during the procedure; mechanical failure of the device, which may require revision surgery; and upon removal or replacement of the implant, the penis may become scarred, shorter or curved. Pain associated with the healing process can be expected.
Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
 Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61.
 Erectile Dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available at:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/erectiledysfunction.html. Accessed June 21, 2023.
 Mayo Clinic. Erectile dysfunction. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes/syc-20355776. Accessed August 2023.
 Data on file with Boston Scientific.
Important Safety Information for Patients Considering an Implant
AMS 700™ Inflatable Penile Implant
Caution: U.S. federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
Your doctor is your best source for information on the risks and benefits of the AMS 700™ Inflatable Penile Prosthesis. Talk to your doctor for a complete listing of risks, warnings and important safety information.
The AMS 700™ Inflatable Penile Prosthesis is intended for use in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction (impotence). Implanting a penile prosthesis will damage or destroy any remaining ability to have a natural erection, as well as make other treatment options (oral medications, vacuum devices or injections) impossible.
Men with diabetes, spinal cord injuries or skin infections may have an increased risk of infection. Implantation may result in penile curvature or scarring. Some AMS 700 devices contain an antibiotic (InhibiZone™ Antibiotic Surface Treatment). The device is not suitable for patients who are allergic to the antibiotics contained within the device (rifampin, minocycline or other tetracyclines) or those who have systemic lupus; these patients should use one of the devices that do not contain InhibiZone Antibiotic Surface Treatment.
Potential risks may include: device malfunction/failure leading to additional surgery, device migration potentially leading to exposure through the tissue, wearing away/loss of tissue (device/tissue erosion), infection, unintended inflation of the device and pain/soreness. MH-545411-AB
This material is for informational purposes only and not meant for medical diagnosis. This information does not constitute medical or legal advice, and Boston Scientific makes no representation regarding the medical benefits included in this information. Boston Scientific strongly recommends that you consult with your physician on all matters pertaining to your health.
Gene Miluk is a paid consultant of Boston Scientific Corporation. He has not been compensated for his participation in this story.
EDCure.org is a website sponsored by Boston Scientific.
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