You're in a new relationship that's so wonderful it feels as if you'll be happy together forever. Everything's perfect, except for one problem. You have erectile dysfunction (ED), and are wondering when you should tell your partner about it. And if you've decided to share the news with her, you may wonder how best to broach it. Experts recommend that you:

1. Keep in mind that there are a variety of causes of ED, and varying degrees of it. Be sure to see your doctor for a complete physical to find out where you stand and if you can get a prescription medication to help. Chances are that you will be able to benefit from a prescription medication.

2. Approach ED as a medical issue, says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. You are hopefully under the care of a doctor, and ED should be presented to your partner as a condition that you happen to have. 

3. Don't wait to tell your partner until the two of you are about to have sex. Erectile dysfunction is not something you should bring up on the first date, but you don't want to wait too long to talk to your significant other about it. "Talk about it before having sex with a new partner if possible," Tessina says. "When you've gotten to know a woman enough to want to have sex with her, find a quiet time when you have a chance to talk."  Explain to your partner that you have a medical problem, and talk about what your doctor has told you about what causes ED and how it's treated.

4. Bear in mind that an erection isn't the only satisfying way for a couple to have intimacy. "There are lots of ways to satisfy her," Tessina says. "Your ED is much more likely to be your worry than hers."

5. Initiate a conversation about ED with your partner by telling her that you need to share something personal and difficult, says Karen Sherman, Ph.D. "Most women will be sensitive to your situation," she says. "Tell her that you want very much to be involved with her and that you find her attractive. Assure her that the problem is not with her." Make sure your partner understands that while you may not be able to satisfy her in the traditional way, you are committed to satisfying her sexually in other ways.

6. Keep in mind that many women don't necessarily always want traditional intercourse in order to feel satisfied sexually, Sherman says. "Cuddling can be extremely satisfying," she says, "And it can sometimes be even better than intercourse. It releases oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone."

7. Sensitivity is key, says Cheryl Pappas, Ph.D. "Take your own ego out of the equation," she says. "Also, try to have a sense of humor about it." Keeping things light will make both partners more comfortable and more relaxed about what is a potentially embarrassing condition.