What is the Link between Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes?
Diabetes is a very common cause of erectile dysfunction. Clinical experience and numerous studies suggest that men over age 65 experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.1 Moreover, men who suffer from diabetes experience ED at three times the rate of non-diabetics because of the damage diabetes can cause to the nerves and blood vessels that control the ability to get an erection.2
How diabetes affects erections?
3Diabetes can cause nerve, blood vessel, and muscle damage that results in problems like pain, numbing or loss of sensation in the hands and feet.4 These issues can also result in ED problems, because nerve signals and blood flow are necessary to the process of getting an erection. Also, as men who have diabetes become older, erectile problems become even more common.5
Finding the Right Treatment Option
Most cases can be treated, and oral medications are often the first step. However, they have been shown to be less effective for men with diabetes, and more advanced treatment options may be needed.6 In those cases, ED treatment options such as injection therapy, vacuum devices, or a penile implant may be recommended.7
What it means for you
Living with ED is tough. You may think that no one understands how you feel, and no one wants to talk about it. However, millions of men experience ED and know how it can affect daily life. If you are a diabetic and experiencing ED, talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about the treatment options that may be best for you.
Watch videos of a Janine David – GP with special interest in men’s health and sexual health , discussing the effects of diabetes on erections.
How diabetes type 1 and type 2 affect erections?
Untreated ED can damage your self–confidence, causing a lot of stress— even depression and anxiety. Many guys with ED feel like their lives are out of their control. The good news is there’s hope.
Take back control. Use our Specialist Finder tool to locate a doctor in your area who can provide information on how to best treat your ED.
1: Erectile dysfunction. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/erectiledysfunction.html.
2: Malavige LS. Erectile dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. J Sex Med 2009; 6:1232-1247. https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)32496-6/abstract#back-bb0095 Accessed 27/11/2020.
3: Hatzimouratidis K, Eardley I, Giuliano F, Hatzichristou D, Moncada I, Salonia A, Vardi Y, Wespes E; European Association of Urology. EAU guidelines on penile curvature. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):543-52. update on Uroweb, March 2017, https://uroweb.org/guideline/ penilecurvature/?type=pocketguidelines
4: Diabetic Neuropathy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-neuropathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20371580 Accessed 2/2/18
5: Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction
6: Walsh TJ, Hotaling JM, Smith A, Saigal C, Wessells H. Men with diabetes may require more aggressive treatment for ED. Int J of Impotence Research 2013; 26:112-115
7: Erectile dysfunction. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/erectiledysfunction.html. Accessed June 2017.