Sexual Dysfunction

If you are a man with diabetes, you can experience erectile dysfunction (ED). ED can happen when a man can no longer have or keep an erection. This can result from damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the penis over time. 

ED can be caused by certain medicines, such as those for high blood pressure, depression, stomach ulcers or heartburn. Talk to your healthcare provider about any potential side effects from your medicines that could result in ED. There may be other medicines that you could take.

Other factors that can contribute to ED include smoking, being overweight and being inactive. In addition, experts believe that psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem and fear of sexual failure cause 10 to 20 percent of ED cases, according to the American Diabetes Association.

ED treatment options

There are some things you can do to correct issues with erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Taking prescription pills
  • Putting medicine called prostaglandins into your penis
  • Surgery to put a device in the penis or to fix blood vessels so more blood will flow to the penis

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns related to your diabetes and erectile dysfunction. It’s normal to feel embarrassed about discussing such a personal issue but your health care provider is a professional who is here to help you. This is the only way to learn more about how to treat ED from a reliable source and get the help you need.