Is Diabetes a Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

Written by Michael Wight
Q: I am 42, male, and a diabetic patient. I am not getting erection during sexual contact with my partner. I just want to know is diabetes a cause of erectile dysfunction?
Expert Answer

Erectile dysfunction is a common case where almost every man reports the condition at one time in their lifetime. It is characterized by inability to have and sustain an erection during any phase in the sexual activities. However, the problem qualifies for an ED if the symptoms persist for more than 3 months. Statistics indicate that a great number of patients suffering from diabetes reports erectile dysfunction compared to those who don’t.

Relationship Between ED And Diabetes


In reference to the Canadian Diabetic Association, men who suffer from diabetes are more susceptible to erectile dysfunction. It is usually the first symptoms in diabetics which compel them to seek medical intervention from their physicians. Upon receiving medical help, they also get a diagnosis for diabetes. Surprisingly, about a half of patients will develop erectile dysfunction in 10 years after the diabetes has been diagnosed. Those who manage to control their glucose levels might not suffer from the condition.

How Diabetes Causes ED?

Diabetic patients have elevated levels of glucose in their blood. This causes blood vessels and nerve damage in other body parts which also can be the reason behind complications of blood flow to the penis. Heart disease goes hand in hand with diabetes since coronary artery damage is a complication of diabetes as well. Whereas coronary artery disease may singlehandedly lead to sexual dysfunction, patients suffering from this condition in combination with diabetes are at increased risk of ED than men with diabetes alone. Health experts believe that the prevalence of ED in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease could be a risk factor for the two conditions. If you suffer from ED, suggest to your doctor for the screening of diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Factors That Can Cause ED

If you stay with diabetes unawares for a long time, you are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. This is more common especially if you have taken no action in controlling the glucose levels in your system since blood vessels and nerve damage will be more extensive. Complications arising from an accompanying heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels can worsen your ED. Some diabetics have low levels of testosterone which contribute to erectile dysfunction. If you have diabetes, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption will increase your risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

Effects Of ED From Medications

If you are suffering from diabetes, most probably you are subscribed medications to lower your blood pressure. Some of these medications have been identified to significantly play a role in the development of ED. These include diuretics and beta blockers. Some antidepressants used in treating depression can also lead to ED. Should you notice that your medications are contributing to ED, discuss with your doctor. He/she will prescribe alternative drugs which don’t have the side effect of ED.

Treatment For ED

Over the decades, health experts have successfully treated ED through the use of medications such as Virectin, Cialis and Levitra. These drugs work in a common process of increasing the blood flow to the penis. This in turn makes a man to get a rigid and sustained erection during an intimate sexual contact. These drugs are taken about 30 minutes before a sexual contact ant their effects can last for up to 5 hours. Caution should however be observed since they may have serious side effects. Always get your doctors advice on their use if you have had a medical history of a heart disease.

What You Can Do To Prevent ED?

Managing your glucose levels in your system should be a priority. Studies show that diabetic men who practice tight glucose control lowers the risk of ED. Lifestyle changes to help counter ED include not smoking, achieving and obtaining optimal weight and height, regular exercises, eating balanced diets, controlled alcohol intake and managing your blood pressure.


Contributor : Michael Wight ()

This Article Has Been Published on October 9, 2013 and Last Modified on September 28, 2018

Michael Wight is a full-time freelancer who contributes to different websites in the health and fitness niche. He loves to read and share his experiences with the online community. In his free time, he plays with his dog and plays music. Over the last few years, Michael has researched and written tons of articles on diet, exercise, weight-loss, nutrition, men's and women’s health. Before working with Consumer Health Digest, he authored content for a range of popular websites, including: Business 2 Community, Michael Words, and Marie Claire. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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