Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common problem amongst men who have diabetes, affecting 35-75% of male diabetics.
Up to 75% of men suffering from diabetes will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (erection problems) over the course of their lifetime.
Men who have diabetes are thought to develop erectile dysfunction between 10 and 15 years earlier than men who do not suffer from the disease.
Over the age of 70, there is a 95% likelihood of facing difficulties with erectile function.
What causes erectile dysfunction amongst diabetics?
Causes of ED are extremely complex, and are based around changes that occur to the body over time affecting nerve, muscle and blood vessel functions.
In order to obtain an erection, men need to have healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones and a desire to have sex.
Without blood vessels and nerves that control erection, ED can still occur despite a desire to have sex and normal male hormones.
Factors amongst men
Many other factors bear on erectile dysfunction amongst diabetic men. These include
- Being overweight
- Taking too little exercise and other lifestyle factors
Surgery can damage nerves and arteries linked to the penis, as can some injuries.
Many common medications (including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs) can produce ED.
Psychological factors also have an enormous influence.
Anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem and paranoia about sexual failure are estimated to cause between 10% and 20% of ED cases.
If you wish to discuss any issues in relation to erectile dysfunction, please make a routine appointment with your GP.