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Diabetes, Impotence & Erectile Dysfunction

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Can having diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, also known as male impotence, is a common problem for men suffering with diabetes. It is estimated that the majority of men will suffer from impotence at some stage in their lives. For most, erectile dysfunction is a short-term problem that goes away on its own and there is no obvious reason that it occurred.

Impotence is much more likely for men with diabetes. This is because erections require blood flow into the tissues of the penis. When blood flow is restricted it will most likely restrict the penis from becoming erect. One of the complications of diabetes is that it restricts blood vessels in the body including those in the penis, which is why men with diabetes are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Whilst this is a problem there are very effective drugs that men can take to help with the condition. These are available from their healthcare practice. However, the important issue for diabetics suffering with impotence is to discuss it with their partner. In order to overcome impotence it is necessary for them to overcome any sensitivity they may feel and seek professional medical advice.

There is another issue for men suffering with erectile dysfunction. It is important for them to look back at their diabetes and consider if there is a reason that impotence is occurring at that time. It is possible that erectile dysfunction is occurring because they do not have very good control over their diabetes. They should also look forward to what steps they can take in the future to preserve their health and control their diabetes.

Dr Paul Stillman, General Practitioner
Expert in health education
Chief medical adviser of Streaming Well

10085  Revised November 2012

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