Before we cover how diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction, we’d like to explain how a normal erection works.
A Little Something About a Normal Erection
A penis is a sponge-like structure. A sponge absorbs a lot of water, similarly, for a penis to become erect it must store a lot of blood in it.
When blood collects into the penis, it gets hard and erect. This is how men normally achieve erections prior to sexual intercourse.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction or ED means that you cannot achieve an erection. A lot of men experience ED at some point in their lives but those who have diabetes are at a greater risk of experiencing it early on.
ED can threaten a sexual relationship and cause anxiety. There are many reasons behind this dysfunction:
- Use of medicine
- Long-standing illness like diabetes
- Poor blood flow to the penis
- Drinking too much alcohol
Erectile Dysfunction in Diabetes
A lot of people who have diabetes experience ED either occasionally or regularly. Diabetes damages the blood vessels that supply blood to your penis. Moreover, it causes damage to the nerves that control erection. Therefore, as your hormone levels are fine, you may want to have sex but you won’t be able to do without becoming erect.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
There are oral medications like sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) to help get an erection. But these medications are not a good fit for those who have a heart condition, so it is best to consult with a doctor first.
Other therapies include:
- Injecting medicine called prostaglandins into the penis
- Using a vacuum tube to pump blood into the penis (penis pump)
- Surgical methods
- Sex therapy
For many, it’s hard to accept that they have ED. None the less, it’s important that to consult with a doctor about it first.