If you have diabetes and struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED), you’re not alone. Researchers estimate that up to three-quarters of men diagnosed with diabetes also suffer from sexual dysfunction.
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our providers diagnose and treat ED for all men, including those with diabetes. From referrals to counseling to medications to penile implants, we specialize in helping you reclaim control of your sex life.
If you’re having trouble getting or maintaining an erection and want to know if your diabetes is to blame, keep reading to learn about the link between these two conditions.
How are ED and diabetes linked?
Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man can’t get or maintain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to convert the foods you eat into energy because your body doesn’t make enough or can’t use the hormone insulin correctly.
Though it may not seem like it at first glance, diabetes and erectile dysfunction often come together. In fact, men with diabetes are three times more likely to develop ED than men who don’t have diabetes.
This high correlation between diabetes and ED can occur for several reasons:
- Damage to blood vessels, which limits blood flow to the penis
- Damage to nerves, which limits sensations in the penis
- Having another condition linked to diabetes (e.g., heart disease) that causes ED
- Taking medications that affect your ability to get an erection
This means that even if you have enough testosterone and are interested in having sex, you might not be able to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for intercourse.
Is there help for me with ED and diabetes?
Absolutely! At Urology Associates Medical Group, we understand it can be embarrassing to discuss sexual dysfunction, even with a medical professional. But men with diabetes who also struggle with symptoms of ED can rest easy knowing effective treatments exist.
We begin your treatment with an accurate diagnosis, generally by reviewing your medical history, discussing your symptoms, and performing a physical exam. Some of our patients need additional testing, which might include:
- Urine samples
- Blood tests
- Medical imaging
- A psychological exam
Medications designed to make it easier to achieve erections and help strengthen them are typically the first line of treatment if you’re struggling with ED. But if you also have diabetes, we make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Since men with diabetes have an increased likelihood of having another condition that may contribute to or cause diabetes, like heart disease, we also make sure you’re taking steps to manage those conditions.
We then create a personalized ED treatment plan that may include:
- Lifestyle changes to improve your ED (e.g., quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising)
- Oral medications to make it easier to get and keep an erection
- Suppositories or injectable medications for men who can’t take pills
- A vacuum pump (penis pump) to pull blood into your penis to help you get erect
For men whose ED doesn’t respond well to other treatments or who can’t take medications, we may recommend a penile implant to help restore your sex life.
If you have diabetes and are struggling with ED, don’t wait to schedule an appointment at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, for personalized treatment recommendations.