Erection problems? It could be diabetes.


Diabetes is an important risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). New research explains the impact.

In a study of 225 men, 79% of diabetic men had ED compared to 46% of the men without diabetes.

Researchers also found that the longer a man had diabetes, the greater his risk for ED.

Diabetes is a huge risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). But just how many diabetic men are affected?

New research from India took a look at that question for men with type 2 diabetes.

In a recent study of 225 men between the ages of 18 and 65, 79% of the men with diabetes had trouble with erections, compared to 46% of the men who were not diabetic.

Over a third of the diabetic men had moderate to severe ED.

In addition, the longer a man had diabetes, the greater his risk for ED, according to the study.

One way diabetes impairs erections is by neuropathy, or nerve damage. Typically, a man’s brain responds to sexual stimulation by “telling” the arteries in his penis to allow more blood in for an erection. But if he has neuropathy, that message isn’t transmitted properly. The result is a weak erection or no erection at all.

Diabetes can also lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which may block blood flow as well. (See more details here.)

If you’re having trouble with erections, call your doctor for a physical and ask about diabetes screening. If you do have diabetes, make sure you follow your treatment plan to the letter. Take your medications, follow a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. Many men find that their erections improve once they get their diabetes under control.

You can learn more about diabetes and sexual health – for both men and women – here.


Sheth, Suvarna

“Men’s Health Study: Diabetes Increases Chances Of Erectile Dysfunction”

(July 13, 2018)

Current Medicine Research and Practice

Sondhi, Manuj, et al.

“Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in diabetic patients”

(Abstract. Published online: June 8, 2018)


“Diabetes, Neuropathy, and Sexual Health”

(March 12, 2013)

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