An estimated 35-75% of men with diabetes will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED). Unfortunately, diabetes patients tend to develop impotence 10 to 15 years earlier than those without the condition. With age, ED becomes even more common among men with diabetes. The likelihood of having erection problems is approximately 50-60% for men aged 50 and over. That percentage rises to 95% for seniors aged over 70.
To get or maintain an erection, men require healthy nerves, blood vessels and male hormones as well as a desire to be sexually aroused. Those with poorly controlled conditions are at a higher risk because diabetes damages the blood vessels and nervous system, causing reduced blood flow and loss of sensation in the penis. Other conditions associated with diabetes, such as depression and heart disease, together with bladder, bowel or prostate surgeries can increase the chances of erectile dysfunction.
Difficulties around sexual dysfunction are quite complex. It wouldn't be wise to assume that diabetes is the main cause of erectile dysfunction. It may be adding to the problem, but in some patients with diabetes, there are other factors that contribute towards ED.
Psychological causes of ED include poor self-image, relationship difficulties, embarrassment or guilt. Physical triggers such as fatigue, stress, cigarettes, alcohol and use of recreational drugs can also play their part.
Men who have trouble getting or maintaining an erection are often advised to take oral prescription treatments such as Viagra, Cialis, Spedra.
However, as diabetes patients often experience heart problems, these treatments may not be suitable. Levitra and Levitra Orodispersible is usually prescribed for instead, as it is tolerable for men who suffer from diabetes. If you want to obtain treatment for erectile dysfunction, it's a good idea to see your GP or a health care professional and discuss your options first.
So which ED treatment is best for you? It depends on several factors, including a man's health and how he reacts to a treatment. For more information on different ED treatments, visit our information page.