Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

About 35-75 percent of men diagnosed with diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction, varying in degrees, during their lifetime. Erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as impotence develops 10-15 years earlier among men clinically diagnosed with diabetes. The condition tends to become more common with age. Reports on difficulty of achieving erection have been recorded for about 50-60 percent of diabetic men by the age 50 and above. Erectile function problems causing extreme difficulty during sexual activities seem to be more frequent when the age reaches 70 years old and above. The likelihood of experiencing this problem during the said age reaches to 95%.

The Reason behind Erection Problems among Diabetic Men

Impotence occurs in men with diabetes due to a complex process taking place which involves nerve, blood vessels and muscle function impairments. For erection to take place, these three components should be healthy in addition to male hormones and a desire to be stimulated sexually. With diabetes, the nerves and blood vessels in control of the erectile processes are destroyed thereby causing problems with erection even with a sufficient amount of male hormones and an overwhelming sexual desire are present. This is the main reason why males with diabetes find it hard to achieve erection as they age.

Available Treatments

Medication therapy has been effective in resolving erectile problems among diabetic men. The medication is usually taken orally. Drugs commonly used are Viagra and Levitra. However, not all diabetic men are allowed to take these medications. Complications of diabetes requiring another medication may contraindicate the use of these drugs. For instance, a diabetic who developed a heart problem and is taking cardiovascular medicine is not usually prescribed with ED drugs. Dangerous interactions tend to occur when both drugs are taken together. To know the best treatment possible and available, it is best to discuss the matter with a physician.

In addition to medications, the following treatments may be used for ED:

  • Intravenous injection therapy
  • Use of vacuum constriction devices
  • Intraurethral therapy
  • Sex therapy

There is no such thing as the best treatment for everyone. But there is an appropriate treatment approach for each individual. Certain factors govern the selection of treatments to be used which may include the health status of the person and his ability to tolerate the treatment. A specialist would help determine the appropriate treatment for each person based on the situation.

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem experienced by men with diabetes. However, it is NOT inevitable. With strategies promoted to prevent the condition from occurring and providing timely interventions when slight problems arise the condition is easily resolved.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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