Diabetes – How It Impacts in Erectile Dysfunction?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Ashwini Sarode, M.B.B.S, Consultant Diabetologist April 18, 2022

Last updated on April 18th, 2022

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, the name is sufficient to run chills down the spine of any man who is otherwise leading a normal life and is sexually active. Failure to maintain or get proper erection is called Erectile Dysfunction. Read this blog to know about the relationship between Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes.

Reach of the Condition

The condition affects around 15% of sexually active men worldwide every year. As per a research conducted in 1995 about 150 million men suffered from erectile dysfunction globally back in 1995, the figure is projected to rise to 320 million by the year 2025.

The situation in India is far worse from alarming, with sexual issues still being considered a taboo in the Indian society. This scenario has crowned India as ‘the impotence capital of the world’. One of the biggest issues with erectile dysfunction is that the impact of the disease isn’t just restricted to the person suffering from it but also extends to his sexual partner. This condition has been a cause of various conflicts between couples particularly in the Indian society.

Also Read: Blood sugar levels chart by age

Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes

Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
Drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED) disease

Erectile dysfunction is more of a psychological or physiological condition. Despite that, studies have shown that people with chronic conditions particularly diabetes are highly prone to this condition.

The damage to the nerves and blood vessels and abnormalities in the vascular system is what hampers the blood flow to the penile. This makes a man unable to hold erection. This damage and abnormality can often be attributed to the poor blood sugar control over a long span of time, which is often caused by diabetes.

Hypertension, cardiovascular disorders are other comorbidities that put men at a greater risk of erectile dysfunction. These comorbidities also intensify the severity of the condition and elongate the course of the treatment.

As per a study conducted by the Medical Center, Boston University, 50% men with type 2 diabetes are likely to develop erectile dysfunction within 10 years of diagnosis. Cardiovascular conditions might further enhance this possibility. There are however various simple ways and activities which can help treat both Diabetes as well as Erectile Dysfunction.


Diabetes or poor blood sugar control causes damage to blood vessels and nerves which hampers the blood flow to penile, leading to erectile dysfunction.

Risk Factors of Diabetes Associated With Erectile Dysfunction

The following factors if left unadministered make a diabetic person highly prone to Erectile Dysfunction

  • Improper management of blood sugar levels
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor diet
  • Inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Abnormal lipid profile
  • Drugs with erectile dysfunction as side effect

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

The changes in duration and frequency of your erection might be an indication of erectile dysfunction. It’s always good to start an early treatment. A urologist is the appropriate medical professional to help one diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction.

Urologists will review the medical records and access the symptoms to conclude the onset of disease and start the medications and treatment. A physical examination of the penile and testicle region is usually done to check for nerve damages. Low testosterone and diabetes are often detected via urine and blood tests.

It is also advisable for people not having any symptoms of erectile dysfunction but suffering from diabetes to discuss the possibilities and prevention of developing erectile dysfunction in the future.


People who suffer from diabetes but do not show symptoms of erectile dysfunction must discuss the possibilities to prevent future occurrence of the issue.

Some Interesting Stats About Erectile Dysfunction

Diabetes associated Erectile Dysfunction

A study conducted by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer surfaces some interesting conclusions about erectile dysfunction. The sample size used for the study included 1042 couples and 307 andrologists, urologists, consulting physicians and sexologists. The following were the results of the study

  • 30% of men under 40 years of age experienced erection related concerns
  • 20% of men across all age groups experienced erection related concerns
  • 53% of men had no knowledge about erectile dysfunction
  • 60% of men agreed that they experienced the onset of erectile dysfunction after developing some comorbidity
  • 42% of men were willing to substitute their drug with cheaper alternatives merely on the suggestion of their pharmacist
  • 35% of men believe that erectile dysfunction is caused by stress
  • 78% of women had knowledge about erectile dysfunction
  • 82% of women would insist their partner to take professional medical advice instead of trying home remedies or discussing with friends
  • 21% of women were not sure if they are satisfied with the ‘in bed’ performance of their male partner
  • 28% women found erectile dysfunction or non-satisfaction in bed to be a valid reason to get separated from their male partner
  • 96% of medical experts pressed upon the crucial role the partener plays in the treatment of erectile dysfunction

Also Read: Best glucometer in India

Treatment of Diabetes Associated Erectile Dysfunction

Impotence is often considered as a stark spot on the manliness of any male particularly in the Indian society. This is what stops the sufferer from taking medical help. A tiny conversation with the expert can do wonders in this situation:

Speak to an Expert

A sexologist or urologist after examining your condition would suggest the right course of treatment or medication. They can also suggest various ways to better manage diabetes like improving levels of blood sugar which will prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves which could be the cause of ED.

Discuss About Comorbidities:

Doctors can also help risk access further comorbidities that might further detroit the condition. Inform about any symptoms, abnormalities or changes being experienced in the body.

Discuss About Ongoing Medication:

Certain medications interfere with the penile activities and can be the cause of erectile dysfunction. It is better to discuss the impact of various drugs and medications that a person is consuming and check for any supplements or alternatives that could avoid such conditions.

Counselling and Therapy

Erectile Dysfunction can be triggered because of psychological issues led by stress and anxiety. Depression can make the situation worse. A counselor, psychologist, therapist or any mental health expert can help identify the embedded cause of erectile dysfunction if any and help deal with it.

Oral Drugs

There are various oral drugs prescribed by a medical professional that can help treat erectile dysfunction. Most of these medications ease the flow of blood to the penile vessels thus giving a quick and long lasting erection.

Injectable Drugs

There is a class of injectable drugs that are injected to the side or base of the penis to increase the blood flow to the vessels.

Vacuum Constriction

It is a device commonly known as vacuum or penis pump which draws blood into the penis thus making it erect. The device consists of a hollow tube that is put over the penis and a band or ring put at the base of the penis. The tube pumps blood while the ring holds the erection. The device can be either manual or battery powered, a medical expert can guide you about the safe usage of the device.


Implants are usually the last course of treatment for patients that do not respond to drugs and vacuum devices. This procedure requires a minor surgery.


Multiple ways can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. Discuss with your doctor to understand the treatment type suitable for your body.

Lifestyle Changes

Making appropriate changes in the lifestyle also helps treat erectile dysfunction as well as other complications associated with diabetes.

  1. Tobacco: Consumption of tobacco in any form worsens erectile dysfunction, so it is advised to stop or limit tobacco in smoke, chewable or any other form.
  2. BMI: Maintain proper Body Mass Index, as overweight can be a cause of ED.
  3. Exercise: Daily exercising is important for overall fitness of the body, it also relaxes the brain thus providing dual benefit in treating erectile dysfunction.
  4. Alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption, as it might worsen the condition of erectile dysfunction.

Also Read: Homeopathic treatment for high blood sugar


  1. https://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/19/1/45
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5688886/
  3. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-erectile-dysfunction.html


Does counselling help in treating erectile dysfunction?

Yes, stress and anxiety can be the cause of ED and are well treated with counselling.

Is erectile dysfunction treatable?

Yes, there are various methods available to treat the disease.

Do all people with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction?

No, diabetes does increase the chances and complications related to erectile dysfunction.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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