Sexual Problems in Men with Diabetes

When men are diagnosed with diabetes they quickly learn about nerve, eye, heart and kidney damage from uncontrolled disease. However, only half of all diabetes patients know that the disease affects sexual health, and hardly ever broach the topic with the doctor.At the same time, sexual problems may signal various health issues. For instance, men with ED later learn that they have diabetes. Of course men with diabetes can take oral medications for ED (see full list at, but since diabetics tend to have heart problems, not all medications can be appropriate due to interactions with some cordial agents. That’s why it is important to be honest with the doctor regarding all health concerns, including sexual function problems.


Diabetes-related sexual problems in men include:

Erectile dysfunction. Nerve damage and artery blockage in the genital area due to long-term diabetes may disrupt the blood flow needed for an erection. Obesityand high cholesterol may add to the problem. ED treatment includes PDE5 inhibitors, vacuum pumps, penile injections or suppositories.

Retrograde ejaculation.Improper functioning of sphincters makes the ejaculate go back into the bladder instead of out of the penis. This doesn’t affect orgasm, but may cause fertility problems. It may be helped with medication for strengthening the muscle tone of the bladder sphincter.

Low libido. Chronic diabetes may lead to low testosterone that affects men’s sexual desire. The treatment is to give testosterone, which amazingly works in diabetes.

STDs are easily transmitted due to dry, cracked skin of people with diabetes. This makes it important to practice safer sex.

Painful sex. Chronic diabetes may lead to abnormal nerve function, resulting in pain with only a light touch. Increased sensitivity to pain associated with neuropathy makes sexual intercourse uncomfortable.

While there isyet a lot to learn about sexual dysfunction in diabetes patients, doctors are certain of one thing – chronic high blood sugar is behind many sexual problems men face,and the first thing is to improve blood sugar control. Treatment for diabetes aims at keeping glucose levels as normal as possible and control symptoms to prevent further health problems.

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