Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common condition in the U.S. This condition occurs when a male cannot get and maintain an erection. Several factors may cause an ED such as performance anxiety, depression, and others. However, this condition may appear due to physical factors and some diseases, including diabetes. Males with diabetes are more likely to develop ED. In this document, we will talk about the connection between diabetes and erectile dysfunction.

Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

This condition is one of the most common risk factors for ED. Diabetes can provoke damage to the body, which negatively affects men’s ability to achieve and sustain an erection. However, not everyone who has diabetes may develop an ED. Commonly, is more common among people with:

  • High blood sugar or A1C levels than your target range
  • Diabetes-related problems including diabetic retinopathy or peripheral neuropathy
  • Have had diabetes for a long time

How does Diabetes provoke Erectile Dysfunction?

This health condition can damage blood vessels and nerves that supply the penis tissues with blood, which may lead to ED. Usually, a person gets an erection when he is sexually aroused and the body releases nitric oxide in the bloodstream. This chemical relaxes the muscles in the penis, allowing more blood to enter through them, causing an erection. People with diabetes experience frequent blood sugar swings. This effect may lead to decreased nitric oxide production. Therefore, a lower amount of blood flow into the penis.

A man with diabetes has a 35 to 75% probability of developing ED compared to a man without diabetes, who only had a 26% chance of developing ED, according to research. In addition, those who suffer from diabetes have an increased risk of developing ED earlier in life. About 95% of ED patients had diabetes or one of its risk factors, according to The American Journal of Medicine.

Treatment of Diabetes for Erectile Dysfunction

If a doctor diagnoses you an ED usually, will recommend oral phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. These medications include Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate), Cialis (Tadalafil), or Levitra (Vardenafil). All previous prescription medicines help to improve blood flow to the penis tissues, causing a hard erection. Do not use any of these medicines without a physician’s recommendation because it may lead to unpleasant results. Usually, PDE-5 inhibitors have no harmful interactions with diabetes medicines (such as Metformin) or with the disease.

Before using any ED medicine it is advised to consult a doctor. Your healthcare professional will analyze your condition and will prescribe the right medicine for you.


This is the first FDA-approved drug to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra comes in different doses (such as 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg). To get a better effect from this medicine, it is advised to administer the pill 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. In case, you are consuming heavy or fatty meals while taking the drug, you may notice delayed effects. However, if an upset stomach or nausea occurs, you can administer the tablet with milk or light food.


This medicine also comes in different dosages (such as 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg). Tadalafil starts working within 15-25 minutes but the effect lasts up to 2 hours. The effect of this tablet lasts roughly 36 hours. This product is best for those who require less planning before sex and prefer using it daily in lower doses.


Vardenafil is the active ingredient of Levitra and it also may be used to treat ED. This product comes in doses of 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. Levitra begin working within an hour and an erection may last roughly 5 hours. Vardenafil may be the best option for patients who suffer from chronic or stable cardiovascular disease.

These two conditions are linked with each other. However, there are many methods to treat ED. Medicines such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra may be beneficial for you but these drugs are working better with some lifestyle changes and diabetes management. For example decreased high blood sugar levels, losing weight, enhancing mental and physical health, and others. Discuss with a healthcare professional for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Erectile Dysfunction provoked by Diabetes can be reversed?

With proper blood sugar level control, you can prevent or delay the onset of ED. Despite that, damage to nerves and blood vessels cannot be reversed.

Is it possible to get a hard erection while suffering from diabetes?

A diabetic man is three times more probably to have erectile problems than others. Limited blood flow and nerve damage due to diabetes make it difficult to get and maintain an erection.

Are PDE-5 inhibitors a good option for ED in patients with diabetes?

Usually, with a doctor’s approval you can use Viagra or any ED medicine. PDE-5 inhibitors commonly are well-tolerated by most patients with diabetes. However, in case you experience nerve damage, these drugs may not work.

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