Men's Sexual Health with Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of sexual health issues in America because it affects nerve function and blood flow.

For men, diabetes-related health issues display themselves most prominently in cases of erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.

Erectile Dysfunction

Damage to the nerves and arteries are the biggest cause of sexual problems in men. This damage disrupts blood flow to the genitals, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to get or maintain an erection that is satisfactory for sexual activity. Most men will experience erectile problems at some point in their lives, but erectile dysfunction is diagnosed if the problems persist for three months or longer. More than half of the men who have had diabetes for 10 years or longer will experience erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can be avoided by managing diabetes effectively. Consistent blood sugar levels will help with erectile health. Many men also have a good experience with oral erectile dysfunction medications. Other, less common treatments include mechanical methods (vacuum pumps), surgical methods (penile implants) and therapy.

Low Testosterone

Men with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone than men without diabetes. Low testosterone often goes undiagnosed as its symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, and many men suffer with the effects in silence. Symptoms of low testosterone include diminished libido, erectile dysfunction and depressed mood.

Source: American Diabetes Association, Joslin Diabetes Center

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