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Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

Over time, it’s very common for people with diabetes to experience nerve damage due to high blood sugar levels. Diabetic nerve damage can lead to loss of sensation or feeling in the feet or hands. It can also cause problems with digestion, going to the bathroom or having sex.

If you’re a man with diabetes experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) – the inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance – you’re not alone. Men with diabetes are 3 times more likely to experience ED than men without diabetes and it affects them 10-15 years earlier in life.

Finding a satisfying treatment for your ED can be a life changing event for many men (and their partners), who may have struggled for years with a condition that can impact their self-esteem and affect their most intimate relationships.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat ED today. Oral medications are a common first step, but they don’t work for everyone – especially those with diabetes: PDE5 inhibitors (like the little blue pill) are shown to be less effective in men with diabetes. Men with diabetes and ED are more likely to be prescribed treatment beyond medications.

The important thing to know is that you are not alone – there is hope for nearly every man suffering from ED. Treatment options include oral medications, vacuum devices, suppositories, injections and penile implants. These treatments work differently for different people, and some may be more effective than others for you.

On Wednesday, August 16th, at 6:00 PM, Dayton Diabetes is hosting a free Men’s Health Seminar – Diabetes and ED, featuring Dr. Eric Hick, Urology Specialists of Ohio. In this seminar, he’ll be covering the signs, symptoms and treatment options beyond medication that hundreds of thousands of men have chosen as a way to return to an active sex life. Refreshments will be served, and partners are welcome. To register, visit

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