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Diabetic Men Should be Screened for Erectile Dysfunction, Experts Say

First, high blood sugar can disrupt the nerve pathway that transmits messages between the brain and the penis. When this happens, the brain can’t “tell” the penis to start an erection in response to sexual stimuli.

Second, many diabetics develop atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries. Plaque can build up on blood vessel walls and impair blood flow, even in the penis. A man needs good blood flow for a rigid erection; if arteries are blocked, the erection will not be as firm as it could be. Or, it might not happen at all.

The study authors recommended that diabetic men be screened for ED. And since ED is often an early sign of diabetes, it’s a good idea for men with ED to have their blood sugar checked, too.

Learn more about diabetes and sexual health here. 


Diabetic Medicine

Kouidrat, Y., et al.

“High prevalence of erectile dysfunction in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 145 studies”

(Abstract. Online: July 18, 2017)


Jenkins, Kristen

“Screening for Erectile Dysfunction Should Be Routine in Diabetes”

(July 20, 2017)

Men’s Health

Sgobba, Christa

“Your Risk Of Erectile Dysfunction More Than Triples If You Have This Health Condition”

(July 19, 2017)

“Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction”

(September 21, 2011)

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