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The link between diabetes and ED

Men with diabetes face many difficulties, but few problems are more frustrating than erectile dysfunction (ED), especially for younger men.
Half of men with diabetes have sexual troubles caused by diabetes.4

Erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes

Nerve damage and blood flow

When blood sugar levels are out of control, nerve and blood vessel damage occurs throughout your body. Nerve damage breaks down the ability to turn sexual stimulation into an erection.2 

Poor blood circulation reduces blood flow to the penis. Together they impact your ability to get an erection that is rigid and lasts long enough for sexual satisfaction.

ED and diabetes

Erectile dysfunction is a common complication of diabetes, caused by damage to nerves and blood vessels from high blood sugar levels.

Which comes first

Although ED and diabetes are two separate conditions, they tend to go hand in hand. Half of men with diabetes will experience ED within 10 years of their diagnosis.3

For some men, ED may be the first symptom of diabetes even if they have not yet been diagnosed, particularly in men younger than 45.2  Left untreated, ED can damage self-confidence and relationships.

Take control

The first goal in treating ED is to manage your diabetes. This includes keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control.

If ED persists, treatments are available. While oral medications are a common first therapy, they don’t work for all men with diabetes. The penile implant may be an option. The implant is concealed inside the body. It offers support for an erection whenever and wherever desired.


Andy had been living with ED and diabetes for years; other ED treatments had failed. Then, Dr. Abram McBride opened his eyes to an option to achieve satisfaction and restore intimacy.

What you need to know

Men with diabetes are three 3 times more likely to experience ED than men without diabetes, and it affects them 10–15 years earlier in life.4-5

Men with diabetes are more likely to pursue ED treatment beyond medications.

Penile implants have helped many couples return to an active, satisfying sex life.

Treatments beyond medications

While there are many ways to treat ED today, men with diabetes may require maximum doses of medications such as Viagra™, Cialis™, Levitra™, and Stendra™, yet still find drugs ineffective.4

In a study of nearly 20,000 men with ED, men with diabetes were 1.5 to 2 times more likely to move on to other treatments, such as pumps and penile implants than men without diabetes.5

Achieving a satisfying sex life with a penile implant

Finding a satisfying solution to ED can be a life-changing event for many men and their partners.

In one study of 200 patients and 120 partners, both men and their partners found the AMS 700 penile implant to be satisfying. 92% of patients and 96% of their partners reported sexual activity to be excellent or satisfactory.6 Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Learn more

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Treatment options

Treatment is available for all men with ED.

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Find a specialist

Find ED specialists to discover your best solution for ED


  1. Phé V, Rouprêt M. Erectile dysfunction and diabetes: A review of the current evidence-based medicine and a synthesis of the main available therapies. Diabetes Metab. 2012 Feb;38(1):1–13.
  2. Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed May 2015.
  3. Hatzimouratidis K, Hatzichristou D. How to treat erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes: from pathophysiology to treatment. Curr Diab Rep. 2014;14(11):545.
  4. Malavige LS, Levy JC. Erectile dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. J Sex Med. 2009 May;6(5):1232–47.
  5. Walsh TJ, Hotaling JM, Smith A, et al. Men with diabetes may require more aggressive treatment for erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res. 2014 May-Jun;26(3):112–5.
  6. Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed May 2015.