Young couple smiling together.

The link between Erectile Dysfunction and diabetes

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 diabetes1.



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 erection2. 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.


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 diagnosis3. For some men, ED may be the  first symptom of diabetes even if they have not yet been diagnosed, particularly in men younger than 452. Left untreated, ED can damage self-confidence and relationships.


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.


Half of men with diabetes have sexual troubles caused by diabetes1


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.3,5 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.



While there are many ways to treat erectile dysfunction today, men with diabetes may require maximum doses of medications specifically designed to treat ED, and may still find them to be sub-optimal in their efficacy. 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 topical cream, penile injections, pumps and penile implants than men without diabetes5.

MORE: Treatment Options


Finding a satisfying solution to erectile dysfunction 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 penile implants to be satisfying. 92% of patients and 96% of their partners reported sexual activity to be excellent or satisfactory6. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Understand the link between your symptoms & ED

Treatment is available for all men with Erectile Dysfunction

Find an implanter to discover the best solution for your 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 & Metabolism. 2012;38:1.
  2. Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed May 2015.
  3. Malavige LS, Levy JC. Erectile dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. J Sex Med. 2009;6(5):1232-47.
  4. Hatzimouratidis K, Hatzichristou D. How to treat erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes: from pathophysiology to treatment. Curr Diab Rep. 2014; 14(11): 545.
  5. Walsh TJ, Hotaling JM, Smith A, et al. Men with diabetes may require more aggressive treatment for ED. Int J of Impotence Research. 2014 May-June;26(3):112-115.
  6. Montorsi R, Rigatti P, Carmingnani G, et al. AMS three-piece inflatable implants for erectile dysfunction: a long-term multi-institution study in 200 consecutive patients. Eur Urol. 2000;37:50-55.


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