Men With Diabetes Face Greater Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

Posted on September 21, 2017


Research recently published in Diabetic Medicine shows that over 50 percent of men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunction. The study, conducted by Doctors of Africa Cuamm in Mozambique, reviewed information collected from 145 studies involving 88,000 men with diabetes.

After reviewing the data, researchers found that 52.5 percent of men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunction. Men with diabetes have a 3.62 percent greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction than men without diabetes.

Erectile dysfunction was more common in men with type 2 diabetes (66.3) than in men with type 1 diabetes (37.5).

For most men, signs of erectile dysfunction begin between age 50 and 60, but men with diabetes frequently experience erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.

The connection identified in the study suggests that screening men with early erectile dysfunction for diabetes is beneficial.

Diabetes Damage

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 15.3 million men are living with diabetes in the U.S., but 4 million of them are undiagnosed.

“For diabetic men, uncontrolled sugar levels lead to erectile dysfunction,” according to Joel Singer, M.D.

Singer, a New York physician, treats men with erectile dysfunction using stem cell therapy.

“Diabetes causes inflammation of the nerves of the penis, which can prevent them from responding to stimulation that cause an erection,” Singer said.

Diabetes also damages the muscles and blood vessels of the penis. It also further contributes to erectile dysfunction because uncontrolled blood sugar levels cause atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup, in the arteries that carry blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.

“Plaque buildup not only causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the remainder of the body, but it also limits blood flow to other organs and tissues, including the penis,” Singer said.

During an erection, arteries of the penis widen to accommodate increased blood volume that causes the penis to swell. Reduced blood flow caused by the arterial plaque buildup makes an erection difficult to achieve or maintain.

Stem Cells Therapy Is a Safer Treatment Option

For many men, living with erectile dysfunction is embarrassing and frustrating.

“Erectile dysfunction makes many men feel stressed or self-conscious about intimacy and makes them shy away from relationships,” Singer said.

Stress and anxiety caused by erectile dysfunction push many men with erectile dysfunction to seek stem cell treatment from Singer.

Stem cell therapy is an appealing treatment for men with erectile dysfunction because it is minimally invasive and does not typically require maintenance procedures.

Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction is gaining in popularity because there is no risk of reactions like swelling, changes in vision and diarrhea that accompany erection-inducing medications like Viagra and Cialis, Singer said.

“Using the patient’s stem cells for treatment eliminates the risk of allergic or adverse reaction,” he said.

Erectile dysfunction medications also leave many diabetic men with elevated blood pressure and an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or even death.

“Since diabetes and cardiovascular disease often go hand in hand, taking medications for erectile dysfunction that increase blood pressure is dangerous,” Singer said.

Other options for treatment include injection therapy, penis pumps or vacuums, and penile implant surgery.

“These procedures can be painful, invasive and awkward,” Singer said.

Stem cell therapy provides men with diabetes an alternative to painful procedures or medications that put them at risk for health complications, Singer said.

Men with diabetes are not the only candidates for stem cell therapy to treat their erectile dysfunction.

“Individuals with other urologic conditions like Peyronie’s disease, interstitial cystitis and male urinary incontinence also benefit from stem cell therapy,” Singer said.


Renal and Urology News. Erectile Dysfunction Afflicts More Than Half of Men With Diabetes. Renal and Urology News. 25 August 2017.

CDC. National Diabetes Statistics Report 2017. CDC. 2017.



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