AskNadia: Feeling Powerless with Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Warning: This article contains language of an adult nature and is not recommended for our young readers.

Dear Nadia,

I am 54 Years old and have had type 2 diabetes for the past 12 years. I am non-insulin dependent taking 800 mg of Galvus Met tablets twice a day.


For the past two years, I have been feeling powerless that I cannot have sex with my wife. I have visited some clinics for advice but have been unable to get the results I want. Can you advise me on which types of medications I can use to help me with my problem?



Dear Suleiman :

I want to commend you on your concern for your wife and the courage it takes to ask this question publically. First of all, you are not alone. A study conducted in France by Dr. Youssef Kouidrat shows that 50% of men with type 1 and type 2 diabetes experience erectile dysfunction. Men with type 2 diabetes are 65% more likely to have ED, suggesting that men without diabetes that suffer from ED should be screened for diabetes.


There are other studies with conflicting statistics, showing 30% and 80 % of men with diabetes suffer from ED. The variance in these numbers may be based on factors such as age, type of diabetes, length of time with diabetes, and how truthful participants were in studies that collected information for the survey.


How Blood Sugar’s Impact Erectile Dysfunction

High blood sugars affect your nervous system. Your ability to feel and respond accordingly may be a result of nerve damage. Nerve damage happens from high blood sugar levels. High blood sugars bind to the protein in your arteries, obstructing the blood flow.


Neuropathy is a diabetes complication that is a result of prolonged high blood sugars. Erectile dysfunction in part is a result of neuropathy where nerve damage has taken place.


There are many treatments for ED which range from medication, penile implants, and vacuum pumps. Sometimes depression can impact your sex life. Seeking out a healthcare professional to treat your depression or a sex therapist may be another viable option.


Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction


Medications used in pill form that help direct blood flow to the penis is Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. One concern with these medications is that they can lower your blood pressure dangerously by interacting with other medicines.


Penile Injections

Men who are unable to take medications in pill form like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra may try Penile injections with Alprostadil. This drug causes an erection with the possible side effect of having an erection all day.


Medicated Urethral System for Erection is a pellet inserted into the urethra that produces and hour-long erection within minutes. Side effects can be unpalatable: redness, burning, and minor bleeding.


Surgical Implants

Work in two ways:

1- Inflatable cylinders are implanted into the penis that can be pumped up with liquid to produce an erection; and
2- A flexible prosthesis that can be aligned into the position of an erection and allow for successful penetration.


Vacuum Pumps

Users place a plastic cylinder over their penis and pump the air out of it. The resulting drop in air pressure around the penis allows it to become engorged with blood: an erection. Pumps have a fairly high success rate—75 percent among users—but the erections they produce don’t last as long as erections produced by other treatments and users have to be careful about subjecting their penises to prolonged low to non-existent air pressure.


Sex Therapy

The stress of not being able to have sex with your wife while eagerly looking for a solution may contribute to your inability to achieve an erection. You might want to consider sex therapy individually or with your wife.



People with diabetes are at a higher risk for depression when they experience diabetes complications; making them more vulnerable to maintaining a good standard of self-care.


I would recommend speaking to your healthcare professional about all these possible options.

You may also be interested in reading these stories:

Erectile Dysfunction Common with Diabetes

 A Return To Normal, Pos-T-Vac Helps Me Over Come Erectile Dysfunction


Depression in diabetes mellitus: a comprehensive review

Diabetic Medicine July 18, 2017


Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

AskNadia and receive her unique perspective on your question.

My Story

Watch Nadia’s Videos

About Nadia:

AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2017 by Healthline and one of the top 50 diabetes influencer’s blog that is a must follow, and with 23 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *