From Potsdam, New York, USA:
I am a 23 year old man who has had type 1 diabetes for 10 years now. I have recently had trouble maintaining an erection for intercourse. I have done some research on my own and I don't believe that it is nerve damage that is causing my problem. I am perfectly able to maintain an erection on many occasions, even when my blood sugar is about 300 mg/dl [16.7 mmol/L]. My problem occurs when I experience rapid fluctuations of my blood sugar. For example, one night, my blood sugar decreased from 180 mg/dl [10.0 mmol/L] to 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] in about an hour. During this time, I was not able to maintain my erection. I continued to monitor my blood sugar and it continued to remain constant at 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] for the remainder of the evening. Is it normal for a man to have difficulty with his erection when his blood sugar is fluctuating, even if it isn't too low or too high? Would a medicine like Viagra work for me?
It is debatable whether the erectile dysfunction with diabetes is a result of neuropathy or abnormal microvascular function. The ability to have erections is not directly related to the immediate blood sugar at the time of intercourse. Rather, it is a function of cumulative amplitude and duration of the blood sugars. Yes, you would possibly be a candidate for a medicine like Viagra with the proviso that it be under medical supervision from your physician.
Original posting 7 Apr 2005
Posted to Complications
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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