Neuropathy and cardiovascular disease put you at risk for ED.
Blood vessel damage is a common cause of erection problems in men with diabetes. When blood flow to the penis is reduced, the penis can no longer become erect.
Nerve disease is also a culprit of ED. When the nerves that signal the penis are damaged, erection can be impaired. You may be referred to an urologist to find out if the nerves in your penis are affected.
ED caused by physical problems usually comes on slowly and worsens over time. Early symptoms include a less rigid penis during sexual stimulation and when you wake up. Over time, men with ED may not be able to sustain firm erections long enough to enjoy sexual intercourse.
Tests for ED
- A frequently used test for blood-vessel damage is an ultrasound study of the penis. Sound waves are used to measure blood flow through the arteries and veins.
- Another test involves injecting a drug or mixture of drugs into the penis to cause an erection. The drug is injected in such a way that it bypasses the penile nerves. If the injection causes you to have an erection, damaged blood vessels are not the cause. If you don’t have an erection, it means there may be some damage to your blood vessels.