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What can I do to prevent erectile dysfunction (ED) if I have diabetes?

Dr. Jan L. Shifren, MD
Fertility Specialist

Many men with diabetes can take pills for erectile dysfunction, although these drugs are less effective for diabetes-related erectile dysfunction than for other causes. Studies have found that while approximately 70 percent of men with erectile dysfunction from other causes responded well to Viagra, only 57 percent of diabetic men with erectile dysfunction reported improvement. Other treatments—including drugs delivered by injection or suppository, vacuum erection devices and penile prostheses—appear to be more helpful for diabetic men.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Diabetes is not a death knell when it comes to your sex life. You can prevent erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to get and maintain an erection during sex, by focusing on one thing: controlling blood sugar. How do you do that? Eat the good stuff—whole grains, lean meats and leafy, green vegetables. Slim down your portion sizes, and wean yourself off sugary soda and juices. Get at least 20 minutes of exercise a day by walking, doing yard work or playing with Fido. Finally, be religious about checking your blood sugar levels regularly, and see your doctor about other ways to manage your diabetes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.