Can diseases damage the nerves and muscles of the penis?

Yes. The penis is largely a vascular organ and is mainly affected by systemic disorders involving the nerves and smooth muscle lining blood vessels. Chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure can cause such damage. Various degenerative nerve conditions can also affect sexual function.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The penis is full of nerves. That's a good thing, trust me, since without all those nerves sex wouldn't be pleasurable. Nor would you be able to have an erection in the first place, since nerves deliver messages to the muscles involved in producing an erection.

A disease that damages nerves can cause erectile dysfunction. Multiple sclerosis, which interferes with healthy nerve functioning, is one such disease. Diabetes can also damage nerves needed to produce an erection. Fortunately, men with diseases that cause erectile dysfunction often respond well to treatment. If you have a medical condition that you think is causing erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor.
Some diseases such as diabetes can damage the nerves and muscles of the penis. With poorly controlled diabetes, there can be problems with the vascular system. These problems can result in nerve and tissue  damage in the genitals. Without healthy nerves and tissue in the penis, the ability to sustain an erection is compromised. Treatment can help, so be sure and talk to your doctor if you have feel you have ED. 

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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.