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How does peripheral neuropathy cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Peripheral neuropathy is damage to any of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. There are many types and many causes of peripheral neuropathy. For example, peripheral neuropathy is a common symptom of diabetes. Nerves play an important role in carrying signals to the penis to cause an erection. When these nerves are damaged, erectile dysfunction may result.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Peripheral neuropathy is a fancy phrase for damage to nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord out to every other part of the body. The brain and spinal cord make up the hub of your nervous system. From them, a stunningly complex network of nerves spreads out and delivers signals throughout the body, like telephone lines in a vast city. These signals provide operating instructions for all tissue and organs in the body. But when you develop peripheral neuropathy, those lines of communication develop interference or shut down altogether.

A disruption in service along the nerves connecting the brain to the penis can result in erectile dysfunction. You can inherit peripheral neuropathy, though the problem is often linked to diseases such as diabetes. Medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) can help some men cope with erectile dysfunction caused by peripheral neuropathy.

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