Diabetes is a common disease, currently there are about 7 million diabetics in Germany. Among the numerous sequelae that result from a poor metabolism with permanently elevated blood sugar levels include sexual dysfunction. It is estimated that 50-70 percent of men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunction. Diabetes is the most common cause of potency disorders besides vascular diseases.
Diabetes affects sexual behavior
The sequelae that affect ill-adjusted diabetics are mainly caused by damage to the small and large blood vessels (micro- and macroangiopathy). These can affect the blood supply to the penis, women of the labia and vagina. Nerve damage (neuropathy) leads to disorders of the nervous control of the sexual reaction. Sexuality becomes difficult, painful or even impossible.
Moreover, in patients with adult-onset diabetes, the hormone balance may be impaired and testosterone deficiency may occur. The sex hormone is needed for sexual desire, fertility and erectile function. Another risk factor is that many medications taken by diabetics also affect sexual functioning. These are primarily antihypertensive drugs such as beta-blockers, oral antidiabetics such as glibenclamide, but also psychotropic drugs, water-based drugs and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Vicious circle for diabetics
Of course, the burdens that a chronic illness brings with it, do not leave the person affected without a trace. On the contrary, they can further complicate a satisfactory sexuality. Life after the clock, abandonment of various pleasures and physical restrictions can impair the self-image and lead to a decrease in self-confidence - which in turn can affect the sexuality. Not infrequently, diabetics suffer from depression. In addition, once it has come to a failure, often creates a vicious circle of self-doubt, fear of failure, avoidance and partnership conflicts.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Today's treatment options are good. Diabetics should therefore not suffer silently, but trustingly turn to a good doctor - and as early as possible. Because the sooner a disorder is treated, the greater the chances of treatment. In the first place - and here are especially those concerned themselves - a good attitude of diabetes, the consistent adherence to dietary rules, the striving for normal weight, athletic activity and the regular intake of the prescribed medication.
Medicine has made great advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, so today it can help virtually all those affected. In addition to psychotherapy, there are available drug therapy with tablets (active ingredients: sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil), syringe therapy, vacuum pumps, transurethral therapy, hormonal treatments, penile prostheses and other surgical procedures. The success rate in men with diabetes is 60 to 70 percent.
Advice on sexual dysfunction
There are also good advice centers, such as the Information Center for Sexuality and Health (ISG). It was founded on the initiative of physicians and scientists working on sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, and wants to be the contact person for those affected and their partners. The main concern is to actively liberate the topic of "sexual dysfunction" from the social taboo and educate those affected. It also promotes research, practice and teaching on these topics and supports self-help groups.