We talk a lot here about erectile dysfunction – for good reason. It is a very common condition, and becomes more common as you get older. The NHS estimates that it will affect roughly half of men between 40 and 70. And yet, thanks to our taboos around sex and stigma of sexual issues, erectile dysfunction isn’t often discussed publicly.
But as with all sexual issues, talking about it is vital – it’s the first step towards identifying what the issue might be, and getting help in dealing with it. As part of our #SexNotStigma mission, today we’re going to talk about erectile dysfunction and diabetes.
Diabetes and increased risk of erectile dysfunction
Diabetes UK explains that sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction are more common in people who have diabetes, because if the condition isn’t managed it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nervous system, which can make it more difficult to get an erection. What’s more:
“Other problems associated with diabetes – such as heart disease and depression – together with some medications and surgery (eg bladder, bowel, prostate) can increase the chances of sexual dysfunction in people with diabetes.”
On top of this, there are all the other reasons why erectile dysfunction might be a problem – drinking too much alcohol, stress or other mental health issues, and much more. The most important thing to remember about erectile dysfunction is that it can affect anyone, and it is very common. If you’re struggling with it – whether diabetic or not – then you are far from alone.
Dealing with erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction could be caused by any of the things outlined above. But it can also potentially be a symptom of other problems such as heart disease. If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your erections, or you are worried about erectile dysfunction, the first step is to go and talk to your GP. While doctors can prescribe drugs like Viagra, most importantly they need to know if you’re experiencing problems with ED so they can check for significant underlying issues. They may discuss your diabetes management, or test to see if there are other problems which could be causing ED.
On top of speaking to your doctor, there are sex toys which can help you either achieve erection more easily, or orgasm without the need for an erection at the start.
Erectile dysfunction isn’t the end of sex
One of the most insidious sex myths is that of ‘performance’ – that you have to achieve an erection in order to satisfy a partner or even yourself. In reality, there’s more to sex than a rock-hard erection – and there are many things you can do even if you struggle with erectile dysfunction.
Sex toys like PULSE III SOLO can be used even if you’re flaccid, which is why many of our testimonials come from older men or guys with conditions that make erection difficult or impossible. PULSE was developed from technology used in IVF treatment for men with severe spinal injuries – helping them to achieve orgasm without the need for an erection to begin with. Silicone wings wrap around the penis, and deep, oscillating vibrations stimulate the head then go all the way through the shaft, giving a unique sensation and powerful orgasms.
Sex and relationships expert Joan Price is a huge fan of PULSE, for exactly this reason:
“If you get erections erratically, this toy will make you hard. If erections are not in the picture, you’ll still feel tremendous sexual pleasure.”
Patrick Lumbroso, Sexual Health Psychologist, explained that:
“Erectile dysfunction is an incredibly serious issue facing men all over the world. PULSE can now provide something to many couples that previously had been either extremely difficult, or near impossible. With PULSE, men with severe ED and their partners can receive both simultaneous genital stimulation and emotional closeness. PULSE is so much more than an ‘adult toy’. In my opinion, it is a truly revolutionary adult sexual health device.”
While there are any number of pills and potions on the market that promise to get you hard, the reality is that it is perfectly possible to get sexual pleasure even if you have erectile dysfunction. And while diabetes can make erectile dysfunction more likely, it doesn’t have to be the end of your sex life.