Erectile dysfunction and diabetes: Take control today – Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for men who have diabetes — but it’s not inevitable. Consider prevention strategies, treatment options and more. By Mayo Clinic Staff Erectile dysfunction — the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex — is common in men who have diabetes, especially those with type 2 diabetes.
- It can stem from damage to nerves and blood vessels caused by poor long-term blood sugar control.
- Erectile dysfunction can also be linked to other conditions common in men with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Erectile dysfunction might occur earlier in men with diabetes than in men without the disease.
Difficulty maintaining an erection might even precede the diabetes diagnosis. Having erectile dysfunction can be a real challenge. It can leave you and your partner feeling frustrated and discouraged. Take steps to cope with erectile dysfunction — and get your sex life back on track.
Can a diabetic man be sexually active?
Sexual problems – Most people will have trouble with sex at some point in their lives, whether they have diabetes or not. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you will have a problem. Both men and women with diabetes are more likely to have sexual problems than people without diabetes.
How can a diabetic get a hard on?
Diabetes can cause problems with blood flow to your penis. There are devices that can help to increase blood flow, especially if medications don’t work for you. These include vacuum-assisted erection devices that pull blood into your penis, and make it firm and erect. These devices work for about 2 out of every 3 men.
Can diabetes affect your private parts in men?
Can sexual and bladder problems be symptoms of diabetes? – Yes. Changes in sexual function or bladder habits may be a sign that you have diabetes. Nerve damage caused by diabetes, also called diabetic neuropathy, can damage parts of your body—like your genitals or urinary tract.
Can diabetic men have kids?
Well-controlled diabetes improves sexual health for both men and women. Diabetes in men and women can affect their fertility and chance of having a baby. The risk of fertility difficulties is reduced when the diabetes is well managed.
Does sperm contain sugar?
Abstract – The glucose content of normal human semen amounts to 0.41 +/- 0.09 mmol/l. As there is a negative correlation between this sugar and sperm motility, it must have an important role on the metabolism of these cells. Cervical mucus is very rich in glucose and does not contain fructose. This confirms utilization of glucose by spermatozoa.
Can diabetes be transmitted through kissing?
– Some people who don’t know much about type 1 or type 2 diabetes might question whether it’s transferrable from person-to-person through sexual contact, saliva, or blood. Science has confirmed that diabetes is a non-communicable disease, so it’s not contagious — nor is a diagnosis your fault.
Can I get pregnant if my husband is type 2 diabetes?
Preparing for pregnancy with type 1 or 2 diabetes – The first thing to do is talk to your GP or diabetes team. They may refer you to a specialist pre-conception care team. You should get information about how diabetes affects pregnancy and how pregnancy affects diabetes.
Can diabetes be passed on to baby from father?
Your child’s risk – If you are a man with type 1 diabetes, the odds of your child developing diabetes are 1 in 17, If you are a woman with type 1 diabetes and your child was born before you were 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 25 ; if your child was born after you turned 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 100,
- Your child’s risk is doubled if you developed diabetes before age 11.
- If both you and your partner have type 1 diabetes, the risk is between 1 in 10 and 1 in 4,
- There is an exception to these numbers: about one in every seven people with type 1 diabetes has a condition called type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome.
In addition to having diabetes, these people also have thyroid disease and a poorly working adrenal gland—some also have other immune system disorders. If you have this syndrome, your child’s risk of getting the syndrome and developing type 1 diabetes, is one in two,
Researchers are learning how to predict a person’s odds of getting diabetes. For example, most white people with type 1 diabetes have genes called HLA-DR3 or HLA-DR4, which are linked to autoimmune disease. If you and your child are white and share these genes, your child’s risk is higher. Suspect genes in other ethnic groups are less well-studied; however, scientists believe the HLA-DR7 gene may put African Americans at risk, and the HLA-DR9 gene may put Japanese people at risk.
An antibodies test can be done for children who have siblings with type 1 diabetes. This test measures antibodies to insulin, to islet cells in the pancreas or to an enzyme called glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). High levels can indicate that a child has a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
- If you think your child might have type 1 diabetes, contact your doctor,
- If a member of your family has type 1 diabetes, you may be eligible for a risk screening offered through the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study,
- TrialNet risk screening is free to relatives of people with type 1, and uses a simple blood test that can detect your risk of type 1 diabetes years before symptoms appear.
If you are in the early stages of type 1 diabetes, you may also be eligible for a prevention study. Learn more about how to get screened.
How does sugar affect sperm?
Sugar and semen parameters – Sperm quality depends on a number of factors, including volume, sperm count, motility (the forward movement of sperm ), and morphology (the shape of sperm ). In a comprehensive systematic review of over 1,944 articles and observational studies, researchers found a correlation between diets rich in sugar-sweetened beverages and impaired motility,
Poor sperm motility means that sperm aren’t swimming or are swimming improperly, which can impede their ability to successfully reach and fertilize an egg. Another 2014 study added evidence for this correlation between sugar intake and lower motility, while noting that other parameters, such as reproductive hormone levels, remained unaffected.
Researchers found that sugar-sweetened beverages had the ability to increase insulin resistance, which then increased oxidative stress, negatively influencing sperm motility, In addition, conditions characterized by insulin resistance, such as type 2 diabetes, have also been related to lower sperm motility,
Sugar intake also correlates with excess weight, which is associated with lower semen parameters such as low sperm count, While the association between obesity and sperm parameters remains a controversial topic, studies show that excess weight and obesity were associated with an increased prevalence of abnormally low sperm count,
Their data shows that high BMI affects sperm production, though it remains unclear whether weight loss can reverse this effect.
Does insulin affect male fertility?
Abstract – The mechanism responsible for poor reproductive outcomes in type 1 diabetic males is not well understood. In light of new evidence that the Sertoli cells of the testis secrete insulin, it is currently unclear whether diabetic subfertility is the result of deficiency of pancreatic insulin, testicular insulin, or both.
- In this study, the Akita mouse diabetic model, which expresses a mutant, nonfunctional form of ins2 in testes and pancreas, was used to distinguish between systemic and local effects of insulin deficiency on the process of spermatogenesis and fertility.
- We determined that Akita homozygous male mice are infertile and have reduced testis size and abnormal morphology.
Spermatogonial germ cells are still present but are unable to mature into spermatocytes and spermatids. Exogenous insulin treatment regenerates testes and restores fertility, but this plasma insulin cannot pass through the blood-testis barrier. We conclude that insulin does not rescue fertility through direct interaction with the testis; instead, it restores function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and, thus, normalizes hormone levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone.
- Although we show that the Sertoli cells of the testis secrete insulin protein, this insulin does not appear to be critical for fertility.
- Type 1 diabetes is associated with human male reproductive dysfunction, including reports of reduced fertility and poor sperm quality ( 1 – 4 ).
- Mechanisms for this association are widely debated.
Studies in rodent models suggest mechanisms including oxidative stress, DNA damage to sperm, altered hormonal profiles, and abnormal progression through spermatogenesis ( 5, 6 ). More recently, investigations into human sperm samples from diabetic males show an increase in nuclear and mitochondrial damage ( 1 ), suggesting that hyperglycemia may cause oxidative stress and free radical damage to sperm DNA.
Clinical data from in vitro fertilization clinics show that sperm from diabetic patients are able to fertilize oocytes at similar rates compared with sperm from nondiabetic patients. Pregnancy rates, however, are significantly lower when these embryos are transplanted, suggesting that a diabetic environment damages sperm cells, causing poor sperm quality ( 2 ).
It is still unclear whether diabetes affects male fertility at the early stages of spermatogenesis or at the level of mature sperm cells. In light of new data that show insulin expression by cells in the testis ( 7 ), it is now unclear whether the effects of diabetes on fertility are mediated through testicular insulin insufficiency or through systemic effects of diabetes.
- In this study, we use the Akita mouse model to study the effects of insulin deficiency on gonadal function.
- The Akita mouse is a model of type 1 diabetes resulting from a mutation in the ins2 gene.
- Unlike most other organisms, mice and rats have two functional insulin genes located on separate chromosomes.
Ins1 arose from a duplication of the ins2 ancestral gene ∼20 million years ago and has since been retained in the mouse and rat genome ( 8 ). Murine ins2 is thus orthologous to the human insulin gene. Deletion of both genes results in pup lethality shortly after birth ( 9 ).
The mutation of the ins2 gene results in a misfolded protein product, which accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), causing ER stress and, ultimately, death of the insulin-producing β-cells of the pancreas ( 10 ). The diabetic Akita mouse is thus similar to humans with type 1 diabetes, which is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the β-cells of the pancreas ( 11 ).
The Akita model also displays a severe onset of diabetes, similar to untreated diabetes in human adults, and lacks the drug-induced toxicity of a streptozocin-induced model. The Akita mouse model provides a unique way to study insulin function in the reproductive tract, given the production of mutant nonfunctional insulin by both the pancreas and the testes.
- It is the goal of this study to determine the mechanism of infertility in the insulin-deficient Akita mouse and distinguish the requirement of testicular insulin from that of pancreatic insulin in the maintenance of spermatogenesis.
- Although both heterozygous and homozygous mice develop hyperglycemia, Akita homozygotes develop severe hyperglycemia by age 3 weeks and, thus, are infertile at age 8–9 weeks, as opposed to Akita heterozygotes, which become infertile at approximately age 6 months.
Previous studies on the Akita mice show that sperm from Akita mice fertilize fewer embryos, and those embryos that do fertilize are developmentally impaired at the blastocyst stage, indicating a paternal effect of diabetes on sperm quality ( 12 ). Although an association with type 1 diabetes and infertility exists, the significance of insulin and normoglycemia to the reproductive system has not been fully characterized.
- More recent studies have begun to characterize the function of insulin and insulin receptor in testes and sperm.
- Murine testes and sperm have both been shown to produce transcripts of insulin ( 7, 13 ), suggesting a significant function for insulin in the reproductive tract and an increased potential for diabetes to affect male fertility.
While insulin expression in human testes has not yet been examined, human sperm have been shown to release insulin in a dose-dependent manner in response to glucose ( 13 ). Insulin receptor has also been detected in the midpiece of sperm cells, implicating an autocrine function for the secretion of insulin by sperm cells and demonstrating the importance of proper insulin signaling in the reproductive tract ( 14 ).
- In this study, we show that Akita mice homozygous for a mutation in the ins2 gene are completely infertile and have a reduced testis size and abnormal testis and sperm morphology.
- By administering subcutaneous insulin pellets, we are able to rescue Akita homozygous infertility with exogenous insulin pellets.
We also see that plasma insulin cannot cross the blood-testis barrier, demonstrating that the exogenous insulin does not directly rescue fertility.