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Managing erectile dysfunction in people with diabetes

David Morris explains how diabetic patients can be treated if they experience this common problem

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common and clinically significant problem in men with diabetes. In addition to the impact on sexual function, ED has longer term psychological and cardiovascular implications. Relationships may suffer and quality of life can be reduced.

This article considers the prevalence, underlying pathology and consequences of ED in men with diabetes. Essential points in history-taking and relevant examination and investigations are discussed before addressing management of ED.

A widely accepted functional definition of ED is ‘the persistent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual performance’.1

How common is erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes?

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