July 19, 2005
Question from Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan:
I have a serious problem. I’m 22 and have had diabetes for just over two and a half years. My control has never been consistent. My problem is that I’m feeling sexually weak, suddenly. I get a loose erection and don’t feel like having sex at all. I have no sexual urge at all. Is it diabetes or is it mental stress, as I’m going through a stressful time now? Am I going to be impotent for the rest of my life?
Type 1 diabetes, if you have poor blood sugar control, can cause difficulty with erections. It does this by causing neuropathy, a condition where the nerves controlling erections become damaged. You are very young to have this problem. It makes me think there might be other causes to decrease your sex drive. Depression or anxiety about your situation can also cause difficulties with sexual performance. I would suggest you speak with your physician about the best way to treat your blood sugars and try to get good control. If things do not improve, you may ask your physician if you might benefit from medication to help with erections or whether you need treatment for depression. The worst thing you can do is dwell on the problem as this makes it more likely that the problem will be made worse by your worry.