men surgery

Diabetes complications in a male patient 

When Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urology, shared a video of him performing a penile implant surgery on a male diabetic patient, one of the things that viewers wanted to learn more about was how erectile dysfunction (ED) developed in the diabetic patient and, in relation to that, whether or not there are other diabetes-induced complications for male patients.

Erectile dysfunction in a diabetic patient

Studies reveal that about 50% of male patients dealing with diabetes have experienced erectile dysfunction, with some having to deal with ED on a “regular basis” because their diabetes is uncontrolled or untreated, which is why it’s important to actively work with your doctor to manage your diabetes, advises Dr. Andrew Kramer urologist physician and penile implant specialist. 

What causes ED in a diabetic patient? 

In a nutshell, ED develops because of damage to the blood vessels and/or nerve vessels, and this often happens when the patient neglects to control their blood sugar level. Men dealing with ED find that they are unable to get an erection despite being sexually aroused or when they do get an erection, it’s either they cannot maintain it or it’s not firm enough for penetration during sexual intercourse.

While a patient may experience ED because they aren’t actively regulating their blood sugar levels despite being diagnosed with diabetes, there are patients who are unaware that the cause of their ED is diabetes. 

Diabetic patients dealing with ED may choose to have a penile implant installed, as what Dr. Kramer’s patient did in the video. 

If you are experiencing ED whose cause isn’t linked to any medical condition that you’ve been diagnosed with, now is the time to see a specialist, advises Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urology. Consult a urologist, he adds, as they have the knowledge and expertise to properly evaluate and diagnose your condition.

Retrograde ejaculation

Erectile dysfunction isn’t the only complication that may result from long-term uncontrolled diabetes in male patients. Other complications that may arise from diabetes also include retrograde ejaculation. With retrograde ejaculation, some of the semen is released into the bladder. This happens when the muscle that contracts during ejaculation to prevent semen from entering the bladder fails to contract.

Basically, this is how it works, shares Dr. Andrew Kramer, urology specialist. Semen and urine both pass through a fibromuscular tube called the urethra. Now this urethra serves as the connection between the urinary bladder and the penis, and the tip of this muscle is called the urethral meatus located at the tip of the penis. This tip is also where semen passes. 

During ejaculation, the muscle that controls the urethra will contract to prevent semen from entering the urinary bladder. In a patient with retrograde ejaculation, this muscle isn’t functioning as it should, often relaxed even during ejaculation, thus causing ejaculate to enter the bladder. The male patient will then notice that the semen released is minimal compared to his normal ejaculate. Other times, there isn’t any semen at all even if he feels he has reached the peak of his orgasm.

Retrograde ejaculation sometimes causes infertility in men, according to Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urology. 

Apart from diabetes, other medical conditions that could cause retrograde ejaculation include Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and certain medications (particularly those used to control high blood pressure, treat enlarged prostate, or depression).