Erectile dysfunction is a condition that can, mildly put, zap a man’s desire for sex.
While many men suffer from loss of erectile function because of underlying health problems like heart disease and atherosclerosis, in some instances, it could be your prescription pills that contribute to worsening sexual desire.
Metformin is one orally-ingested prescription pill that is taken by type 2 diabetes patients to control their blood sugar levels.
While Metformin is considered to be an effective treatment for patients with reduced insulin sensitivity, it can also come with the unintended side effect of reducing a male’s sexual function.
In fact, clinical and diagnostic research has shown that Metformin can contribute to lower testosterone levels and extreme libido loss in males.
However, discussing Metformin’s effect on male physiology, especially concerning the penis, is something that’s not to be taken lightly.
Let’s closely look into the Metformin side effects in men and what you can do about these conditions, as well as treatments for erectile dysfunction at large.
What is Metformin?
As mentioned earlier, metformin is a widely-used medication primarily prescribed for individuals with type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs known as biguanides, which are intended for patients with diabetes mellitus as well as PCOS and gestational diabetes.
Metformin’s primary function is to help control blood sugar levels and improve the body’s response to insulin. This can help in reducing the risks associated with diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease and unintended weight loss.
Unlike Sulfonylureas drugs—which are another common subtype of diabetes medications—Metformin does not cause an increase in the production of insulin. Instead, it works in several ways to lower the amount of sugar in the bloodstream:
To understand Metofmrin’s utility, it’s important to know the underlying disease that it treats—type 2 diabetes.
A functioning body breaks down sugar (called glucose) and converts it into insulin. The presence of insulin in the body signals the body to convert glucose stores to fuel, or energy.
People with type-2 diabetes (the same people who are often prescribed Metformin) are unable to convert glucose to energy, even if their body is producing insulin.
This causes an abnormally high level of insulin to remain in the body, causing a wide range of side effects like nerve damage, kidney damage, or vision problems.
However, with a proper dosage of Metformin, individuals can benefit from the following effects:
- Improved liver outcomes: Metformin helps improve liver sensitivity towards glucose and also reduces the risk of liver steatosis and inflammatory necrosis.
- Increased muscle glucose uptake: It helps increase the activity of a key insulin receptor called tyrosine kinase, thereby improving glucose levels in the body.
- Decreased intestinal absorption: Metformin can reduce the amount of sugar absorbed in the intestines. It also reduces sugar produced by the body.
Additionally, Metformin may also help improve cardiovascular outcomes and reduce appetite, which is beneficial for weight loss.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is a widespread sexual dysfunction marked by a persistent inability to achieve and maintain a firm erection. It’s a prevalent condition that mostly affects elderly individuals; however, it can also affect men in their younger years.
While many cases of ED arise due to a history of health risks like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mental illness, it can also result from a harmful interaction between the body and certain medications.
Regardless of the source of this condition, if your bout of erectile dysfunction is consistently causing you great distress, it’ll warrant medical attention. Don’t be afraid to contact a doctor, as they’re trained to help treat your condition.
Side Effects of Metformin
Just like other medications, metformin can come with unwanted side effects. It’s rare, but if they do occur, it’s best to contact a doctor to help you get over your medical condition.
Here are some side effects of Metformin:
- Fever or chills
- muscle pain
- GI problems
- Blurred vision
- Painful urination
Furthermore, metformin may also cause some sexual side effects in rare instances, such as low testosterone and reduced libido. One reason why this occurs is that Metformin reduces hyperinsulinaemia, which can lead to the reduction of the aforementioned conditions.
That said, the relationship between Metformin and erectile dysfunction is more intricate. While these two things do have associations, it’s not very strong or direct.
The Connection Between Metformin and ED
In one April 2023 study, a 52-year-old man presented to a hospital with the intent to cure his type 2 diabetes mellitus. He was prescribed by doctors a treatment consisting of metformin 500 mg BD.
After taking this therapy, he claimed to face worsening sexual function and a new inability to maintain and achieve an erection.
The doctors in the study discontinued the Metformin treatment, and to the man’s benefit, he regained his sexual ability again.
The doctors continued to test the hypothesis by injecting and discontinuing the Metformin therapy. The results were the same.
In this one individual, there’s a link between Metformin and ED. But is it a one-time occurrence or is it a pattern other Metformin-treated patients may face?
Surprisingly, even with this recognizable aftereffect, the study was unable to draw any conclusions regarding the connection between metformin and ED.
However, they have mentioned the fact that a former study has linked metformin therapy with low testosterone. Thus, an association between reduced testosterone and testosterone-related erectile dysfunction can be determined.
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction for Diabetes Mellitus Patients
If erectile dysfunction caused by diabetes is ruining your sexual life, don’t fret.
There are many ways diabetes patients can restore normal erectile function utilizing both clinical resources and natural techniques.
Here are some ways you can restore erectile functioning if you’re suffering from diabetes mellitus:
- Testosterone replacement therapy: Following a testosterone test, testosterone may be administered to the body to restore natural testosterone levels.
- Switching to sulfonylurea drugs: Doctors may prescribe a switch in drugs to improve sexual outcomes.
- Erectile dysfunction therapy: Doctors may prescribe gels, creams, and injections to improve penile blood flow.
- RestoreWave therapy: A wand-like device will help remove erectile tissue plaque.
Get Expert ED Treatment from Jacksonville’s Top Male Health Clinic
Taking metformin may not cause erectile dysfunction directly, but it can contribute to side effects that could lead to it.
Leaving diabetes untreated is not the solution, either. To know your next steps towards sexual health, it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional.
At Prime Men’s Medical Center located in Jacksonville, we can provide you with medical treatment plans, ranging from ED treatment, PE treatment, Low T treatment, and much more.
Contact us today to help overcome erectile dysfunction, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.