Twenty-seven diabetic men with erectile impotence were given physical and psychosexual assessments. Physical assessment included vascular and neurological evaluation. Psychosexual assessment was by means of a semi-structured interview. Seven potent diabetic men formed a control group. Patients with erectile failure Had a varied clinical picture which differed from the stereotype of diabetic impotence: morning erections were preserved in over a half (55 per cent), eight patients (30 per cent) had intact spontaneous erections, and sexual interest was reduced in 12 patients (44 per cent). In 13 patients (48 per cent) ejaculation was disturbed and a further four patients (15 per cent) described unusual disorders of sexual function.
Within the group there were no differences in clinical picture between those with and without autonomic neuropathy, retinopathy or potential psychogenic factors.