My husbands penis goes numb
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Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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Old 01-18-2010, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My husbands penis goes numb

My husband has type 2 diabetes and a bit of neuropathy in his feet. however recently he says his penis will go numb during sex. I guess this is a type of ED.. but I am not finding many treatments for this. He can get an erection.. but doesn't ejaculate.. and after a period of time the penis gets numb.. and is often painful. Therefore he doesn't want to have sex. It is very frustrating for me. Seems that the various medication help men get an erection but that is not his problem. He went to a urologist who said there was nothing that could be done. Anyone else have this?
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

It's the diabetes. Same neurapathy that he has in his feet.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My trouble is much like your husband's. I have the numbness in my penis too. It is very numb at times and I also have a lot of pain there too. The pain gets most bothersome during erection and intercourse is out of the question because I cannot focus during the pain and with the numbness issue I fear hurting my wife since I cannot sense my location/depth/ ect. This is very challenging to our sex life. We may know how you feel. (no pun intended)
My numbness and pain is not from diabetes though. Mine is a possible complication of penile neuropathy from a recurrent priapism that I've had bouts of since my early teens. I also get erections and in the recent past I was able to produce ejaculate but had no sense of pleasure or climax at any time during erection.
I can say with confidence that I do have a thorough knowledge of the penis' biology and function via much study and research motivated by my long time suffering with recurrent priapism. But most certainly I stress that you seek medical professional care and guidence first, though I hope that you would be encouraged and intrigued by my advice. It may be strange for you but I found in my research that men can achieve great orgasms while unerect (flaccid) That is found in cases of erectile dysfunction where the penis never reaches erection during sexual stimulation.
In my case we are hoping that the numbness and risk of worsening priapism will diminish in time and in that case we may be able to initiate flaccid orgasms by a special technique which keeps the blood from filling the penis' erectile chambers during sexual stimulation. The technique that I have had some positive results with is sitting on a tennis ball or cool pack that is precisely positioned under my perineum to compress and cool the arteries that supply the erectile chambers of the penis during foreplay and sexual stimulation. The penis must have some nervation function for the orgasm to be possible this way.

The nerves in the penis are normally more responsive to stimulation during erection because the erection directly moves the nerves branches closer to the skins surface. However in cases of neuropathy, which I'd assume you know a bit about since dealing with diabetes, the nerves suffer atrophy in various locations causing the (chain of connections) to be broken. In the case of neuropathy in the penis, having an erection causes the nerves in the penis to be displaced and stretched which may lead to extreme pain as the various atrophic nerves in the penis' erectile chambers are pulled apart and the nerves in the other tissues are pressed together.
When the penis suffering neuropathy is stimulated, while un-erect versus during erection, it does not receive as much strain and trauma to the nerves within it, so the nerve pathways are remained as complete as possible and this can allow more sensation and pleasure capabilities.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

Wow. Has he tried taking pain meds before intercourse?

I would get a second opinion about there being nothing you can do as the other poster has advised a technique that could work, there is always something you can do. This falls under the heading of medical induced reason to not have intercourse, the regular way. Touch, love, hug, try some strap on toys that he can wear in place of his penis (this would require him to be in complete acceptance of the medically induced need for that), if you absolutely have to have intercourse. Try the advice from the other poster. Best of luck.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

It is tricky diagnosing this properly because there are other causes of a numb penis besides diabetic neuropathy. Conditions which effect blood flow to the penis can mimic nerve damage also. Often a dose of viagra to increase blood flow can help.

But there is a third cause of penile numbness which is not physical but rather psychological and that is a less than optimal level of sexual desire.

In men who suffer from inhibited ejaculation a loss of feeling in the penis is a classic sign (Apfelbaum, Principals and Practice of Sex therapy)

If he is suffering from diabetic complications the chances are he would have difficulty getting and keeping an erection, rather than numbness, as a first symptom. This is because blood flow is usually effected by bad glucose control before there is nerve damage. This isn't written in stone but ED is the more typical penile response to diabetes.

Many men with inhibited or retarded ejaculation can hold their erections for a fairly long time but are not able to ejaculate because of the lack of feeling in the penis which prevents them from reaching their orgasmic threshold. And lack of desire or low desire is the reason.

What the above mentioned Dr Apfelbaum discovered was that having an erection does not necessarily mean a man is aroused enough to ejaculate. And it is possible for them to stay erect even though the penis feels numb. Although this feeling can cause further anxiety which will shut down the erection, but not always.

The lack of desire may be caused by a lot of different things. Performance anxiety can be a big one. If he has suffered from any kind of sexual dysfunction in the past anxiety may prevent him from getting to high levels of sexual desire. enough for an erection but that's it.

Another cause of numbness caused by low desire is frequent masturbation. Indeed numbness and inhibited ejaculation during intercourse is often seen in men who use porn a lot and masturbate often. A less common reason can be a lack of sexual desire for the partner.

Often these men attain an erection with heavy manual and oral stimulation in foreplay, but find the less physically stimulating (to the penis) vaginal penetration causes them to lose some of that initial build up of sexual desire and the penis starts to feel numb.

The fact that your husband can still get an erection despite neuropathy difficulties in the feet (always the first to be effected) could point to a desire or other non diabetes related problem causing the numbness and the inhibited ejaculation.

Many types of medications can also cause a loss of feeling in the penis including SSRI antidepressants and certain blood pressure medications.

Last edited by Mr B; 01-23-2010 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

My husband has the same problem, although he does not have diabetes. His penis goes numb and he lost his morning erections. He's been doing acupuncture and it's restored his morning erections and he feels his penis has regained some sensitivity. He has some more sessions to go. Maybe you would like to look if this is a possible treatment option for your husband's case.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

In this case there would seem to be a clear link between the Type 2 Diabetes causing neuropathy. If it's already happening in his feet, it's not too much of a stretch to think it's happening in other places. You said you've already been to a urologist about this and been told there really isn't much hope.

I tend to agree with the Urologist. As I understand it diabetic neuropathy is a one way trip. However perhaps you could also seek a second opinion, perhaps there is something out there.

Type 2 Diabetes is a very serious disease.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husbands penis goes numb

One easy way to tell if the problem is due to diabetes or a problem of low arousal is to find out how he functions when masturbating alone. If he can get an erection and ejaculate without problems with self stimulation (with or without porn) and experiences no numbness, then it definitely isn't diabetes which would effect his functioning no matter what the sexual situation.

If that's the case then the problem is most likely low arousal which in turn can be caused by frequent masturbation and the perceived difference between the firm grip used during self stimulation and the less physically stimulating feeling he gets during vaginal or oral sex.

Last edited by Mr B; 10-30-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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