Connection Between Diabetes and Sex

From lowering blood pressure to even relieving stress and anxiety, sex provides numerous health-related benefits. But if one is suffering with Type 2 diabetes, sex might not be that entertaining for you. 

Endocrinologists, tell how diabetes have an impact on ones desire or ability to enjoy sex. 

The side effects of diabetes

“Sexual side effect includes any problems that happen during the sexual response cycle”. “Everything from getting an erection to less libido can be a serious issue for diabetic people.” 

Doctors say that though maximum studies focus on sexual dysfunction in diabetic men, this disease also affects women. In both men and women, the longer one has diabetes, the increased are the chances to experience a sexual dysfunction in one way or the other.

If one has diabetes and any of these symptoms, there can be a connection:

  • Reduced (or nil) libido: If one has headaches more often than not to get out of sex?
  • Arousal inability: Does it no longer have erection like before? Or, you have a problem of premature ejaculation?
  • Reduced sensation: Are the motions without the promise of an type of orgasm?
  • Pain during Intercourse: Do you avoid sex because it is just plain pain?
  • Infections: Do you frequently experience vaginal or urinary tract infections?

Diabetes increase the risk of having sexual dysfunction

There are many reasons people suffering with diabetes have sexual dysfunction more frequently than the non diabetic.

Conditions like high BP, obesity, sleep apnea are common that occur alongside diabetes. “Obesity can lead to (ED). Sleep apnea can also result in ED for men or put females at a higher risk for sexual difficulties. Depression and anxiety also have a negative impact on libido. The use of medication for depression affects sexual interest or function.”

Emotional health related concerns

Patients who use an insulin pump may feel self-conscious. Secondly, the time and energy involved to manage diabetes and its related conditions also take a toll on emotional health. All this results in disinterest in sex, or the medicines that negatively affects sexual function.

Hormonal changes

Changes in testosterone or estrogen (due to diabetes, menopause or other conditions) impacts libido, lubrication and also the ability to become sexually aroused.

Reduced blood flow

Diabetes tends to reduce blood flow, this affects blood from reaching the penis or vagina. For a man to have and maintain an erection, a good blood flow to the penis is essential. In women, reduced blood flow could result in vaginal dryness.

Side effects of Medications

High blood pressure medications can impacts ones ability to have and maintain an erection. Some medications that help in managing depression or anxiety are well known for supressing arousal or sexual interest.

Nerve damage

High levels of glucose can damage nerves. The end of the penis and clitoris are completely loaded with nerves. As the nerves get damaged, it results in reduced sexual sensation or even painful intercourse.

Diabetes doesn’t mean that sex life is ruined

The main causes for sexual dysfunction are varied for each individual. It’s the role of the doctor to pull things out and get to the bottom of the root cause. But many patients go years without any conversation with their doctor. 

According to doctors, around 80% of diabetic patients have reported they want the doctor to ask about sexual function, this is so they don’t have to bring it up. If the doctor doesn’t ask about the sex life, one must bring up any concerns they have because sex is an important component of a good life. 

Doctors will ask a series of questions which helps to determine the root cause of sexual dysfunction. Doctor can also perform a physical exam. This approach helps the doctor determine the cause and then its cure. 

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