The devastating impact of Diabetes on sex no one told you about
by Dr. Diksha Tiwari on Nov 29, 2021
A Chronic illness carries with it a number of varied complications as well. One such complication is identified with sex. Sex life of a diabetic individual is impacted. In any case, healthy sexuality and sexual expression are important to maintaining the quality of life thus it is critical to perceive and address sexuality issues that are affecting people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can cause sexual complications to both men and women.
Sexual health issues affecting both men and women suffering from Diabetes
A common sexual health issue seen in people with type 2 diabetes is a decrease in libido. Libido stands for loss of sex drive or the desire for sex. This can be frustrating if someone had a thriving libido and satisfying sex life before the diagnosis of a type 2 diabetes.
Causes of a low libido with type 2 diabetes can be associated with
- Side effects of medications for high blood pressure or depression
- Lack of energy
- Hormonal changes
- Stress, anxiety, and relationship issues
But why does diabetes affect sexual drive?
The main reason for it is Diabetic Neuropathy - Diabetic Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that is associated with diabetes that can cause sexual issues. Numbness, pain, or lack of feeling can also occur in the genitals. This eventually leads to Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
Neuropathy may also impede orgasm and can make it difficult for a person to feel sexual stimulation. These side effects can make sex painful or even unenjoyable.
What are the sexual health issues specific to men ?
The most widely reported sexual health issue faced by men with diabetes is ED or Erectile Dysfunction. Some cases of diabetes are first diagnosed when a man seeks treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction or impotence is the failure to achieve or maintain an erection until ejaculation. It can be caused due to damage to the nerves, muscles, or vascular structures.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
If you have diabetes and also any of the below mentioned symptoms, then. there may be a chances of you having Erectile Dysfunction -
- Lessened (or nonexistent) libido - A decreased Libido or sexual desire may be one of the first symptoms of ED or Erectile Dysfunction.
- Arousal inability - Making excuses whenever your partner shows interest to have sex is another symptom.
- Decreased sensation - Numbness in the penis or absolute no sensation.
- Intercourse-related pain - Also known as Dyspareunia, if you feel pain while having intercourse then it may be a symptom of ED or Erectile Dysfunction.
- Infections - Infection-induced inflammation may be associated with erectile dysfunction.
Does Diabetes Increase the Risk of Sexual dysfunction?
Yes, diabetes does increase the risk of sexual dysfunction.
There are several reasons people with diabetes experience sexual dysfunction more often than the general public -
Obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and depression
are common conditions that occur alongside diabetes. Obesity can indirectly lead to Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Sleep apnea can cause ED for men or put women at a higher risk for sexual difficulties. Depression and anxiety can also negatively impact the libido or lead to the use of medication that affects sexual interest or function.
- Emotional health concerns - Men and women who wear an insulin pump may feel self-conscious and lack confidence to live a happy and confident life. Moreover, the time and energy spent managing and controlling diabetes and the related conditions can take a toll on the emotional health of people. This may lead to disinterest in sex.
- Hormonal changes - Changes in testosterone can impact libido, lubrication and the ability to become sexually aroused.
- Less blood flow - Diabetes impacts blood flow, which could affect blood reaching the penis. For a man to achieve and sustain an erection, he needs blood to flow to his penis.
- Side effects of medication - The medication for high blood pressure may impact the ability to achieve or maintain an erection.
- Nerve damage - Having high levels of glucose can damage nerves. The tip of the penis is loaded with nerves. If those nerves become damaged, the result might be decreased sexual sensation or even painful intercourse.
Diabetes doesn’t have to ruin your sex life - Tips for better sex with diabetics
Sexual problems that occur with Diabetes can be frustrating and may cause anxiety. People feel that giving up on sexual expression is easier than finding ways to cope or adjust. However, you can try to maintain an active sex life despite having diabetes. Lifestyle changes, medications, and opening up the lines of communication with your partner are just a few of the things that may turn out to be helpful.
- Try a different time of day - If low energy and fatigue are a problem, try having sex at a different time of day when your energy is at its peak. Nighttime may not always be the right time. After a long day, and with the added fatigue that comes with diabetes, the last thing you may have energy for is sex.
Tip of the day
Try sex in the mornings or afternoons. Experiment to see what works best for you and your partner.
Improve libido through medication -
You may try medication that does not have any side effects. For this, Ayurvedic medicines are the best. They are effective and also a natural and reliable way of treating any kind of disease.
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