- Diabetes and impotence
- Diabetes and female sex drive
- The effect of drugs on the sexual performance of a diabetic
- How to take care of yourself so that diabetes does not adversely affect your sex life?
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Diabetes greatly affects the sex life of diabetics. Fluctuations in glycaemia may cause lowered sex drive, cause problems with potency, insomnia, headaches. All these factors worsen the comfort of intimate life of people with diabetes. How to prevent them and enjoy sex despite diabetes?
Diabetes affects the sexual sphere in both men and women. It is a systemic disease whose symptoms affect various spheres of everyday functioning, including the most intimate ones. Diabetics suffer from sexual problems much more often than he althy people:
- The prevalence of sexual problems in people with diabetes is much higher than in the general population. It is estimated that various types of disorders affect 20-35 percent. women and 35-60 percent men. In my practice, I look after many patients diagnosed with diabetes - says Dr. Michał Lew-Starowicz.
Diabetes and impotence
Diabetes impairs the proper functioning of the circulatory system - and it is it that determines the sexual performance of a man to the greatest extent. In diabetics erectile dysfunction is observed 3-4 times more often than in he althy men. Initially, these may only be episodes of impotence, but the disease, especially if left untreated, causes more and more unpleasant symptoms with time.
The cause of erectile dysfunction in diabetics is too low or too high blood glucose levels, which damage the nerves, arteries and kidneys. These factors prevent men from achieving and maintaining an erection and cause pain during intercourse.
Diabetes and female sex drive
Diabetes mellitus is a common cause of obesity, which leads to a lack of acceptance of one's appearance. Problems with self-acceptance translate, in turn, into disorders in the sexual sphere.
In women, diabetes can negatively affect sexual he alth as it is a factor that promotes the development of intimate infections. Diabetics are more likely to develop bacterial conditions of the vagina, urethra and bladder than he althy women. The infection causes pain, burning, and difficulty urinating. The reproductive organs are also less supplied with blood. As a result, women with diabetes show lesssensitivity to sexual stimuli, e.g. to the caress of the clitoris. This makes it difficult to reach orgasm.
Diabetes largely affects the mental condition, which in women is very strongly associated with the sexual sphere. Not accepting the disease and one's body leads to anxiety and stress, which contributes to the aversion to sex. The fear of pregnancy is also more common in diabetics, because fluctuations in sugar make it very difficult, and often complicate its course.
The effect of drugs on the sexual performance of a diabetic
Drugs that alleviate the symptoms of diseases accompanying diabetes have a significant impact on the sexual functions of diabetics. We are talking about preparations that lower blood pressure, cholesterol level, diuretic or antidepressant.
- [These medications] may contribute to varying degrees of craving, arousal, and orgasmic abnormalities. However, it should be remembered that comorbidities such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia or depression are themselves a common cause of sexual dysfunction. Thus, a specific vicious circle mechanism arises - explains Dr. Michał Lew-Starowicz.
Also, therapeutic treatments used in the course of diabetes have an impact on the sexual sphere of people suffering from hyperglycemia. The need to carry insulin pumps with you and traces of needle punctures lower your sense of attractiveness. These factors make diabetics feel marked, hurt by the disease and, as a result, unattractive to their partners. This makes it difficult for them to lead an active social life, and sometimes even prevents them from functioning in a relationship.This will be useful to you
How to take care of yourself so that diabetes does not adversely affect your sex life?
1. Control blood sugar levels
Sexual activity should not be undertaken in a hypoglycemic state because, like exercise, it may result in hypoglycemia. Therefore, you should always check your blood sugar levels before and after intercourse. After the love games, you can also reach for a sweet snack. When disconnecting from the insulin pump, make sure that insulin delivery is not interrupted for more than 2 hours.
Glucose measurements with a glucometer can be tiring (you have to repeat them even several times a day), so look around for more modern methods of measuring blood sugar. There are devices that do not require finger pricking for this purpose, which makes them more discreet and convenient to use, such as the FreeStyle Libre. This system consists of a sensor that you wear on your shoulder and a reader.By bringing the reader closer to the sensor (also through clothes) you can read the current blood sugar level.
2. Follow a he althy diet and keep moving
Physical activity, maintaining a he althy weight and diet are essential for the condition of diabetics. Potency in both sexes is positively influenced by avoiding animal fats, junk food and alcohol. It is also advisable not to smoke as they increase the likelihood of sexual dysfunction.
3. Take care of hygiene
In the case of diabetics, the key element of prevention should be thorough hygiene of intimate parts and quick response to any symptoms of infection. This is related to the more common bacterial infections in this group.
4. Take time to relax
Sex therapies and relaxation trainings may turn out to be valuable for diabetics with sexual problems. They help to regain mental stability, self-confidence, sexual performance and lead to accepting the disease and enjoying life. Consultation with a doctor helps to take appropriate steps in combating ailments, and above all, it calms you down and gives you hope for normal functioning despite the disease.
Source: FreeStyle Libre press materials