One of the chronic conditions that negatively impact sexual life is diabetes. Poor blood sugar management can lead to different sexual health issues and complicate relationships between spouses or partners.
Ways diabetes affects a man’s sex life
The common complication of diabetes that men can experience is erectile dysfunction (ED). It is a condition where a man becomes incapable of maintaining an erection necessary for satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED is most common in older men, and it can be attributed to several factors like diabetes, heart disease, mental health disorders and stress.
How is sexual health attributed to diabetes?
A spike in blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels. These are essential body parts that determine good sexual function. If there is no proper treatment to reverse the effects of diabetes, there is a possibility of compromised sexual health.
Besides ED, retrograde ejaculation is another sexual health issue linked with diabetes. The condition happens when the ejaculated semen goes into the bladder rather than going out of the penis.
This condition is a result of damaged internal sphincter muscles acting irregularly. These muscles operate by opening and closing different passages inside the body. In diabetes, the abnormal spike in blood sugar levels damages the nerves and affects the functions of the sphincter muscles. This leads to retrograde ejaculation.
Ways diabetes affects a woman’s sex life
As mentioned, high blood sugar damages the nerves and blood vessels. This restricts the blood flow to the genitals, especially in women. This problem only constrains the needed sensation and lubrication to have satisfactory sexual intercourse.
The following are the most common sexual health issues that women with diabetes may encounter:
- Low sexual desire – If diabetes causes too much damage to the nerves, the brain cannot stimulate the body’s genitals for sex. Since nerve damage interferes with how the signals are transmitted, arousal on the women’s part can get slow.
- Dryness of the vagina – A woman’s vagina naturally lubricates during arousal. However, since diabetes can potentially inhibit this lubrication, it leaves the genital dry and tight. That results in uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
How to improve sex life when you have diabetes
Like other diabetes-related complications, treating diabetes and managing blood sugar levels properly helps prevent sexual health issues that men and women experience. It all boils down to continuing with diabetes medications, eating healthy and nutritious foods, and exercising regularly.
To enjoy sex, you can opt for lubricants to counter vaginal dryness. Use water-based lubricants as they are the best in the industry. Additionally, medications are also available to improve libido. A therapy called hormonal replacement therapy helps men and women with issues related to vaginal dryness.
Don’t shy away from talking about your sex life with your doctor. Discussing your sexual health concerns with someone who understands your condition will help you learn and identify ways to prevent these concerns.
It is also advisable to maintain good communication with your partner if you are experiencing sexual dysfunction. Resolve concerns with your partner and find ways to satisfy them. Reach out to healthcare professionals and accomplish the necessary treatment to ensure a better and healthy sex life.