Diabetes and Sexual Health
When you have a chronic illness, it's easy to put sex on the back burner. Healthy sexuality and sexual expression, on the other hand, are at the top of the list when it comes to sustaining one's quality of life, regardless of other issues.
Type 2 diabetes patients are no exception. It's critical to recognise and address sexuality difficulties that diabetes patients face. Both men and women might have sexual difficulties as a result of type 2 diabetes.
Both men and women are affected by sexual health issues
A decrease in libido, or loss of sex drive, is a prevalent sexual health issue in people with type 2 diabetes. This might be aggravating if you had a strong libido and a fulfilling sex life before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Low libido is linked to type 2 diabetes for a variety of reasons, including:
- adverse effects of blood pressure or depression drugs
- energy deficiency
- hormonal shifts
- Relationship troubles, stress, and anxiety
- Diabetic neuropathy is a diabetic complication.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage linked to diabetes that can lead to sexual problems. The genitals can also experience numbness, discomfort, or a loss of sensation. Erectile dysfunction can result as a result of this (ED).
Neuropathy can also make it harder to sense sexual stimulation or impede orgasm. Sex might be painful or unpleasant as a result of these side effects.
Concerns about relationships
It is critical for partners to communicate about any sexual concerns. A lack of communication can affect a relationship's sexual and intimate aspects.
Due to a health condition, couples can easily check out of a relationship sexually. It may appear to be easier to avoid discussing the problem than to seek a solution at times.
When one partner takes on the role of primary caretaker for the other, it might affect how they see one other. It's easy to become engrossed in the roles of "patient" and "caregiver" and lose sight of the romance.
Concerns about men's sexual health
ED is the most commonly reported sexual health condition among diabetic males. When a guy seeks therapy for ED, he may be diagnosed with diabetes.
Damage to the nerves, muscles, or vascular structures might result in inability to achieve or maintain an erection till ejaculation. Certain drugs' side effects can affect testosterone levels, resulting in ED. Other diabetes-related diseases can also lead to ED. They are as follows:
- blood pressure that is too high
- Depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety are all symptoms of depression.
- being inactive or not exercising enough
- Ejaculation in reverse
Another sexual health concern that men may encounter as a result of type 2 diabetes is retrograde ejaculation. It happens when sperm is sent into the bladder rather than the penis.
It's caused by a malfunction of your internal sphincter muscles. These muscles are in charge of opening and closing bodily passageways. The sphincter muscles can be damaged by abnormally high glucose levels, resulting in retrograde ejaculation.
Concerns about women's sexual health
Vaginal dryness is the most frequent sexual health concern associated with type 2 diabetes in women. Hormonal changes or decreased blood supply to the genitals might cause this.
In women, diabetes raises the risk of vaginal infections and inflammation. Both of these elements have the potential to make sex unpleasant. Nerve injury to the bladder can also induce incontinence during intercourse.
Women with diabetes are also more likely to get urinary tract infections on a regular basis (UTIs). Sex can become painful and uncomfortable as a result of this.
Stop type 2 diabetes from taking over your sexual life
Sexual issues associated with type 2 diabetes can be aggravating and stressful. You may believe that giving up sexual expression is simpler than coping or adapting.
Despite having type 2 diabetes, you can try to keep an active sexual life. Changes in your lifestyle, medications, and conversation with your partner are just a few of the things you might find beneficial.
At a different time of day, try it.
If you're experiencing low energy and weariness, try having sex at a different time of day when your energy is at its highest. It's possible that nighttime isn't always the best time. After a long day, especially with the added weariness of diabetes, the last thing you might feel like doing is having sex.
Having sex in the mornings or afternoons is a good idea. Experiment with different options to determine what works best for you.
Consult your physician about it
Consult your doctor about any concerns you have about your sexual health. Sexual dysfunction might indicate illness progression or a failure of treatment.
Don't be hesitant to bring up the topic of medication's sexual adverse effects. Inquire if there are any medications that don't have the same side effects as the others.
Also, feel free to inquire about ED medications. Penile pumps may be an alternative if you aren't a good candidate for ED medicines.
Concentrate on your relationship
Keep a tight eye on your relationship. When desire isn't at its pinnacle, find other ways to demonstrate intimacy. You can express affection without engaging in sexual activity by:
Make time for each other to be a couple who isn't solely concerned with caring for others. Have a dating night when you don't bring up the subject of diabetes. Discuss your sentiments with your spouse, as well as any potential sexual concerns that may arise.
Consider joining a support group or seeking counselling to deal with the emotional challenges that come with chronic illnesses or sex.
Sexual problems generally resolve itself when diabetes treatment is successful. You can have a healthy sex life if you keep healthy and talk with your spouse and healthcare professional about any difficulties.