By: Body1 Staff
Diabetes can have an impact on most parts of day-to-day living including sexual desire and performance. People experiencing problems with sexual function may suffer from depression; have less fulfilling personal relationships and overall poorer health. And sexual dysfunction is not just a male problem – out of control blood glucose levels and other complications can also cause problems for women in the bedroom.
One way diabetes can affect sexual function is due to neuropathy
(damage to nerves) – a common condition in diabetics. Men and women with neuropathy may have trouble getting and staying aroused. In some cases women may also suffer from neurogenic bladder (nerve damage to the bladder) that can cause incontinence
and recurring urinary tract infections
. Diabetes can also cause hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the genitals. This can lead to problems for men such as achieving an erection and insufficient vaginal lubrication for women.
Tips for Getting in the Mood
Get relaxed- take the time to wind down after a busy day.
Take care of yourself - eat right, exercise and make an effort to look your best.
Sweet talk - pay your partner a compliment or call just to say I love you.
Set the stage - light a candle, dim the lights and turn off the television.
If you are experiencing problems in the bedroom, you are not alone. According to a study from the Journal of Urology:
-- More than 50 percent of men diagnosed with type 2 diabetes experience impotence.
-- The rate of impotence drops to 30 percent in men whose diabetes is well controlled.
-- In women with diabetes, approximately 35 percent experience some form of sexual dysfunction.
-- In people who experience complications related to their diabetes, 50 – 70 percent of men and 40 – 50 percent of women may have nerve related sexual problems.
If you have diabetes and are having sexual issues, it’s important to talk to first your partner and then possibly to your doctor. There are numerous treatments for sexual dysfunction, many of which can be utilized in people with diabetes. In addition to treating the physical side of sexual dysfunction you may need to consider counseling. Talking to someone can help with any depression, anger or anxiety you or a partner are experiencing. You can discuss things that may be bothering you such as the equipment involved with diabetes treatment (wearing a pump, testing before and after intimacy and having testing supplies always at hand) or lack of libido due to diabetes-related depression, anxiety or possibly medications you are taking.
Getting Back on Track
The best way to avoid diabetes related sexual dysfunction is to maintain good blood sugar control. Staying in range will reduce your risk for complications which can lead to bigger problems. In addition to maintaining good control, it’s important to eat well and exercise. A properly fueled and maintained body means more energy, stamina and less stress which has benefits in the bedroom and beyond.