Healthy Living

Diabetes and Intimacy: What Should Patients Do to Improve Their Relationships?

Diabetes and Intimacy: What Should Patients Do to Improve Their Relationships?

Not only does diabetes affect cardiovascular health, it also affects sexual health. Diabetes can have an adverse effect on arousal, sexual desire, and overall comfort. 

But, have no fear, there are things patients can do to improve their sex lives. But, it takes both patience and determination to make a relationship work.

Why does diabetes affect your sex life?

The nerves and blood vessels throughout your entire body are affected by diabetes. Its impact on your sexual health might come as a surprise, but for some women with diabetes, it is definitely a concern.

If you are discussing health issues with your doctors, it is totally fine and permissible to discuss your sexual problem with that same doctor. According to Susan Davis, Ph.D., Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, a professor of women’s health at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University Melbourne, Australia, and president-elect of the International Menopause Society, medical doctors are fully aware of the disturbances caused by diabetes in all aspects of your life.

An article published in the April 2013 Journal of Sexual Medicine, states that female sexual dysfunction frequently happens in women with diabetes. Dr. Davis goes on to say that it is critical to talk to your doctor about these problems and to not be embarrassed. 

Diabetes can disrupt your sex life for several reasons

Achieving an orgasm is tied to nerves and blood vessels in the genital and vagina area. High blood glucose levels damage nerves and causes peripheral neuropathy, which affects everything, from your fingers and toes to your genitals. Diminished sensations cause sex to be tedious and annoying.

Neuropathy is a problem, and women with diabetes may have blood vessel damage. Blood vessel damage impacts the amount of blood flowing to your vagina, and less blood flow can affect both arousal and orgasms.

Less blood flow to the vaginal area is almost like erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, which is a known symptom of diabetes. The subject of sexual dysfunction hasn’t been considered a priority for women, but it is a valid concern. In a study published in the Sexual Medicine, researchers discovered real differences in the physiology of vaginas in women who had type 2 diabetes and those who did not have diabetes.

It definitely helps to keep blood glucose in the target range to protect blood vessels and nerves and prevent complications of diabetes. Being aroused or even having an organism can be difficult if you are taking certain types of diabetic medications as well. Don't be embarrassed to ask your healthcare provider if your current medications are contributing to your problem. This doesn't mean to stop taking them completely. Just bring up the possible side effect that you are feeling.