Diabetes is a disease caused by your body’s inability to manage sugar in your blood. This dysfunction leads to elevated blood sugar levels that spells trouble in many parts of the body. Your sex organs and your sex life are not spared from the troubles diabetes brings.
Your partner who was once enthusiastic about sex is no longer interested and you’re wondering if you’re the issue. You’ve done all you know to do, but your rumble under the sheet is feeling less like a rumble and more like a solo dance. You know your partner is diabetic but you’ve never imagined that, that could be the problem.
Well, it could. We usually talk about how diabetes affects your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and digestive tract. While this is vital information, we do not emphasize how diabetes can affect romance.
First, let’s talk about how diabetes affects the sex lives of men and women
People with diabetes may struggle with low libido, which is a reduced sex drive. This low libido may be due to the following reasons:
- A side effect of diabetic drugs
- Constant tiredness and fatigue, a common symptom of diabetes
- Stress or anxiety due to the disease
Discomfort during sex
One of the hallmarks of diabetics is nerve damage. The nerve damage can affect your sex organs, leading to pain or numbness during sexual activity. This can make sex either too painful or unenjoyable. You may also struggle with having orgasms as a result.
Now, let’s explore the different ways diabetes can affect a man’s sex life.
Men with diabetes may have low testosterone. Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and apart from the role it plays in sperm production and sexual development, it also helps the body respond more to insulin. It is unclear whether diabetes causes low testosterone, but up to 50% of men with diabetes have low levels of the male sex hormone.
Even in non-diabetic men, ED is a big deal among males. Erectile Dysfunction is when a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. In non-diabetic men, it could be due to different reasons like performance anxiety. But in men with diabetes, ED may be due to damage to the blood vessels that can affect blood flow to the penis. Also, diabetes may damage the nerves of the penis, making it harder for the man to sustain an erection.
The nerve damage caused by diabetes can affect the muscles in the genital area. This dysfunction can result in retrograde ejaculation – semen is released into the bladder instead of through the opening at the tip of your penis). This can cause infertility.
How about how diabetes affects the sex life of women?
Women with diabetes may struggle with vaginal dryness. This dryness may be due to hormonal changes or reduced blood flow to the genitals caused by damage to the blood vessels. This dryness can affect a woman’s sex life, making sex painful.
Increased Vaginal Infection
Uncontrolled diabetes can make it easier for you to have infections like Vaginal Thrush and Urinary Tract Infections. This can also make sex more painful.
So, what can people with diabetes who are struggling with their sex lives do?
It is crucial to communicate clearly with your partner how you feel and gain his or her support. This will help you feel less anxious or sad about the changes you are experiencing. It will also help you cope better. Communication can help you develop new sex routines like having sex in the morning or afternoon to avoid fatigue from dampening your drive or exploring other forms of intimacy.
Talk To A Doctor
Your sexual woes may be due to your current medications. You may be thinking, “is it necessary to visit a hospital because of sex?” Yes, it is! Life is too short to have bad sex and with telemedicine, you don’t need to visit the hospital to see a doctor, you can talk to a doctor online via the DoktorConnect app to find out if this is the cause of your challenges.
Take Your Drugs & Follow Lifestyle Advice
People with optimal blood sugar control are less likely to experience these symptoms. So take your medications religiously, incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and exercise regularly (I recommend 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise like jogging five times a week). If you are overweight, losing weight can help with your sugar control.
There’s nothing wrong with using lubricants to reduce vaginal dryness. Water-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms, although they do not last as long as oil-based ones. Sex is better and wetter with lube! Get the orgasm you deserve
If you experience any of the above, it is important you check your blood sugar levels. Visit the Doktorconnect wellness facility to get your test done.
Author- Dr Okonkwor Oyor C