Did you know that diabetes can affect not only your heart health but also your sexual health? Yes, you heard right: diabetes can affect the sexual lives of both men and women. Diabetes is a condition that impacts a large number of individuals worldwide, and managing this condition can be quite challenging. It is important to acknowledge that it can affect the lives of both men and women in different ways. People often feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss sexual problems, which makes sexual activity more challenging. Whether you suffer from diabetes or not, you should consult your health care professional about this issue, as untreated diabetes can affect the sexual health of both sexes.
Although diabetes does not discriminate based on gender, there are some unique ways in which it differs between men and women. The differences between the sexes, as well as the reasons behind them, will be discussed. We will highlight the best ways to deal with diabetes effectively for both men and women. Now, whether you are a woman or a man suffering from diabetes or want to know more about this important topic, read our blog to learn how sex can be a part of the diabetes journey.
How diabetes impact a woman’s sex life?
Diabetes can affect a woman's sexual life in multiple ways, such as:
Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the vagina, resulting in insufficient lubrication and discomfort during intercourse.
Symptoms of insufficient lubrication
- Loss of natural fluid
- Less elasticity
- Vaginal wetness after sex or arousal
People with diabetes are more likely to experience loss of desire due to low libido than people who do not have the disease.
Symptoms of low libido
- Weight gain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Low desire for sexual activity
- Lack of pleasure during sex
Increased susceptibility to yeast infections and urinary tract infections
High blood sugar levels create an environment where bacteria can thrive, making women with diabetes more likely to develop these types of infections.
Symptoms of infections
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urge to urinate
- White vaginal discharge that is generally odourless
- Pain in the pelvis
- Burning or pain while urinating
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
The presence of diabetes raises the chances of developing PCOS. It is a condition in women that involves hormonal imbalance, irregular menstrual cycles, and problems releasing eggs, which can affect fertility.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Missed or irregular periods
- Acne and Pimple
- Fertility problems
- Excess weight gain
- Pelvic pain
- Skin problems
How does diabetes impact men’s sexual life?
Men who have diabetes are at higher risk for sexual problems, which may include:
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Men with diabetes are three times more likely to develop ED compared to those without diabetes. They may also experience ED 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
- Reduce sexual desire
- Problem keeping an erection
- Difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activity
Around 35% to 50% of men with diabetes may face issues related to ejaculatory dysfunction.
Symptoms of Ejaculatory Dysfunction
- Reduced sex drive
- Premature ejaculation
- Delay ejaculation
- Painful ejaculation
Reduced testosterone level
Diabetes can often lead to decreased testosterone levels, which in turn can impact a man’s sexual drive.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels
- Reduced sex drive
- Reduced erectile function
- Loss of body hair
- Less beard growth
- Loss of lean muscle mass
- Chronic fatigue.
Men with diabetes are more likely to develop a variety of sexual problems.
Diabetes management strategies for women
Medication Considerations During Pregnancy: A pregnant woman suffering from diabetes should discuss this with her doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. After knowing the condition of the diabetic woman, the doctor will suggest the medicine accordingly because some medicines are not safe to take during pregnancy, which can harm the child as well as the mother.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Some women with diabetes may go through menopause, where the body's hormones change. In this situation, you can think about this therapy to reduce the symptoms of menopause, but it is important to discuss it with your doctor first, as it can affect your blood sugar levels.
Exercise and Nutrition for Women:A woman with diabetes really needs to eat healthy and stay active. In such a situation, you should try to include healthy food elements like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet. Exercises like walking and swimming can help manage blood sugar levels effectively.
Regular Gynaecological Check-Ups: It is very important for a woman to visit her gynaecologist regularly, even more so if she has diabetes. Doctors can help you during your pregnancy and with diabetes-related issues that may affect your and your baby's health.
Diabetes management strategies for men
Erectile Dysfunction Treatments: This is a common problem in men with diabetes, in which men are unable to get or maintain an erection during intercourse. ED is a treatable condition; medication, vacuum contraction devices, and surgery can help. Consult your doctor to find out what might be better for you.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): Sometimes a diabetic patient may have to face the problem of low testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that is important for various aspects of men's health. You can try TRT to increase your testosterone levels, but it is important to talk to your doctor first.
Exercise and Nutrition for Men:A healthy diet and regular exercise are the most important aspects of managing diabetes. Try to incorporate healthy food items into your diet and focus on physical activities like swimming, running, and cycling to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. A nutritionist or a doctor can assist you best in creating a diet plan that suits you.
In conclusion, diabetes and sexual problems are connected.There are several treatments available to treat diabetes as well as sexual problems. It is important to seek medical advice and treatment as soon as possible. Regular check-ups and lifestyle modifications can help manage diabetes and sexual problems. It is also important to educate oneself about the signs and symptoms of diabetes and sexual problems.