Many diabetics know that uncontrolled diabetes can affect organs such as the kidneys, eyes, heart, and more. However, the toll of diabetes on one’s sexual life is often a neglected topic as patients often feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about it with their doctors. Healthcare teams, although trained professionally to handle intimate topics, sometimes skip asking intimate questions to avoid discomfort between the patients and themselves.
Nevertheless, avoiding the issue can lead to other problems such as depression, anxiety, and more. For some people, diabetes sometimes feels like a third party in bed since vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction may put a stop to their sex life. It is estimated that 75% of men and 35% of women who suffer from diabetes experience sexual issues due to the nerve damage that is involved in the normal sexual response.
The Good News
It has been proven that a good glucose control lowers the risk of nerve damage by 60%. Studies have shown that the risk for diabetes sexual problems can be lowered by controlling:
- Blood glucose level
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol levels
- Triglyceride level
5 Tips to Improve Sex for Diabetic
#1. Do not overcomplicate it – Too much planning can cause high levels of stress and anxiety.
#2. Lubricate – if you have vaginal dryness, a lubricant can be useful even when used throughout the day, not only during sex.
#3. Privacy – have a short getaway during the weekend if you think it can be helpful for both you and your partner.
#4. Alcohol – try to limit the amount of alcohol as it can cause your blood glucose level to drop rapidly. If you drink alcohol, it is best to pair it with some food as it will help maintain your blood glucose levels.
#4. Help – do not be embarrassed to discuss your issues with your doctor or healthcare team as they are trained to handle such issues professionally. Counseling may also be useful.
Peri C. Better sex with diabetes. WebMD. Accessed 6/30/2017.
Roszler J. How diabetes affects your sex life. Diabetic Living. Accessed 6/30/2017.