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Does Diabetes Affect Libido

How Diabetes Affects Sexual Function

How Diabetes Affects Sexual Function

Diabetes can affect sexual function, and as uncomfortable as it may sound, you may need to discuss this with your doctor (and certainly with your partner). To help you out, I have done research to bring you information about this most sensitive of subjects. First of all, having any chronic disease may in itself cause anxiety, which can result in sexual dysfunction. But having said that, it is also true that diabetics do report more sexual dysfunction than the populations at large. In his book Talking About Sex (American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1995), Derek C. Polonsky, MD states that 20% of people with diabetes, both men and women, report sexual dysfunction. Please read the following with an open mind, not looking for something bad which will happen to you or a loved one. Rather use it as a tool to make you better informed, and more able to talk to the professionals in your life who can help when you need it. As Dr. Polonsky says, "What starts out as a physical problem is compounded by the emotional reaction to it." This article is shared to help all of us deal with the physical before this occurs. Research on Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction There is more research on sexual dysfunction in males than females. In males, current research points to the need to develop a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation and treatment of diabetic patients with sexual dysfunction because of the high incidence of major depression and anxiety disorders noted in impotent men with neuropathy as compared to those who did not have depression, anxiety, or impotence, but had neuropathy. One caveat here is that just learning to cope with a chronic disease may cause psychiatric problems which may lead to lack of compliance, and may snowball into chronic complications, and so the process feeds o Continue reading >>

When Diabetes Affects Your Sex Life

When Diabetes Affects Your Sex Life

Mike’s doctor looked and sounded concerned. “Your sugars are up, your blood pressure is up, and you’ve gained 10 pounds since I last saw you, ” she said. “You were doing so well. What happened? ” “I don’t know,” said Mike. “I’m just down. Exercising and checking my blood glucose don’t seem worth the effort now. My neuropathy is burning holes in my feet. It’s been a hard year.” “Sounds to me like you’re depressed,” said the doctor. She then wrote out a prescription for a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for Mike’s depression and another for a refill of Mike’s usual blood pressure medicine, but this time with a higher dose. The doctor didn’t ask about Mike’s sex life, and Mike didn’t volunteer that what was really bothering him was that he and his wife Barbara had stopped having sex about 10 months before. He couldn’t count on getting erections or keeping them, and without them, he withdrew, both physically and emotionally. He and Barbara were miserable. Unfortunately, both of the medicines his doctor had just prescribed can have the side effects of decreasing sex drive and making it harder for men to have erections. So the new treatments were potentially going to make Mike’s problem worse. Mike hadn’t mentioned his sexual problems to his doctor because he felt embarrassed about them, and his doctor apparently didn’t think to ask about sexual issues. Had she known about Mike’s erection difficulties, she might have prescribed a drug for erectile dysfunction rather than an antidepressant. But Mike had already bought some Viagra on the Internet. It had helped a little with the erections, but not much, and it did nothing for his energy level or low mood. Barbara was at her wit’s end. She thought Mike’s wit Continue reading >>

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

Editor’s note: Contains adult content Know Your Blood Sugar Levels Before and After Let’s be real. Sex is a unique form of physical exercise in that most of us usually look forward to doing it. Like any other activity that requires physical exertion, getting it on will most likely affect your blood sugar levels. If you find yourself dripping in sweat and can hear your own heartbeat, you might be really into your partner; however, there’s also a chance that your blood sugar has spiked and dropped. It’s good practice to check your blood sugar levels before, during and after you have sex — get creative and think about incorporating this into foreplay and post coital cuddling. Maintain Blood Glucose Levels In The Moment Stock Your Nightstand: Part of what makes sex fun is its unpredictability. That said, it’s important to expect the unexpected in the bedroom if you have Type 1 diabetes. Stock your nightstand with quick fix supplies, such as juice boxes, granola bars and glucose tablets. Having these things an arm’s reach away will allow you to quickly recalibrate your blood sugar if it drops during sex. Take Breaks: It’s totally reasonable to hit pause in the middle of sex if you experience fatigue and sense a drop in your blood sugar. Check your insulin and eat a snack before you get back to having fun. Listen to your body and let your partner know if you need a moment to refuel. Think About What You’re Drinking: Alcohol can play a role in dramatic drops in blood sugar levels. If you choose to mix drinking and sex, stick to white wine, champagne or other beverages with high sugar contents to keep your blood sugar in check. Consider Wearing a Continuous Glucose Monitor: Continuous glucose monitors are devices approved by the FDA that keep track of your blo Continue reading >>

Don’t Ignore Erectile Dysfuntion: It’s Treatable!

Don’t Ignore Erectile Dysfuntion: It’s Treatable!

If you are a man with diabetes, we’ve got good news and bad news about your sex life. The bad news: Men with diabetes are three times more likely to report having problems with sex than non-diabetic men. The most common sexual problem is Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, sometimes called impotence. Even worse, because ED is such a private issue, many men feel embarrassed to discuss the problem with their doctor, or even their partner, so the problem is never addressed. The good news: ED is one of the most treatable complications of diabetes. In fact, over 95 percent of cases can be successfully treated. With proven treatments available, diabetic men with ED have options. It isn’t something you—or your partner—should have to live with. What ED Is—and What It Isn’t ED means the repeated inability to achieve or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Although sexual vigor generally declines with age, a man who is healthy, physically and emotionally, should be able to produce erections, and enjoy sexual intercourse, regardless of his age. ED is not an inevitable part of the aging process. ED does not mean: • An occasional failure to achieve an erection. The adage is true: It really does happen to everyone. All men experience occasional difficulties with erection, usually related to fatigue, illness, alcohol or drug use, or stress. It isn’t fun, but it is totally normal. • Diminished interest in sex. ED occurs when a man is interested in sex, but still cannot achieve or maintain an erection. Many men with diabetes also experience a decreased sex drive, often as a result of hormone imbalances or depression. Decreased sex drive is quite treatable, but it is treated differently from ED. • Problems with ejaculation. Such problems often indicate a st Continue reading >>

How Type 2 Diabetes Can Affect Your Sex Life

How Type 2 Diabetes Can Affect Your Sex Life

Individuals with type 2 diabetes may avoid developing complications of the disease by keeping their blood glucose as steady as possible. Nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, is one of the most serious side effects of type 2 diabetes, affecting everything from your hands and feet to your brain, heart, and more. There are four significant types of diabetic neuropathy, including autonomic neuropathy, which can cause sexual dysfunction. If you're experiencing decreased sexual satisfaction with diabetes, autonomic neuropathy is likely to blame. Try these tips to reclaim your love life. Why Nerve Damage Causes Sexual Dysfunction Poor glucose control causes diabetic neuropathy, which affects the nerves of the sexual organs. According to Deena Adimoolam, MD, assistant professor of diabetes, endocrinology, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage in blood vessels and nerves, which affects sexual health. "Poor blood sugar control has a big impact on the person's sex life," she adds. For women, nerve damage can lead to decreased stimulation, which means the vagina may not produce enough lubrication to allow for easy intercourse. This in turn creates a cascading number of problems, notes Dr. Adimoolam. Sexual problems in women include decreased vaginal lubrication, painful intercourse, and diminished libido or desire, she explains. A study published in August of 2012 found that women who take insulin injections to treat diabetes are twice as likely to report sexual dissatisfaction as women without the condition. A study published in August 2012 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reported that women who do not treat their diabetes with insulin are still 40 percent less satisfied with their sex lives Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Affects Your Sex Life

How Diabetes Affects Your Sex Life

It's easy to pin a lagging libido on stress, depression, age, or lack of sleep. But if your sexual feelings have changed or if intercourse has become uncomfortable or nearly impossible, either as a result of chronically high blood glucose levels (an occasional high level will not cause long-term problems) or nerve problems, diabetes could be the cause. Experts estimate that 75 percent of men and 35 percent of women with diabetes experience some sexual problems due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) to the nerves that stimulate normal sexual response. The good news: Research has shown that people can lower their risk for diabetes-related sexual problems by taking steps to control their diabetes, including: The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a 10-year National Institutes of Health study of individuals with type 1 diabetes, found that improved diabetes control decreased the risk of developing neuropathy by 60 percent. This means the steps you can take to manage your diabetes are the same keys that open the doors to a healthy sexual relationship. What Women Should Know About Sex and Diabetes Women with diabetes may find it difficult to stimulate lubrication, experience orgasm, or even feel sexual desire due to nerve damage. These steps can reduce sexual complications and increase pleasure. Get rid of dryness: For persistent vaginal dryness, purchase a water-base vaginal lubricant over the counter from any pharmacy. You might also work on relaxing the muscles around the vagina with Kegel exercises: contracting your pelvic muscles to control the flow of urine. Lose weight: Being overweight can contribute to low self-esteem and loss of libido. A recent Duke University study found that shedding weight (17.5 percent of body weight) helped obese men and women Continue reading >>

Sex Drive And Loss Of Libido

Sex Drive And Loss Of Libido

The NHS notes relationship issues as one of the most common factors in a loss of sex drive. Talking about your feelings with your partner can be beneficial. You can also get help by talking with Relate, a charity that offers relationship counselling - contact Relate on 0300 100 1234 Your GP can also be able to refer you to speak with a psychosexual therapist. The presence of certain diabetic complications, such as nerve damage (neuropathy) or circulation difficulties, can lead to difficulties in arousal, which can also affect libido. Achieving good control of blood sugar levels is generally recommended for men and women. Low testosterone levels in men and women can lead to a lower sex drive. Women produce testosterone albeit in much smaller quantities than males. If you have low testosterone levels, your GP may be able to prescribe treatments to help. Women approaching the menopause will typically experience a reduction of oestrogen in their blood which can lead to a loss of libido. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help but does have side effects. You can discuss with your GP whether hormone replacement is appropriate. Stress, exhaustion and depression can each lead to reduced interest towards sex. Certain medications for depression, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can lower libido as a possible side effect. If stress, exhaustion or depression is having a negative effect on your sex life, speak to your health team. Drinking excess amounts of alcohol is linked with lower sex drives. The recommended maximum limits for alcohol intakes for men and women are: The thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormone thyroxine. An underactive thyroid gland can lead to symptoms such as tiredness, depression and weight gain, which can have a knock Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Female Sexuality

Diabetes And Female Sexuality

Sexuality not only implies sexual activity but includes the full spectrum of sexual topics which are dependent upon the medical, psychological and sociocultural aspects of a woman. Sexuality covers not only actual sexual activity, but thoughts about sex, physical attributes, and desire for sexual activity. Related issues include fertility and contraception. What is sexual dysfunction? Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem occurring during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Desire and arousal are both part of the excitement phase of the sexual response. Research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common, but many people are hesitant to discuss it. Because treatment options are available, it is important to share your concerns with your partner and health care provider. What are the types of sexual dysfunction? Sexual dysfunction generally is classified into four categories: Desire disorders: Lack of sexual desire or interest in sex Arousal disorders: Inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity Orgasm disorders: Delay or absence of orgasm (climax) Pain disorders: Pain during intercourse What are the symptoms of sexual dysfunction in women? Inability to achieve orgasm Inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse Inability to relax the vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse Lack of interest in or desire for sex Inability to become aroused Pain with intercourse How does diabetes affect sexuality? It is fairly well-known that diabetes and complications can affect the sexuality in men, but it is true for women, also. Women are starting Continue reading >>

11 Tips For A Healthy Sex Life If You Have Diabetes

11 Tips For A Healthy Sex Life If You Have Diabetes

iStock/dolgachov Sex can act like insulin, lowering your blood sugar, so it's a good idea to check your levels before things get frisky. If your blood sugar is at the normal level or on the low side, you may need to adjust your insulin or eat something small before or after sex to avoid making yourself hypoglycemic. If you have an insulin pump, consider unhooking it during sex. Here are some good snacks to eat with diabetes. iStock/bhofack2 Alcohol and vigorous sex both lower blood sugar, so combining the two could cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar. If you've had a glass of wine, be extra sure to monitor your blood glucose before slipping between the sheets. Here's what else you need to know about alcohol and blood sugar. Be especially touchy-feely if one of you has nerve damage iStock/AleksandarNakic It's rare, but in some cases nerve damage reduces sensitivity in the genitals in people who have diabetes. You can compensate for this with additional gentle touching in the right places, or try a vibrator. Don't shy away from lube iStock/zoliky Vaginal dryness is common among women who have diabetes. A simple fix is to keep water-based lubricants in the drawer of your nightstand. Avoid oil-based lubes, such as petroleum jelly, because they can damage condoms and lead to bacterial infection. Exercise to increase your libido iStock/michaeljung Here's even more motivation to get your daily dose of exercise: it can boost your sex drive. Exercise improves blood flow, which will improve the function and sensitivity of genitalia. Both men and women with diminished sex dive will benefit from routine exercise, experts say. And check out these other reasons exercise is so darn healthy for diabetes. Report any below-the-belt issues to your doctor iStock/monkeybusinessimages Pay Continue reading >>

Better Sex With Diabetes

Better Sex With Diabetes

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD Diabetes doesn't have to feel like a third -- and unwanted -- party in bed. You can deal with things like low blood sugar, vaginal dryness, or erection problems by looking at them as hurdles you can overcome, instead of roadblocks that put a stop to sex. Planning ahead can ease some of the challenges. You may associate prep work more with house painting than with having sex, but it can make intimacy more relaxed. Also remember that taking good care of your diabetes is the No. 1 way to prevent or limit sexual issues with diabetes. These tricks and tips can also make sex easier and more fun. 10 Strategies for Better Sex Approach sex like exercise. This helps prevent dreaded blood sugar lows. "Hypoglycemic events during sex are a real buzzkill," says Kerri Morrone Sparling, the author of Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well, who blogs about her life with type 1 diabetes. "Your body just shuts down during a low, so it crushes the enjoyment." If you use insulin, check your blood sugar before sex and have a snack if it's low. For more fun, incorporate snacks into foreplay. Try strawberries or a little ice cream or chocolate. Just go with it. Planning can be helpful, but don't sweat it if sex just happens. "There's no reason not to grab the opportunity if it pops up just because you haven't followed your diabetes exercise routine," says Scott K. Johnson, a diabetes advocate who blogs about his life with type 1 diabetes. Just check your glucose level after. Use a lubricant. If you are a woman with vaginal dryness, a vaginal lubricant can make sex feel better. Ask your doctor about using one regularly, not just during sex. "Think of it like hand cream," says Janis Roszler, a diabetes educator in Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Sexual Health

Type 2 Diabetes And Sexual Health

With chronic illness, sex often gets put on the back burner. But sexuality and sexual expression are at the top of the list when it comes to quality of life, no matter what problems a person may face. People with type 2 diabetes are no different. It’s important to recognize and address sexuality issues that affect people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can cause sexual complications for both genders, and can also cause gender-specific issues. A common sexuality problem in people with type 2 diabetes is a decrease in libido, or loss of a sex drive. This can be frustrating if someone had a thriving libido and satisfying sex life prior to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Causes of a low libido associated with type 2 diabetes include: side effects of medications for high blood pressure or depression extreme fatigue lack of energy depression hormonal changes stress, anxiety, and relationship issues Diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage associated with diabetes, can cause issues. Numbness, pain, or lack of feeling can also occur in the genitals. This can lead to erectile dysfunction. It may also inhibit orgasm or make it difficult to feel sexual stimulation. These side effects can make sex painful or unenjoyable. Communication between partners about sexual issues is important. A lack of communication can impact the sexual and intimate side of a relationship. An illness can make it easy for couples to “check out” of the relationship sexually. Sometimes it may seem easier to avoid talking about this issue rather than seeking a solution. If one partner becomes the primary caregiver of the other, it can also change how each person views the other. It’s easy to get caught up in the roles of “patient” and “caregiver” and let the romance can slip away. The most wide Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Sex Life?

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Sex Life?

Having diabetes affects much more than a person's diet - it can impact every aspect of their life, including their sexual health. Similarly, it is not just the physical side effects of diabetes that cause problems. Diabetes can have an impact on a person's mental health, their sex drive, and their self-esteem. How does diabetes impact the sexual organs? Diabetes can affect the sexual health of both men and women in the following ways: Impact on women Damage caused by diabetes to the nerves can affect a woman's ability to sense sexual stimulation and arousal. This can affect the release of vaginal lubricant, which may result in painful sex and reduced ability to experience an orgasm. When a woman who has diabetes goes through the menopause, she may experience sudden drops in her blood sugar levels. This may affect a woman's sexual health because she may have to check her blood sugar before having sex. She might also experience symptoms of low blood sugar during sex. This may make sex seem more of an inconvenience than a pleasure. Women with diabetes are also more likely to experience infections, such as thrush, cystitis, and urinary tract infections. These can all impact the ability to have sexual intercourse. Impact on men Men with diabetes often have reduced testosterone levels, which can affect their sex drive. However, the main sexual health problem affecting men who have diabetes is an inability to achieve and, or, maintain an erection. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, an estimated 50 percent of men who have had diabetes for 10 years experience erectile dysfunction (ED). In order for a man to achieve an erection, significant blood flow to the penis is required. However, diabetes damages the blood vessels, which can affect blood flow to the penis. Diabetes ca Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Sex

Diabetes And Sex

Tweet Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to complications. In some cases, sexual performance can be affected by diabetes. Up to 50% of men and 25% of women may experience some kind of sexual problems or a loss of sexual desire as a result of diabetes. I am a diabetic man, what kind of problems could diabetes cause to my sex life? For men, diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system over a sustained period of time, also known as diabetic neuropathy. One aspect of this is the potential for diabetes to damage the erectile tissue leaving it impossible for a man to achieve or maintain an erection. Almost 1 in 3 men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be the way in which men discover that they have diabetes. However, through strict management if the disease through diet, exercise, pills and insulin injections, minor sexual problems usually recede and it is possible for the man to achieve and erection. I am a diabetic woman, what kind of problems could diabetes cause to my sex life? For some women with diabetes, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) can be recurrent. Vaginitis can be brought on by a number of different ways including bacterial inbalance of the vagina (bacterial vaginitis) yeast infections (thrush) or from chemical irritation, such as from soaps or fabric conditioners. This can make sex painful, and is heralded by itching or burning sensations. Cystitis can also be a recurrent problem for women with diabetes. Furthermore, some evidence indicates that, in a similar way to men being unable to maintain an erection, the woman’s clitoris may fail to respond to stimulation. Hypoglycemia and sex Hypoglycemia can occur during sex. You may also suffer from a night time hypo as the physical exertions of sex mean that in s Continue reading >>

Yes, You Can Still Have A Healthy Sex Life With Diabetes—here’s What You Need To Know.

Yes, You Can Still Have A Healthy Sex Life With Diabetes—here’s What You Need To Know.

When you think about enjoying life and all its pleasures, great sex may be one of the first things to pop into your mind. The good news is that there’s no reason you can’t have a full and satisfying sex life if you have diabetes. But you need to understand how your disease can affect different aspects of your sexuality and sexual function. Here’s what people who have diabetes have to say about how to live your best life. First, bear in mind that sexual intimacy can be physically vigorous, burning calories. That means that, like exercise, it may put you at risk of hypoglycemia—inconvenient when making love, to say the least. (Here’s what you need to know about hypoglycemia.) To keep blood sugar stable, it’s wise to take glucose readings before and after sex to get an idea of how your body responds. Try having a sugary drink or a small snack beforehand or, with your doctor’s approval, adjusting your insulin if you know that sexual intimacy is in the offing. For Women Only Sexuality is complex in women even without interference from a chronic condition, so it’s no surprise that they generally experience more sexual side effects related to diabetes than men. But the problems are not insurmountable. They may include: Blood-sugar fluxes Though it’s not a universal experience, many women notice their blood sugar rises a few days before their monthly period begins. Researchers suspect (though not all agree) that fluxes in female sex hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, temporarily make cells more resistant to insulin. If you suspect this is a problem for you: For several months, keep a log of when your period begins, then compare it to your daily blood-sugar records. If you find a distinct correlation between your glucose levels and your menstrual cycl Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Sex

Diabetes & Sex

Having diabetes can have a major impact on your sex life. Prolonged high blood sugar levels increase the chances of developing sexual dysfunction and this is more likely to be the case if you have neuropathy or reduced circulation. All types of diabetes can lead to difficulties with sexual intercourse, although it’s no foregone conclusion and, should problems occur, there are a range of different treatments that can help. How diabetes can affect sex life Reduced sensitivity – if neuropathy causes sensory nerves of the genitals to be damaged Sexual dysfunction – this can affect both men and women Reduced libido – reduced sex drive may be caused by a number of factors Hypoglycemia – can occur during sex if you take certain diabetes medications Urinary tract infections – regularly high blood glucose levels may increase the chance of developing a UTI Sexual dysfunction may be temporary and could be brought on by psychological reasons, a new course of medication, or higher or lower blood glucose levels than normal. If sexual dysfunction does not improve, or gets worse, consult your doctor. He or she should be familiar with discussing sexual difficulties so don’t feel embarrassed about any problems you have or put off making an appointment. How diabetes can affect sex for men Diabetes can result in narrowed blood vessels and damaged nerves in the penis, both of which can lead to difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction). Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), a common complication of diabetes, may lead to reduced sensitivity of the penis meaning which may make ejaculation more difficult to achieve. Phimosis (tight foreskin) is more common in men with higher than normal blood glucose levels. Phimosis may improve once blood glucose level Continue reading >>

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