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.