Sex and Insulin Pumps

Insulin pump users often ask what to do with their pump during sex
Insulin pump users often ask what to do with their pump during sex

A common question for people starting off on an insulin pump, or considering going onto a pump, is what should I do with my pump during sex?

We take a look at some of the options available and show you how other people with diabetes deal with their insulin pumps for sex.

Taking off the insulin pump

You can take your insulin pump off before having sex. This is one of the more popular options.

Diabetes UK recommends not spending longer than an hour disconnected from your pump.

When disconnected, you may find your blood glucose levels start to rise. If convenient, a blood test before and after sex will show you whether or how much your blood sugar has risen whilst disconnected.

Here’s what members of the Diabetes Forum say about taking their pumps off for sex:

"Take it off, have fun and put it back on when you're ready, as long as it’s not 3 hours later?! Just give a bit more a bolus when you reconnect, it works for me, but then everyone is different."

"I'm male. I take my pump off when I have sex. It's never been an issue. Given the exercise you need less insulin anyways"

"Depending on what your comfortable with I tend to unclip mine before and then just reclip it back on, think everyone finds their own way which you will yourself with time."

Leaving the pump on

Another option is to leave your pump on. You’ll need to take a bit of care so as not to accidentally tug sharply on any of the tubing.

If you leave your pump on, you’ll need to treat sex as a form of exercise and beware of going hypo.

You may wish to adjust your insulin delivery or have some carbohydrate before starting to prevent your blood glucose from dipping too low.

Here’s what the Forum members say about leaving their insulin pumps on during sex:

"I haven't had to disconnect yet and frankly, I've hardly noticed I'm attached!! It's caused a couple of giggles as we've had to quickly shove the pump out of the way and then the tube got tangled but as soon as it did we were both aware, had a giggle and carried on! I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much, give it a go and have fun practising"

"Luckily my boyfriend is very understanding, and doesn’t find it a problem. Sometimes I stay attached with it in my bra, other times it gets unattached and thrown on the bed to be found later! If you don’t let it be an issue, then it shouldn’t be."

Letting the moment dictate

Sometimes you may not want to adopt a different approach at different times:

"Sometimes I take it off if things are moving slowly enough if you know what I mean but if it is mad, spontaneous sex that you don't have time to think about, then I have left it on. Yeah it sometimes gets in the way but we have a laugh about it then chuck it out the way. If I do take it off, even without insulin for short while, I tend to go hypo after sex anyway!"

What will my partner think of my insulin pump?

This is quite a common question and some people will be more self-conscious about being attached their pumps than others.

From the above answers, you’ll see that insulin pumps aren’t usually an issue, and as one Forum member puts it:

"If an insulin pump puts someone off a relationship then I guess they weren't worth it in the first place!!"

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