Sexual health and diabetes are undoubtedly linked, and better diabetes control is also linked with better sexual performance in many cases.

However, sexual health is an extremely personal and private issue. Being able to use an anonymous forum allows people to address these kind of issues and receive the advice and support of their peers – many of whom have encountered the same problems.

How diabetes affects men

There are a variety of ways that diabetes influences sexual health and virility, many of which are also associated with the effects of aging. For men, the most common are erectile or ejaculation problems.

How diabetes affects women’s sexual health

Meanwhile, women may have sexual response problems or lubrication issues. Furthermore, bladder problems and infections in the urinary tract are more common amongst people with diabetes. Keeping good diabetes control can make all the difference in lowering sexual and urologic risks.

Diabetes and sexual health is a complex issue, and isn’t always physical. There is no question that the mind has an enormous influence on libido and sexual response.

However, on a physical basis the damage to autonomic nerves interferes with blood flow, and this is what can hinder normal sexual function. Male sexual problems linked with diabetes include erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.

Female sexual problems linked with diabetes include decreased vaginal lubrication and decreased sexual response. Urologic problems linked with diabetes may affect both men and women.  These include neurogenic bladder and urinary tract infections.

Sexual health risk factors

The risk of sexual health problems for people with diabetes increase if the patient has poor blood glucose control, high levels of cholesterol , high blood pressure, is overweight, is over the age of 40, and is a smoker.

Closely managing blood glucose and cholesterol, being physically active and not overweight, and stopping smoking all help to reduce risks to sexual health.

What the community is saying about sexual health

  • Fergus : Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and make erection impossible. Very often, it improves if control is really good. However, it’s a common problem in diabetic men. I’m horrified to find that most diabetic healthcare teams don’t ask about this routinely. It’s so common. However, if the problem persists, the patient has the right to treatment. He needs to go to his care team, tell them and ask for help.
  • Makram1 : With age a man does lose some power and ED affects some with type 1 or 2. That is not the end of the road. There are many solutions and certainly an expert, i.e. Urologist can treat or diagnose. Buying anything on the internet or by some other means is a great risk. Those who are on mono nitrate would be risking if they take any drug like Viagra. Best person is your GP who can refer you to the Hospital specialist for this particular treatment. Get it and enjoy the life in this advanced era of medicine.
  • Goji : After the discussion we had on this thread, I wrote to NHS Choices about not listing female sexual dysfunction as a complication of diabetes and they have agreed to change the page and have updated the complications page to include under sexual dysfunction…
  • Buachaille : In our house everything returned to normal when blood glucose levels returned to near non-diabetic levels.
  • Fujifilm : I have tried the more sex makes my diabetes better balanced argument, but she’s not buying it. And if thinking about it lowers BG I should be in a coma.

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