Diabetes and female sexual dysfunction (FSD) tends to get less coverage than male sexual dysfunction but studies have found that the prevalence in women could be as much an issue for women as men.
Sexual dysfunction in women can affect sexual desire and arousal and can also lead to pain during sex
How diabetes can affect sex for women
Sex can affect women in the following ways:
- Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) often caused by yeast infections
- Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) often a result of a urinary tract infection
- Trouble with vaginal lubrication
- Difficulty with arousal of the clitoris
- Pain during sex
- Difficulty achieving orgasm
- Psychological effects
Causes of female sexual dysfunction
Vascular damage (damage to blood vessels) can affect blood supply to the vagina and clitoris which can cause problems with dryness and arousal. Neuropathy (nerve damage) can have a similar effect in that it can reduce sensitivity.
Diabetes can also lead to low oestrogen levels which can also affect lubrication of the vagina.
However, it does not affect your ability to become pregnant
Psychological reasons can be a common cause of sexual dysfunction in women and can affect relationships
Diabetes no doubt makes life harder and this can affect one’s sex life in a number of ways including stress, self-image and through to depression
Treatments for female sexual dysfunction
If the issues are related to psychological issues then you may benefit from sexual and relationship therapy.
Some problems with vaginal lubrication may be a result of psychological issues, however, for those that aren’t standard lubricants can be used or a long lasting vaginal moisturiser, which can alleviate dryness for a number of days.