Can Diabetes Affect Your Personal Life | Diabetes Care | New Treatment
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In many cases, sexual performance can be affected by diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to complications. 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.
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
lack of energy
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.
How to prevent sexual health from diabetes?
Sexual problems that occur with type 2 diabetes can be frustrating, and cause anxiety. You may feel that giving up on sexual expression is easier than finding ways to cope or adjust. Here are some tips you can try to maintain an active sex life despite having type 2 diabetes:
Fight low energy and fatigue
If low energy and fatigue are a problem, try having sex at a different time of day, when your energy is at its peak. Nighttime may not always be the right time. After a long day, and with the added fatigue that comes with diabetes, the last thing you may have energy for is sex. Try sex in the mornings or afternoons.
Don’t let incontinence be a barrier
Many type 2 diabetes patients experience incontinence. Embarrassed? Don’t be. Everyone urinates.
If you experience urine leaks and are uncomfortable sharing your body with someone sexually, you should feel free to talk about it. Padding the bed can go a long way to help. Lay down a couple of towels or purchase urine pads from a medical supply company to help ease the situation.
Stay healthy enough for sex
Maintain good overall health for a healthy sex life. For people with diabetes, this includes maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Sex is exercise in the sense that is uses energy, so be aware of your glucose levels.
If you’re on medications that increase the amount of insulin in your body, hypoglycemia can also occur during sex. Consider checking your blood sugar levels before engaging in sexual activity
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