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Type 2 Diabetes may be Hijacking your Sex Life

by | Jan 13, 2022 | Articles, Diabetes, Sexual health

Quality of life

A person may face various problems that they have to deal with as they go through life. However, research has shown that for most people, healthy sexuality and sexual expression are right at the top of the list when it comes to maintaining the quality of life. Good sex is what helps to make marriages and relationships work. When the sexual issues are off the rails, quality of life may also become unsatisfactory. Communication about any sexual issues is important, as a lack of communication in this area, can harm the intimate side of a relationship.

Type 2 diabetes is slightly milder than Type 1, which is an auto-immune disease, where the pancreas cannot produce any insulin, and the patient has to inject insulin on a daily basis to control blood sugar. In Type 2 patients, the pancreas is still working, and sometimes can be controlled by diet and medication to keep sugar levels under control. However, although milder than Type 1, Type 2 diabetes can still cause major health problems and a lower quality of life. Note that globally there are 460 million people with Type 2, and approximately 1 million related deaths per year.

Sexual health issues associated with type 2 diabetes

Although the symptoms may differ, the sexual problems can affect both men and women, with the most common issue being a loss of libido. This is obviously frustrating to someone who had a healthy sexual desire and a satisfying sex life before a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Another disorder that affects both women and men is known as diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes. This can cause pain, numbness, or a lack of feeling in the genitals. The nerve damage may also inhibit orgasm, and make it difficult to feel sexual stimulation. These side effects can make sex painful and unenjoyable. Nerve damage to the bladder may cause incontinence during sex.

Some sexual issues specific to women caused by Type 2 diabetes:

  • Vaginal dryness, increased rates of vaginal infections. This can be a result of impaired blood flow to the genitals or hormonal changes.
  • Studies have shown that excess sugar in the blood, lowers the immune system, and makes women more vulnerable to urinary tract infections, which also makes sex painful.

Sexual issues pertinent to men:

  • The most widely reported sexual health issue reported by men with diabetes is erectile dysfunction. (ED) Most men complain that they have difficulty getting an erection, and often struggle to maintain the erection during sex. Researchers however have noted that many times when men visit the doctor to discuss ED issues, blood tests have revealed that several of them are actually diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes for the first time.
  • Nerve damage relating to diabetes may also contribute to the ED problems, as well as poor blood flow to the genitals can lead to lead to a lower sperm count.
  • If the nerves in the bladder are seriously damaged, it could result in leaking during sex.

If you or your partner are having certain challenges in your sex life, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor. It may be diabetes. When diabetes treatment is successful, sexual issues often spontaneously resolve themselves, especially if you make a point of staying healthy and adopting good lifestyle habits. You will be able to maintain a healthy sex life if you communicate with your partner or the doctor if issues pop up.

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