Sexual Health and Type 2 Diabetes


Sex might be placed on the back burner when dealing with chronic illnesses. However, regardless of the various issues a person may encounter, keeping healthy sexuality and sexual expression is important to preserving a person’s quality of life.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes are no exception. It is critical to identify and address sexuality issues that impact diabetics. Sexual problems are a risk factor for both sexes with type 2 diabetes.

Problems of sexual health affecting both men and women

A frequent sexual health concern is a drop in libido or loss of sex drive for persons with type 2 diabetes. This might be disappointing if someone had prosperous libido and sex life before diagnosing Type 2 diabetes.

The side effects of high blood pressure or depression medicines, a lack of energy, sadness, hormonal changes, stress, worry and relationship difficulties are causes of low type 2 diabetes libido

Neuropathy Associated with Diabetes

Sexual problems can occur as a result of diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage linked with diabetes. Genital numbness, discomfort, or loss of sensation can also occur. This is a risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction (ED). Neuropathy may also impair orgasm or make sexual pleasure harder to perceive. These adverse consequences might make sex unpleasant or painful.

Relationship Issues

It is vital to communicate between partners about any sexual concerns. An absence of communication might damage a relationship’s sexual and personal aspect. A health condition might make sexual examination simple for couples. Sometimes it may appear simpler than to look for a solution to avoid talking about the problem. If one spouse becomes the other’s primary caretaker, it might affect the way they perceive one other. It’s easy to become involved in “patient” and “patient” roles and let the romance slip away.

Concerns about men’s sexual health

ED is the most commonly reported sexual health problem among men with diabetes. Some diabetes instances are identified first while a guy is looking for ED therapy. Unless an erection is achieved or maintained until ejaculation, harm to the nerves, muscles or vascular systems might be induced. According to the Cleveland Clinic, somewhere about 50% of men with diabetes will have ED. Side effects of some drugs may affect the amount of testosterone, also causing ED. Other diabetes-accompanying disorders can potentially lead to ED.

Studies indicate that men with diabetes typically have decreased amounts of testosterone, which may influence their sex desire.

Other problems associated with diabetes, such as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, poor self-esteem, and anxiety, as well as inactivity or insufficient exercise, can all contribute to ED.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Another sexual health problem that men might suffer as a consequence of type 2 diabetes is retrograde ejaculation. It happens when semen is ejaculated into the bladder rather than out of the penis.

It’s because your inner sphincter muscles don’t function correctly. These muscles open and close the passageways in the body. Abnormally high amounts of glucose might injure the sphincter muscles and cause retrograde ejaculation.

Retrograde ejaculation isn’t dangerous and only needs therapy if you try to father a kid. If you experience dry orgasms, however, check with your doctor that your condition is not caused by an issue that requires care. See your doctor if you and your wife have had frequent, unprotected relationships for one year or more and have failed to conceive. The reason of your issue may be retrograde Ejaculation if you ejaculate very little or no semen.

Ask your doctor if you are taking medicines or have health issues that put you at risk for retrograde ejaculation what you may do to reduce your risk. If you require surgery which may damage your bladder neck, such as prostate or bladder surgery, inquire about the risk of retrograde ejaculation. If you want to have children in the future, discuss semen preservation alternatives with your doctor before surgery.

Women’s Sexual Health Concerns

Vaginal dryness is the most frequent sexual health problem with type 2 diabetes for women. This is due to hormonal changes or decreased blood supply to the genitals. Women with diabetes had higher vaginal and inflammatory rates. Both can cause sex to be painful. Bladder nerve injury can also induce sexual incontinence.

Women with diabetes also have more frequent infections of the urinary system (UTIs). This can also make sex unpleasant and uneasy.

Prevent type 2 diabetes from seizing control of your sexual life

Type 2 sexual difficulties can be stressful and create worry. You may believe that it is simpler to abandon sexual expression than discover strategies to adapt or modify. However, even having type 2 diabetes, you can strive to have an active sex life. Changes in lifestyles, medicines and opening up communication channels with your partner are just a few things which you could find beneficial.

Try another time of the day

If low energy and weariness are a concern, consider having sex when your energy is at its height. It may not always be the perfect moment at night. After a hard day, and the additional weariness with diabetes, sex is your last thing. Try intercourse either in the morning or in the afternoon. Test to find what works best for you.

Utilize lubricants to combat dryness

Use lubricant freely to treat vaginal dryness. Water-based lubricants are the best and a large number of brands are available. Don’t be scared to stop adding additional lubrication during sex.

Enhance Libido with drugs

Hormonal replacement treatment (HRT) can benefit both men and women suffering from reduced libido, vaginal dryness, and erectile dysfunction (ED).

HRT medicines are available in the form of pills, patches, creams, and injectables. It is better for you to take your doctor approval before taking any of the above HRT medicines.

Maintain a sufficient level of health for Sex

Keep healthy overall for a healthy sex life. This involves maintaining correct blood sugar levels for persons with diabetes. Sex is exercise in that it takes energy, so be conscious of your levels of glucose. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can also happen during sex, if you use medicines that increase the amount of insulin in your body. Consider monitoring your blood sugar levels before having sex.

Also remember that your heart’s excellent for your genitals. Sexual exhilaration, vaginal lubrication and erection are all about blood flow. Engage in a lifestyle which supports excellent heart health and good circulation of blood. This involves frequent exercise participation. Furthermore, exercise can improve your energy, attitude and body image.

Allow incontinence to not be an Impediment

Numerous individuals with type 2 diabetes suffer from incontinence. If you have an unpleasant pee leak, discuss it with your spouse. Padding the bed can be quite beneficial. Set down a few towels or invest in some incontinence pads to assist alleviate the issue.

Consult your physician

Talk to your doctor about sexual health concerns. Sexual dysfunction may or may not work as an indication of development of the disease. Don’t be scared to talk about drugs’ sexual negative effects. Ask whether there are other drugs that do not have the same side effects.

According to a research published in Diabetes Care in the September 2010 edition, just 19 percent of women and 47 percent of men with diabetes spoke to their physicians about their sexual health. However, the research also showed that a considerable proportion of men and women with diabetes aged 57–85 are involved 2–3 times a week in sexual activity.

Persons with diabetes who have sexual health issues or inquiries should consult their endocrinologist or doctor. A doctor may also advise a counsellor or therapist to enhance self-esteem and self-perception. Couple counselling may also be helpful.

Feel free to inquire about ED medicines, too. Penile pumps might potentially be an alternative if you’re not a suitable candidate for ED medicines.

Concentrate on your Relationship

Keep a watchful eye on your connection. Consider alternative methods of expressing intimacy when desire is not at its height. Massages, cuddling and taking shower together are the other ways to maintain your intimacy.

Take the time to be a couple who don’t concentrate on caring. Have a dating night when the diabetes issue is off-limits. Contact your spouse about your emotions and potential sexual problems. Consider support groups or therapy to assist with persistent emotional problems or sex.

Choose a Healthy lifestyle

Never underestimate the impact that a few little modifications can have. Consider the following strategies to enhance your erectile dysfunction and general wellness.

Say No to Smoking

Tobacco usage, particularly smoking, reduces blood arteries that may lead or exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Smoking can also reduce your body’s chemical nitric oxide levels, which indicate blood flow into your penis. Do not give up asking for help if you have attempted to quit on your own, but couldn’t. There are a lot of ways, including drugs, to help you stop.

Get Rid of unwanted pounds

Obesity can either cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

Make physical activity a part of your everyday routine

Exercise can aid in the treatment of underlying problems that contribute to erectile dysfunction in a variety of ways, including stress reduction, weight loss, and increased blood flow.

Reduce the Consumption of Alcohol

Excessive alcohol use can exacerbate erectile dysfunction. If you want to consume alcohol, do so sparingly. This equates to up to one drink per day for males over the age of 65 and up to two drinks per day for men 65 and under.

The Bottom Line

A healthy and active sex life is essential for your life quality. Diabetes type 2 may be more difficult for sexual activity, but does not imply that you have to forget sexual expression entirely. Sexual problems typically solve themselves when diabetes therapy is effective. If you remain healthy and talk to your spouse and health care professional about any problems, you can have a good sex life.