Having High Sugar Levels For A Long Period Of Time Can Cause Problems In How You Have Sex Called Sexual Dysfunction
Most people will have sexual problems at some point in their lives, whether they have diabetes or not. And having diabetes doesnt mean you will automatically have a problem. But people with diabetes are more at risk of sexual dysfunction . It’s one of the complications of diabetes, and happens because of high blood sugar levels, as well as high blood pressure and blood fats .
Having high sugar levels for a period of time can damage your blood vessels and nerves, including the ones that supply your penis. This can restrict the amount of blood flowing to your sexual organs, so you can lose some sensation. This could mean you have difficulty getting aroused, both physically and in how you feel.
Sex can be an important part of our lives, but it’s something we still struggle to talk about. Getting the time and support to talk about sexual problems with a healthcare professional is one of your 15 essential healthcare checks. This the care and support youre entitled to, so if youre not getting this type of care and you need it, dont be afraid to ask your healthcare team. Theyre here to help.
Here well take you through some types of sexual problems in men. This information can help you manage any problems you may have now, or reduce your risk of developing them in the future. And if you’re looking for information about sexual problems in women, we’ve got that too.
The Sexual Side Effects Of Diabetes
Sexual dysfunction includes any problems that happen within the sexual response cycle, says Avadhanula. Everything from attaining an erection to reduced libido can be an issue for people living with diabetes.
Avadhanula says that while most of the studies focus on sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes, the disease affects women as well. With both genders, the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to experience sexual dysfunction in some way, she says.
If you have diabetes, plus any of these symptoms, there may be a connection:
- Lessened libido: Do you feign headaches more often than not to get out of sex?
- Arousal inability: Does it no longer get up the way it used to? Or, have you stocked up on lubricant because you go through it so quickly?
- Are you going through the motions without the promise of an orgasm?
- Intercourse-related pain: Do you avoid sex because it just plain hurts?
- Infections: Have you routinely experienced vaginitis or urinary tract infections?
It Is Well Known That Diabetes Affects The Nerves In Men This Can Cause Sexual Health Issues As It May Manifest As Erectile Dysfunction
Written by Editorial Team | Updated : November 18, 2019 5:23 PM IST
Diabetes, as we all know, is a condition where the level of glucose in the blood goes up abnormally. If this glucose level is not controlled, it can lead to major health complications and affect many vital organs of the body. Complications of diabetes include heart diseases, kidney damage, nerve problems and vision issues to name a few. It may also affect men and women in different ways. While women Since it causes nerve damage, it may cause sexual problems in men. In fact, a popular diabetes drug, Metformin, is known to suppress the production of testosterone and decrease sex drive. One of the common side-effects of this condition in men is the issue of erectile dysfunction. This can lead to relationship problems. In fact, along with hypertension, obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and smoking, diabetes too is a leading cause of this condition.
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction
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Disturbance In Overall Sexual Relationship And Marriage
Due to various problems during sexual intercourse, it has an adverse impact on your overall sex and marriage life.
Many people find it awkward to discuss about this issue with the experts, making their sex life worse.
The study shows that men and women, regardless of their age are more likely to have a happy sex and married life in comparison to the people diagnosed with diabetes, which shows that it creates a disturbance in your overall sexual relationship and marriage.
Hence, diabetes can badly affect your sex life and marriage. However, there are some ways to reduce these sexual problems created by diabetes too. I will briefly describe it.
What Makes Me More Likely To Develop Sexual Or Bladder Problems
Youre more likely to develop sexual or bladder problems if you have diabetes and
- have high blood glucose that is not well controlled, also called high blood sugar
- have nerve damage, also called neuropathy
- have high blood pressure that is not treated
- have high cholesterol that is not treated
- are are overweight or have obesity
- are not physically active
Research also suggests that certain genes may make people more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy.2
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To Pump Or Not To Pump
Some people think insulin pumps don’t get in the way of good sex. Others feel that having tubes attached makes them less attractive or kills the mood.
Sparling removes her pump before sex, as she does when she exercises. After sex, she checks her blood sugar again and takes a dose of insulin if it is high or has a snack if it’s low. If you’re worried about falling asleep or forgetting to reconnect, you can set the alarm on your pump or cell phone.
If you don’t want to disconnect your pump, using long tubing can give you more freedom to move around. And it helps to let your partner know where it’s attached so the person doesn’t grab it by accident. If it does get yanked out and starts to bleed, though, it’s not a problem, Roszler says. “Just put pressure on the area until the bleeding stops.”
With a regular partner, a glitch like this, or disconnecting a pump during foreplay, may not be awkward. But what if you’re with a new partner you haven’t told about your diabetes? This is not a problem for Sparling or Johnson, who are both married. But Johnson says he could see that some people might prefer insulin shots over a pump if they’re playing the field.
“With an injection, you might not have to mention your diabetes unless and until you want to,” he says. “A pump kind of forces the disclosure.”
Can Sexual And Bladder Problems Be Symptoms Of Diabetes
Yes. Changes in sexual function or bladder habits may be a sign that you have diabetes. Nerve damage caused by diabetes, also called diabetic neuropathy, can damage parts of your bodylike your genitals or urinary tract. For example, men with diabetes may develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.1
Talk with a health care professional if you have any symptoms of diabetes, including sexual and bladder problems.
How Diabetes Affects The Sex Life Of Men
If youre a man, you wouldnt want to be this kind of sweet.
Were pretty sure most of you are already familiar with some of the more odious complications of diabetes like heart disease, kidney disease, and gangrene. What were not that much familiar with is the relation of high blood sugar with low testosterone in men.
Yes, being sweet is nice and all, especially for men. However being sweet by virtue of a high blood sugar level is not nice at all. Having a high blood sugar level can potentially ruin a mans proclivities in bed at best and make him infertile at worst.
What Women Should Know
Many women with Type 1 diabetes experience vaginal dryness as a result of high blood sugar levels, which may contribute to pain or discomfort during sex, a lackluster sex drive, potential difficulties reaching climax and a generally reduced sexual response. Whether youre all about foreplay or aiming for The Big O, dont forget to keep lubricants nearby. Remember that blood glucose levels can spike depending on what products you apply to your skin, so be sure the one on your nightstand is sugar-free. In addition, practicing daily kegel exercises will strengthen the muscles in your southern regions and improve your bodys sensitivity to stimulation.
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Does Low Testosterone Matter
Low sexual libido can be sign of low testosterone in men, which is more common in men with diabetes than men without, according to a study published in April 2007 in the journal Diabetes Care. Sisson says your healthcare provider can test you for low testosterone, and it can be treated with testosterone replacement medication, such as patches.
Nangia says that low testosterone is also linked to metabolic syndrome a cluster of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and excess fat around your waistline, that increase your risk for heart disease diabetes, and other health problems. You can treat metabolic syndrome by getting these risk factors under control. Exercise, lose weight, eat healthy foods, and quit smoking if you smoke.
Yeast And Bladder Infections
Women with diabetes are more likely to have yeast infections, because yeast organisms can grow more easily when your blood glucose levels are higher. Yeast infections can be uncomfortable or painful and prevent you from enjoying activities, including having sex.
Although some yeast infections can be treated at home, talk with a health care professional first about your symptoms. Some symptoms of yeast infections are similar to other types of infections, including sexually transmitted diseases.
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Low Sexual Desire And Response
Low sexual desire and sexual response can include
- being unable to become or stay aroused
- not having enough vaginal lubrication
- having little to no feeling in your genitals
- being unable to have an orgasm or rarely having one
With diabetes, your body and mind will likely go through many changes. For example, both high and low blood glucose levels can affect how and if you become aroused. Or, you may find yourself more tired than usual or depressed and anxious, making you less interested in sex.
Your health care team can help you make changes to your diabetes care plan so that youre back on track. Women who keep blood glucose levels in their target range are less likely to have nerve damage, which can lead to low sexual desire and response.
Lawrence Noticed Occasional Erectile Problems Before He Was Diagnosed With Diabetes And Thought
Sexual dysfunction in men means that they cannot get and/or maintain an erection. In women it means that they lose desire, suffer from vaginal dryness or experience pain during sex and cannot reach orgasm. Sexual dysfunction is more likely to occur when someone’s blood glucose levels are not being well controlled which means that nerves and nerve endings become damaged and physical sensations are reduced. It is not always possible for doctors to know exactly what causes erectile dysfunction it may be the result of diabetes or other health conditions such as hyperthyroidism. Also, some medications such as beta blockers which slow the heart rate may affect the ability to have erections.
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Why Dont I Feel Like Having Sex Anymore
Libido is multifactorial, says Nangia. Besides the physical issues of, say, ED or ejaculatory dysfunction, he says libido is tied to depression, marital status, hormones, emotions, gender, and sexuality.
Sisson also points to the complexity of sexual desire, including your partners interest in sex. When a man complains about trouble having sex, Sisson says he always asks: Well, do you want to? And does your spouse want to? Your partners interest in sex cant be discounted, says Sisson. If youre having marital strife, youre having a fight, thats not conducive to a healthy sexual relationship, he adds. Talking about relationship problems with your spouse or a family counselor could help.
Could Metformin Be Killing My Sex Drive
You’re on 1000 Metformin a day and think that’s killing your sex drive? Never had that issue. Sorry. I’ve been on 2000 Met a day for 17 months. That being said, I think every couple in their marriage goes through period where they are not in the mood as much. Is your Dx recent? Because if you are already a mom of 3 that alone could take energy out of you….then to be hit with a IF Dx?! One period when my DH and I went a few weeks without really feeling like sex was for DH right after he was told about his MFI. Sometimes you just have to take some time toaccept that your diagnosis does not take away from how sexy you are to your partner. IUI#4 1/23/13 on 75iu x9 Follistim = BFP then chem preg m/c IVF w/ICSI Oct. 2, 2012 – 13R, 11M, 7F, 1 frozen blast 4BB grade – – – FET Nov 15, 2013 BFP! Beta 1:104 @ 10dp6dt, Beta 2:178 @ 12dp6dt, beta 3:366 @ 14dp6dt Saw heartbeat twice before missed M/C at 8w3d on 12/27/13, missing my little angel boy JUNE 2014 IVF#2 5R, 2M, 1F Three day transfer 6/7. Beta 6/18 – BFNContinue reading > >
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Good Diabetes Health = Good Sex
Taking care of your diabetes is the best sex strategy. Good blood glucose control can prevent or ease sexual issues so you can “do everything you want to do in sex,” Sparling says. “And what better impetus to diabetes control is there, especially if you’re young, than getting to have a good, healthy sex life?”
Reduced Sperm Progressive Motility
Your sperms motility is regulated through the mitochondrial membrane potential, which is a key indicator of cell health. This means that when your cells mitochondrial membrane potential is high, your cell is healthy and functioning well.
Unfortunately, diabetic men often have low mitochondrial membrane potential. This is linked to the decreased sperm motility that diabetic men often suffer from.
Research shows that male diabetic patients often show altered mitochondrial function between 5 to 10 years after the onset of their diabetes. Reduced sperm motility eventually follows, especially in men who have had diabetes for more than 10 years already.
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Why Nerve Damage Causes Sexual Dysfunction
Poor glucose control causes diabetic neuropathy, which affects the nerves of the sexual organs.
According to Deena Adimoolam, MD, assistant professor of diabetes, endocrinology, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage in blood vessels and nerves, which affects sexual health. “Poor blood sugar control has a big impact on the person’s sex life,” she adds.
For women, nerve damage can lead to decreased stimulation, which means the vagina may not produce enough lubrication to allow for easy intercourse. This in turn creates a cascading number of problems, notes Dr. Adimoolam. Sexual problems in women include decreased vaginal lubrication, painful intercourse, and diminished libido or desire, she explains. A study published in August of 2012 found that women who take insulin injections to treat diabetes are twice as likely to report sexual dissatisfaction as women without the condition. A study published in August 2012 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reported that women who do not treat their diabetes with insulin are still 40 percent less satisfied with their sex lives than women without the condition.
How Are Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction Related
For men, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, or ED for short. Based on data from a survey study, the risk is 50% higher for men with diabetes compared to men without diabetes, regardless of what type of diabetes they have. While many men may develop ED as they age, those who have diabetes may develop ED 5 10 years earlier than most.
It is important to note that ED can be related to insufficient blood flowing to penis , emotional issues such as depression , or problems with the nerves to the penis . Diabetes can cause or make these issues worse. As such, patients with diabetes who experience ED tend to notice that the problem gradually gets worse.
Current medical knowledge has identified several likely causes in patients specifically with diabetes.
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Why Arent My Erections Like They Used To Be
For years, it has been well known that erectile dysfunction is more common in men who have diabetes. A study published in July 2017 in the journal Diabetic Medicine offers clues on the prevalence of this issue: Men with diabetes are 3.5 times more likely to have ED than men without diabetes.
High blood glucose damages nerves, meaning the lets have sex signal doesnt make it to the penis. It also narrows the peniss blood vessels so you dont get enough blood to the penis for an erection.
You cant reverse damage to nerves and blood vessels in your penis, but you can prevent further damage by lowering your A1C, says urologist Ajay Nangia, bacholor of medicine and bachelor of surgery, a professor of urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
Treatments for ED include pills, such as Viagra , Cialis , and Levitra . Dr. Sisson says these pills can be highly effective, especially if you can still sometimes get an erection. People who take nitrates for chest pain should not take ED medication, as it may cause dangerously low blood pressure, he adds. Dr. Nangia says that other treatment options include injection therapy, a vacuum erectile device, or a penile implant or prosthesis.