A diabetes diagnosis affects more than your diet. If it affects all aspects of your life, including your sexual health. Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels, often leading to cardiovascular problems and nerve damage. Both of these health complications have a negative impact on your sexual health.
Diabetes also affects a person’s self-esteem and mental health, which can affect sexual health. Read on to learn how diabetes affects men and women and how to improve your sex life if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Impact Men’s Sexual Health?
Research has shown that men diagnosed with diabetes have reduced testosterone levels which can negatively impact their sex drives. It is also known that men with diabetes cannot get or maintain an erection, a condition known as erectile dysfunction.
For a man to get and maintain an erection, there must be significant blood flow to the penis. However, diabetes is known to can blood vessel damage which can affect the flow of blood to the penis. It also causes nerve damage, making it hard for them to maintain an erection.
Type 2 diabetes also occurs alongside excess weight or obesity, increasing the risk of developing ED. The ADA (American Diabetes Association) says that at least 20% of erectile dysfunction cases are due to fear of sexual failure, low self-esteem, and mental health concerns. All these factors affect people diagnosed with lifelong conditions, including diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Impact Women’s Sexual Health?
High levels of increased blood sugar levels often cause nerve damage though out the body. This affects the women’s ability to experience sexual arousal and stimulation, and in some cases, it can affect the release of vaginal lubricant.
Most of these body changes often result in painful sex and the inability of women to experience an orgasm. When a woman hits menopause and has diabetes, they may experience sudden drops in her sugar levels which may affect her sexual health since she may experience low blood sugar levels during sex.
These make sex more of an inconvenience than pleasure since she may have to keep checking her blood sugar levels before sex. Women diagnosed with diabetes are prone to infections such as thrush, urinary tract infections, and cystitis, which may all affect the ability to enjoy sex.
What Are Some Tips To Improve Your Sex Life When You Have Diabetes?
Sexual problems when you have diabetes can be frustrating and cause anxiety. Some may feel like it is easier to give up their sexual expression than find ways to cope or adjusts.
You can, however, maintain a healthy sex life despite the diabetes diagnosis. Here are some ways to have a healthy sex life while controlling blood sugar levels.
Try Having Sex During A Different Time Of The Day
If you experience low energy, you can try having sex at a different time when your energy levels are high. Nighttime is not always the right time to engage in sex. You might experience added fatigue after a long day and lack the energy to have or enjoy sex.
You can try having sex in the afternoons or experiment with what works best for you.
Use A Lubricant To Help With The Dryness
Use a lubricant liberally to help deal with vaginal dryness. Opt for a water-based lubricant; do not be afraid to stop sex mid-session to add more lubricant.
Use Medication To Improve Your Libido
HRT, or Hormonal replacement therapy, can help both men and women with issues such as vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction. Ask your doctor if it is an option for you. Hormonal replacement therapy comes in different forms, including creams, pills, patches, and injectable medications.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle To Enjoy Sex
It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to improve your sex life. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, this includes maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Remember that sex uses a lot of energy, and you should always be aware of your blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity is excellent for your heart, and it improves blood circulation in the body. It also improves your mood, energy levels, and body image.
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