Diabetes, if not managed properly can increase one’s chances of having cardiovascular problems. The inability of the body to utilize insulin properly can also have adverse effect on sexual health for both men and women.
Diabetes and sex
Research has shown that women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes report a range of sexual dysfunction of about 35-70 per cent, while women without the disease, have an average sexual dysfunction rate of about 40 per cent, according to Diabetes.ca.
Other studies suggest that there is a 50 per cent chance of men with type 1 diabetes, developing erectile dysfunction after living with the condition for 20 years.
An endocrinologist at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Dr Alice Cheng says, apart from reduced lubrication and limited response due to nerve damage, there are other factors negatively impacting sex drive among diabetic women.
Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to recurrent urinary tract infections and yeast infections. And low desire can sometimes be attributed to weight gain, depression, and/or anxiety, which are more common in women with diabetes.
Also, a woman with diabetes may experience drops in blood sugar levels during sex, making the act less pleasurable than it should be.
Physiological and psychological impact
One symptom of diabetes is constant fatigue in both men and women. This, coupled with other health complications brought on by high blood sugar levels impacts sex drive, according to Medical News Today.
Apart from these physiological challenges, a person with diabetes could also be struggling with some mental issues including:
- changes to self-image
- concerns over weight gain
- loss of self-esteem
Dr Cheng assures that these issues are irreversible with the right medical intervention.
If [you are experiencing] sexual dysfunction issues, they need to be investigated. Don’t give up. Many of these issues are reversible. Step one is to identify them, then investigate and get referred to the appropriate people.