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Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction


Sexual dysfunction is a condition that interferes with a person’s sexual performance. People with diabetes are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction than people without diabetes.


Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is a condition that interferes with a person’s sexual performance. People with diabetes are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction than people without diabetes.

Sexual dysfunction in people with diabetes involves the blood vessels (diabetic angiopathy) and nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) that may hinder sexual performance and enjoyment. This condition usually results from blood sugars that are not managed well. Other factors that may contribute to sexual dysfunction include psychological issues, obesity, depression, medications, smoking and other medical conditions.

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

Sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes includes erectile dysfunction (impotence) and ejaculation problems. This condition is due to nerve and artery damage in the genital area that may cause a disruption to the blood flow that is necessary for an erection.

Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes may experience vaginal dryness. The women may experience some discomfort during sexual intercourse due to the lack of lubrication. Additional symptoms of sexual dysfunction may include: decreased vaginal sensitivity, difficulty climaxing and decreased sexual desire due to diabetes related nerve damage.

What are the Concerns for Both Sexes?

  1. Blood sugar levels that are constantly high can lead to:
  • Reduction of testosterone levels. This may contribute to the decreased in sexual interest (libido).
  • Abnormal nerve function (diabetic neuropathy) may lead to feeling of pain during sexual intercourse. This heightened the sense of pain that can make sexual relations uncomfortable.
  1. Hypoglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia is a sign that people with diabetes need to look out for as sexual intercourse is a form of exercise.

Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction in Men

It is advisable and important to discuss with your spouse or partner when selecting a treatment to maintain a fulfilling relationship.

  • Several treatments are available:
Oral Medications Mechanical Methods Local Therapies Surgical Methods
Viagra, Cialis and Levitra Vacuum pumps and Constriction rings Suppositories and injections Penile implant

Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction in Women

The use of water-based lubricants like K-Y jelly may help to improve sexual pleasure for women.

Maintaining Sexual Health with Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a leading cause of sexual health issues in people with diabetes accompanied by other health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and smoking. Men with poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to have sexual issues as compared to men who have good control of their diabetes. However, complications and sexual issues can be avoided by taking proper care of your diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and quit smoking. People with diabetes who experience sexual difficulties can lead an enjoyable and fulfilling sexual life by discussing it over with their doctor. It is advisable to seek early treatment to prevent the condition from becoming too severe to be successfully treated.

- Last updated 22 Dec 2010,11:25 am

The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

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